From year to year we see the same picture: in the summer, and even in early spring, everyone starts to take care of their physical form. The anxiety that everyone understands is heated, if not completely shaped, by the behavior of the media: it is thanks to the Internet and magazines that we learn that by the summer it is necessary to lose weight in order to look decent in a bathing suit. And it is also advisable to try a couple of juice diets, so as not to have to pull in the stomach.
- What is Beach body
- History of the phenomenon
- Who uses this term
- Why is it harmful
- What happens to the concept of Beach body now
- And finally beach body meme
What is Beach body
Beach body is an intuitive phrase: this is the physical form in which it is supposedly not ashamed to appear on the beach. Originating in the middle of the last century as a pure advertising tool, it migrated to the glossary magazines lexicon and has since been used to designate the ideal body, to which everyone somehow has to strive. In the modern sense, the “beach body” is muscular, toned, preferably tanned and hairless, on which a swimsuit or swimming trunks sit like a mannequin. In order to achieve such a standard, many have to lose weight, train and in other ways seek the appearance of a “decent” appearance on the cover of a conventional glossy magazine. For those who, for various reasons, the body looks different, it remains only to experience and find the strength not to be guided by the opinion of the majority.
History of the phenomenon
The concept of a beautiful body is as old as the world, and in the past century it has undergone tremendous changes. If in short, then thinness has become considered more attractive than fatness – for the first time in God knows how many years. Bathing suits have also changed dramatically. Up until the 1910s, they covered almost the entire body and did not give a hint of its contour, then the amount of fabric in them rapidly decreased, and the figure began to appear. One of the most popular modern swimsuit variations – bikinis – is older than it might seem: in 1946, engineer Louis Reard persuaded dancer Micheline Bernardini to demonstrate his new swimsuit model, in which many fashion models refused to pose. Photos of Bernardini scattered in the press and excited the public, but the difficult history of the bikini has just begun.
Historian Kevin Jones believes that Rear was ahead of his time and his swimsuit in the forties could be worn only by unchained women of the highest class, like those who, after the First World War, had taken off their corsets. The actresses made a big contribution to the popularization of bikinis: Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren showed that in this swimsuit you can look beautiful and dignified (in the second virtue governments of some European countries and even the Vatican doubted). A little later, Bond’s girlfriend Ursula Andress joined them, with the appearance of which in a white bikini it is customary to count the second round of his popularity.
If you look at the photographs of the 40s – 60s (it took almost twenty years for the public to take bikinis), it becomes clear that today’s separate swimsuits hardly became more outspoken. Early models still covered the navel, but in the 70s the waist line fell, and in the 90s it rose again, but this jump had nothing to do with modesty. The only thing that really changed in the 60 years of swimsuit history is the shape of the figure in it. The mannequin that first demonstrated it was slim, but at the first peak of the popularity of a bikini it was worn by girls not only of thin build.
The fashion for exceptional harmony has not yet taken shape, so there was no standard for the “beach body”. One of those who sped up his appearance was Slenderella’s salon chain, which specialized in weight loss. In her 1961 ad, the “bikini body” was defined very precisely: “high bust, pronounced waist, strong hips, slender, graceful legs” (all this was proposed to be achieved using Slenderella devices, of course).
With the filing of Twiggy, thinness came into fashion, in the 70s a lean and moderately muscular body was considered a fashionable body; at the same time, the average BMI of American celebrities begins to decrease, and “ordinary” women, on the contrary, grow (18–20 and 25, respectively). In the 80s, the image of a beautiful female body predictably changes to a more miniature one: almost all models from Playboy covers weigh less than average women, some can be called thin.
For the next two decades and heroin chic, everyone has heard: the androgynous type bursts into fashion again, which does not suggest the twists that are typical of many female figures. The thinness, which at that time due to the possibilities of the media and photoshop has become more and more in the information field, is still considered a reference, although some bold companies like Swimsuits For All go against the standard and feel free to declare that any body is beautiful.
