The message by many body positivity plus-size women is that the most important thing about a woman is how ornamental her body can be.
It’s one thing to proudly display some knockout plus-size fashions that woman would wear in everyday life.
But the promotion of large-size women flaunting themselves in a bikini – in the name of “body positivity” — sends the message that women are primarily…ornaments.
“There’s reason to believe that an over-emphasis on body positivity has done more harm than good,” says Adina Mahali, MSW, a certified mental health professional and founder of Enlightened Reality, an inspirational site that offers various services and therapies.
“When we become too focused on how a person looks, whether for good or for bad, we make it more of an issue than it really is.
“The fixation on being bopo ironically forces people to focus on their bodies more and more instead of prioritizing more fundamental components of their being.
“Whether you love your body or not, you’re still limiting yourself to concentrate on their looks above all else. By doing so, you subconsciously limit yourself to only your looks.”
Women are not supposed to be hailed as ornaments, but this bikini positivity craze reinforces this concept.
What this isn’t about.
There are thousands of images of women in bikinis on the Internet. There’s numerous reasons why they’re posted.
These include to show off the bikini itself (not the body in it); to advertise a relevant product or vacation destination; to reveal a trained physique, since physique and bodybuilding athletes wear bikinis on stage; to show off a tan; to show a weight loss to followers; and to show a weight gain after recovering from anorexia nervosa.
And some thinner women DO pose in bikinis just for the heck of it. And some overweight women wear bikinis simply because they like bikinis and aren’t out to prove anything or “eff” any beauty standards.
But all of these reasons are a far cry from a new national trend, encouraged by very overweight body-positivity influencers.
It’s really a whole new animal when bopo influencers, who are obese, push the idea that a self-conscious woman of large proportions can take back her power and confidence by flaunting seductively in a bikini or lingerie.
Women over a size 20 have been wearing two-piece swimsuits to the beach or local swimming pool for decades – because that’s what you wear to the beach or swimming pool. There was no flaunting or sharing pictures of this with tens of thousands of strangers.
However, these days, many plus size women are buying bikinis because they’ve been brainwashed by their bopo role models to spread the word:
“Your body can be an ornament at any size!”
This is objectification of women: pouring on the idea that women are objects – sex ornaments.
Isn’t this the LAST thing that women should want to be doing?
There are so many ways for a self-conscious, very large woman to build confidence and positivity about her body AND mind. She should not sink so low as to display her body like an ornament.
There needs to be more “brain positivity” and less “bikini positivity.”
Adina Mahali, MSW, is a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma therapy and other pathways to better mental health.
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.