‘Beach body, not sorry’

It’s mostly welcome, this embracing of bodies that fall outside the tall-thin-fair mould. The latest to plant the flag on the ample bottom of the plus-sized woman is American brand Swimsuits For All, which has released an ad campaign with model Denise Bidot. She appears in bikini suits that seem generously supportive as well as sexy. But is this the only way we know how to celebrate women’s bodies, by sexualising them?

Bidot is beautiful and luscious, and the bikinis actually seem like viable options for the large of belly, the jiggly of thigh and the conscious of stretch marks and cellulite. Plus, this retro polka-dotted number is so cute. But all the pouting, boob-squishing and lip-biting makes it weird. Who is this ad trying to appeal to? Women in the market for cute swimsuits or men in the market for large women?

Fetishising fat doesn’t make the world a more accepting place. It just offers up one more standard against which women can be judged and found wanting. Advertisers and brands can spare us the faux feminist rhetoric in order to get us to buy stuff. Just make nice things and tell us where to find them. We shouldn’t have to pout for it.

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