Celebrity bikini bodies don’t exist even though social media is constantly bombarding us with surreal images of perfection. All it takes is one click, and you are bombarded with images of models that have flat stomachs, perfect skin, no cellulite, and no stretch marks. And as most people check their phones in the morning, imagine that being the first thing you see! But what if these images are a false illusion? Of course, we know Photoshop exists, but there’s still a disconnect. Does this knowledge truly stop us from looking at a post with thousands of likes, and asking ourselves, “Why don’t I look like that?”
So, let’s talk about bikini body standards and the four ways, other than Photoshop, people are able to embellish how they look in pictures.
So much goes into posing. We don’t walk around posing all day. If we are meant to move and be dynamic, why do we hold ourselves to these standards? Posing does so much, and as a model, it’s the first thing you learn. Specifically, there’s a pose called the S-curve where the arm becomes an extension of the body. It makes the bust and butt look bigger. It also makes the waist look smaller, and posing this way can make a body look so different.
If you’re trying to create an illusion with the body, the way you pose is crucial. For example, even if you simply point your toe, it creates the illusion of longer legs. Also, celebrities usually know when photos are being taken of them, and they try to pose their best. Have you ever noticed that when paparazzi take candid photos or catches someone off guard, the picture looks a little different? You’re able to see what an image truly looks like when the body is not perfectly posed.
To provide another example, take the appearance of thigh gaps. Did you know thigh gaps can be more prominent depending on the way that you stand? Also, it has more to do with your hips and anatomy than weight. Tilting your hips back, and even simultaneously standing on your toes can create or cause a more prominent thigh gap.
But in photos or posts, oftentimes, it’s not obvious that a person is doing this, especially if you can’t see their feet. Furthermore, sitting on the edge of the chair also impacts how your thighs spread, and sitting on the edge allows for less compression – consequently, making the thighs look slimmer.
Photocred: The Tylt
In society, we’ve gotten in our heads that clothing size is a value indicator of our worth or self-confidence. And it doesn’t always have to be skinniness. We’re expected to be slim in some areas of the body and voluptuous in others. There are ways to make certain areas of the body more ample, and clothes are one of them.
For example, if you pull your bathing suit strings the right way, it can give your chest a lift. Moreover, horizontal lines can make the body and bust look wider and vertical lines can increase the appearance of slimness.
As for making the waist look slimmer or “snatched,” did you know that pulling the bottom of a bikini up past your hips adds curvature that otherwise wouldn’t be there? If it’s a bathing suit bottom with thicker straps, doing this could also cover areas of concern for people.
You can sculpt abs or add dimension to the body with a contour and highlighting stick. And when reflected in the right light, they can make the body look so different!
Photocred: Integris Health
We’re always made to think that cellulite and stretch marks are bad. But the truth is – most people have them. And everyone has textured skin, but we’re made to think otherwise. Cellulite is a tissue that can bunch up, and it’s so normal and natural. Whether the body is skinny or rounded, all bodies of all shapes and sizes can have cellulite. It is not weight dependent. Moreover, the visibility of cellulite mostly depends on the lighting. Light can hide or illuminate cellulite.
For example, even Victoria Secret modes have cellulite. But, lighting changes what people see. They have functioning human bodies, cellulite, and wrinkles when they sit down just like every belly does. It’s not fair to compare ourselves to a posed image when the body might look different in reality.
Every single stomach has rolls. Cassandra remembers being younger and wanting a flat stomach. With every single magazine Cassandra saw, she felt like she had to embody every image she experienced. But, she came to understand that stomachs are not flat; the stomach is an organ. Our bodies are meant to carry our vital organs, and flat stomachs rarely exist. It’s wonderful to have a good ratio of muscle to fat. But, even with a certain amount of muscle definition, a flat stomach is still very hard to get, and it might not be feasible for everyone.
At the end of the day, bodies are shapes. Just the way a square, circle, or triangle is different, our bodies will be different. So, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to images of bikini bodies with flat stomachs, and we shouldn’t try to fit into a specific size of clothing because “that’s how we’re supposed to look.”
When you trying things on, just choose what feels comfortable. Every single designer and fashion creator has a completely different sizing chart. So, a “small” could be the equivalent of a “large” depending on the brand. It’s totally okay to have a normal body, no matter the size. Also, it’s beyond okay to want to improve or change things, but make sure you’re loving, embracing, appreciating, nourishing, and treating your body with care. Self-love starts inside, not externally.