When pretty much every single person called out Protein World for its shocking “Are You Beach Body Ready?” campaign, back in 2015, you could feel a collective shift towards a better world. The thing is, had that campaign run a year or so earlier, it probably wouldn’t have caused such a stir. Women were finally biting back, and it felt good.
Who has the right to body shame anyone into feeling lesser? No one’s perfect; we all have things about ourselves we’re not keen on, like cellulite or a softer belly (those are my things). Thankfully, though, the body-positive movement is calling bullshit on women feeling bad about the way they look.
Being healthy and happy is all that matters. What right does anyone have to make you feel like you’re not good enough for your swimsuit? The swimsuit doesn’t care what you look like—it just wants to take you out for a paddle and a sunbathe. On the flip side, no one should feel bad for wanting to lose weight or tone up.
This month, our theme is Every Body, and we’re here to celebrate bodies in all their glory. Having worked in media for over a decade, I can tell you that this is the time when we’d usually be sharing those beach body countdowns, but no more, thank the stars! Instead, on Byrdie UK this month, I’ll be discussing why the size of my clothing still bothers me and exploring how the number on the scale affects my mood.
Deputy editor Shannon Peter will be rounding up all the body-related words we want to lock away. I’ll be talking to women who want to defend their right to get in shape for their wedding. Plus I’ll be chatting with journalist Bryony Gordon and model Jada Sezer, both of whom ran the London Marathon in their underwear to prove you can be fit whatever your size—they’re my inspiration in life right now and two women I feel fortunate to have met.
I’ll also be interviewing Jules von Hep, a celebrity tanner who has seen thousands of women in their undies—we’ll be discussing the common things women apologise to him for and how we can all be more confident in ourselves. It boils down to this: If you’re healthy and you’re happy, you don’t have to change your body for anyone or anything.
Over on social, we’re declaring June 19 #TrueStory Day. On Instagram Stories, we’ll be sharing a real view of what our lives are like, and calling on our influencer friends and you, dear readers, to do the same—we’re talking unedited pictures and real-life scenarios. Let’s break down those Instagram walls and show that everyone has real moments.
If you need a pick-me-up, be sure to check out the podcast we recorded last month with Wobble. The hosts, Jules and Sarah, plus myself, dancer Danielle Peazer and curve model Felicity Hayward talked all things body image and mental health.