Beach Body: Meet the Brands Leading the Way for Body Positivity
Body positivity! After decades of advertising telling us that we need to change our bodies to achieve happiness, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
Beach body? Have a body - go to the beach.
There’s been an undeniable shift in how society views the female form and we’re fully embracing the rise in joyful self-love that’s come with it. Instead of hiding natural things such as stretch marks or cellulite, brands and media outlets shout loud and proud about them.
Instagram pages such as Eff Your Beauty Standards have raised the game for #BoPo, sharing an inspiring selection of diverse people: disabled bodies, plus-size bodies, people of colour, LGBT bodies, and bodies that are scarred from diseases.
Here are some of the coolest brands championing the movement and leading the way for body positivity.
1. Sport England: ‘This Girl Can’
After conducting a study that revealed UK women were exercising less because they were ashamed of their bodies, Sports England launched a campaign to address the epidemic. One in four women said they ‘hate the way I look when I exercise or play sport’, so the campaign included women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Taglines such as ‘Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’ and ‘I jiggle therefore I am’ tackled real tangible fears with humour. It worked - a whopping 1.6m women started exercising as a direct result of the campaign.
2. Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Dove was a big barrier-breaker in terms of narrow body ideals and changing our perceptions of beauty. The personal care brand launched its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign in 2005 after discovering that only 2% of women worldwide would describe their look as beautiful and nine out of 10 women between 15 and 64 years old wanted to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance. The advert shattered previous portrayals of beauty by releasing an advert with eight ‘real’ women dressed in white underwear. It showed off women of all ages, sizes and skin colours, and is perhaps one of the most important adverts of the 21st century in terms of breaking the beauty rules.
3. Monki: Honest Swimwear Campaign
Of all the marketed products, swimwear is perhaps the one that’s constantly pasting thin, airbrushed, bronzed models on to billboards and magazines. That’s where Monki, one of the multinational brands owned by H&M, step in. In March this year, the brand launched an Honest Swimwear campaign that showed women from the female perspective: unretouched, natural, and looking comfortable in their own bodies. No wild angles, no skyscraper stilettos - every mole, stretch mark and skin-fold in its place.
4. Nike: Plus-Size Collection
It’s hard not to open a magazine today and see models celebrated for their diversity in all forms, as the social movement aims removes all prejudices that make some bodies more valued than others. But a place we don’t always see plus-size bodies is the fitness industry. Nike’s Plus-Size Women’s Collection aimed to turn that on its head. One size certainly does not fit all - and the sports brand’s range goes up to a size 3X. There’s a range of styles, too: from athleisure to high-impact sportswear, from classic black to funky prints, Nike has made sure that plus-size bodies can work out fashionably, too. FYI: its sports bras now go up to a 38E. Result.
5. Holmes Place
Our primary focus is not fitness as a means to promote a specific body ideal but instead as a way to feel healthy and happy, in all sizes and shapes.
That is why we strive to provide a positive fitness experience through different activities to ensure that everyone finds what they enjoy the most and can include it in their schedule for a balanced lifestyle.
Swimming, yoga, dancing, weightlifting, running, boxing, the only way to truly enjoy the journey is by doing what makes you happy and doing it for you, not for a scale.