Who uses this term
Most often the phrase appears in magazines: a rare monthly does without a summer issue (or even two or three), the takeaway of which promises to tell you how quickly you can prepare for your appearance on the beach. They offer to do this with the help of new creams and procedures (“Preparing the body for the beach season”), detox (“Summer detox from Henri Chenot”) and even healthy pancakes (“6 devices to become sexy by summer”). It is easy to speculate on the topic: the degree of obsession with the ideal is high, nobody wants to spend a lot of time and effort in taking care of themselves, and looking good is important to everyone.
Manufacturers of cosmetics are also not asleep: from year to year there are more and more means to combat the “imperfections”, which the audience most often learns from magazines (such is the expected circulation). Advertisers themselves often appeal to consumers with frontal questions like “Are you ready for the beach season?”. A recent example is the skins of the English brand of supplements Protein World, which used exactly this approach and got it for the hat from the participants of the movement eachbodysready.
Bikini-body and beach-body stamps are often set to draw attention to fitness programs. Most of them are thoughtful and effective (the basic principles are set out, for example, on Bodybuilding.com), but just promises to make the body more fit and strong editors and readers, apparently, are not enough. Materials with such titles do collect millions of views, although nothing is new compared to other complex programs.
Why is it harmful
It is impossible to deny that we all pay attention to appearance and that it greatly influences the perception of other people (the confirmed sympathy of the jury towards pretty accused is only one of the manifestations of our craving for beauty). Most people do not object to the fact that standards chosen by someone are being imposed on them and are ready to adapt to them. Meanwhile, aesthetics is a very subjective category, and every person has the right to decide for himself what is beautiful and not be ashamed of his choice. Some media outlets deserve separate censure: a selection of, say, 40 celebrities in bathing suits does not give the reader any information about how to become healthier and more beautiful. On the contrary, it only stirs up hysteria and almost certainly makes you compare your body with other, more “perfect” ones, and this is a direct path to self-dissatisfaction and psychological problems from compulsive overeating to depression. According to this logic, people with a reference body, if not a head taller than the rest, then certainly in one aspect, are better – to call it differently than discrimination, the language does not turn.
In addition, most media encourages physical maintenance only in spring and summer: according to this logic, the reader can avoid a healthy lifestyle during the cold months and should start to play sports and diet only when it becomes warm. Such a swing for the body, of course, is harmful, especially since no one usually calls for the necessary dimension: for the body to take up loads well, they should be introduced gradually, and you need to sleep and eat a lot – magazines prefer to keep silent about it or limit themselves to vague reminders notorious nutrition.
What happens to the concept of Beach body now
The category of the “beach body” is gradually being supplanted, and this is largely due to body-positive movement (English is pleasantly compact, but there is a suitable Russian formula “my body is my business”). For those who have enough self-confidence, the very phrase “beach body” is puzzling, because no particular appearance does not mean that its owner or possessor cannot wear open clothes and appear in public places. It is important that such a position does not at all relieve work on the body, but the need for it arises from the conscious decision of the person and in the volume and quality that he deems necessary.
A special category of bikini, “fatkini,” argues with this somewhat. Such models are reminiscent of the earliest separate swimsuits that cover more body, because it is assumed that people with greater weight or noticeable, for example, stretch marks, will certainly want to hide their “flaws”. Against this, more and more people have recently risen: girls with stretch marks openly say that it is not a shame to wear a bikini with them, but the full ones dare to walk along the beach and record their feelings.
In theory, a tolerant attitude towards features of appearance should sometime become its only standard, and words like “flaws,” “ideal,” and “imperfections,” should leave the usual manner of use. If you think not in a vacuum, but taking into account reality, then you should not expect such a development of events in the near future, and no free thought can cover the whole of society. Nevertheless, the dictates of the ideal body are increasingly losing weight and the number of people who are healthy about appearance, is growing (this applies not only to weight, but to the rest of physiology, like having body hair, stretch marks and scars), so there is no reason to lose optimism.