If you’re plus size, wearing a bikini will give you, at most, a false (and very temporary) sense of empowerment.
Like a drug fix, it might make you feel liberated – for a brief moment.
But after you return home and remove the bikini, then what?
Will this brief liberating moment at the public beach or swimming pool make you kill it at the next workplace meeting – during which you’ll likely be wearing professional attire that covers nearly all your body save from the knees down?
Will it give you the power to stop letting your boyfriend control so much of your life?
Will it give you the strength to stop the bullying situation at school that’s affecting your tween daughter?
A bikini is a prop.It will not empowera plus size woman.
This article is for full-figured women who claim that the road to empowerment and confidence is paved with bikinis.
If the topic of this article puzzles you — it’s actually quite true that a significant sector of the body positivity movement promotes the idea that wearing a bikini will pump up the self-esteem of a self-conscious, plus size woman.
If you’ve bought into this fad, then it’s time to re-evaluate the standards you’ve set for yourself.
I remember a time when a 220 pound woman would feel empowered and accomplished after reaching a 12,000 foot peak or completing a 5K. Today, she just slips into a bikini. Something’s very wrong here.
Nowadays it’s all the rage for women, even over 300 pounds, to flaunt their bodies in bikinis and post to social media.
10 Ways Wearing a Bikini Will Not Empower a Woman of Plus Size
#1 The prop will not make you healthier, fitter or bring down your blood pressure. You might want to trade bikini positivity for barbell positivity.
#2 No true liberation; this feeling – if present at all – will last only as long as the bikini is on.
#3 It will not make it easier for you to do the challenging things in life, such as changing a flat tire or trying to get your 10-year-old to understand why you won’t let her walk alone on a particular path to a friend’s house.
#4 A bikini will not give you the power to convince your boss to give you a raise or tell the woman in the next cubicle to stop whistling all day long.
#5 You wore a bikini yesterday for the first time in 20 years, but what are you doing today and tomorrow to make the world a better place? Are you raising money for hunger relief? Are you putting out fires?
Hard fact: A bikini is not Wonder Woman’s crown.
#6 Putting on a bikini and being seen by dozens of people will not give you the inner strength to put the workplace bully in his or her place; to set things straight at the next HOA or PTA meeting; or to confidently get through an unexpected surgery.
#7 It will not give you the power to take the bull by the horns in any life circumstance in which a feisty and assertive approach is required.
#8 Wearing a bikini, even every day as a way to prove something to yourself, will not erase memories of painful past trauma.
#9 The prop will not give you the courage to calmly move away from a hornet when you would normally shriek and stumble away.
#10 This superficial, external prop will not improve your confidence in a dog-eat-dog world nor enhance your creative problem solving skills.
Then Why Are Some Big Women Rich from Posting Pictures of Themselves in a Bikini?
Posting these images to social media has made only a VERY SMALL number of full-figured women rich – or at least, financially comfortable – relative to the total number of women doing this.
• They are adept at promoting their body positivity cause.
• They’ve focused on a particular hook and have figured out how to reel in vulnerable followers.
• Many have writing and/or photography skills.
• A pretty face always helps.
One 230-pound bopo influencer has 196,000 followers on Instagram (at the time of this article posting), and knows how to get her content picked up by numerous media outlets. It’s no coincidence that her college degree is in entrepreneurship.
But most women (like most men) do not have entrepreneurship skills, writing skills, self-promotion skills nor a model’s face.
Thus, the fact that posting selfies of themselves on Instagram has given a tiny number of plus size women a way to earn a living does NOT mean that this prop can empower the average woman.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.