fatkiniYou may have heard about our SUIT URSELF Swimsuit Challenge (check out #suiturself on twitter, babes!). This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and summer 2013 seemed like the perfect time to start! Not only are we taking submissions (submissions@beutifulmagazine.com) for our gallery, but we’re also committing to weekly body image-building articles geared toward helping you in your journey toward body acceptance. Why is this important? How is this NOT important?! Negative body image is holding you back! Did you know that FIFTY percent (yes, half!) of women have turned down invitations to an event that required a swimsuit?! And 45% of women who do dare to attend poolside/beach festivities won’t walk around without covering up first. These stats come from a body image survey published in Fitness Magazine, in which Fitness partnered with Land’s End to poll 500 women, ages 18-49, to understand how women’s behavior, anxiety level, and self-confidence are affected when wearing a swimsuit. As the results show, self-consciousness about shape and size strongly affects the way women live and interact with others, even those close to them. The survey also discovered that:

  • 18% of women would rather go to the dentist or walk on hot coals (!!!) than wear a swimsuit
  • 83% of women feel that they are being “judged” by other women when wearing a swimsuit
  • 59% admit to critiquing others
  • 52% of women are far more likely to want their perfect swimsuit to reduce waist and tummy, rather than slim hips/thighs (19%) or enhance bust (12%)
  • 63% of women fully admit to being their own worst critic
  • When asked how women think they look in a swimsuit: “Not as slim and toned as I’d like,” is the most common response (48%), followed by a “let’s not go there” (31%)
  • Women under age 45 are more likely to have anxiety zones than their elders
  • When women were asked whether men judge other men, just 5% said they do, most feeling men really don’t care how they look (53%) (Dudes – do you agree?)

bathing suitsIf you need even more convincing that negative body image has a huge impact on the people struggling with it, read this. By the way, I’m happy to say that Land’s End did something really fucking cool last year, where they asked everyday women to photograph themselves wearing their swimsuits. The results were beautiful, unedited women with realistic bodies. Check it out! Ladies, some of us have become our own worst enemies. Let’s stop judging each other and ourselves and commit to enjoying this summer (and our lives!) without restriction. The next time you see a woman (or man) having swimsuit anxiety, tell her that she looks beautiful. And don’t forget to tell yourself that, too. If you’re interested in participating in the SUIT URSELF Swimsuit Challenge, you can send a submission to submissions@beutifulmagazine.com! Spread the word! Join us next Wednesday for our post on body acceptance – steps for accepting your body and working what you’ve got! Sources: PRNewswire