What really comes to mind when we use this ever-ambiguous term?
Gone are the days when a 'bikini body' was a carefully curated physique we all slaved away to cultivate before summer crept around the corner. Finally, we have come to the realisation that anyone can (and should) wear a bikini, thank you very much.
The fashion industry (and the entire world for that matter) has undergone a recent, radical paradigm shift and the sketch of the 'ideal' female physique has been completely scrapped and re-drawn.
Over the years, we have been presented with a vast range of predominately unobtainable (and frankly unhealthy) images of the perfect body. From scary skinny supermodels such as Kate Moss to impossibly curvaceous celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, young girls have always been encouraged to alter their bodies in order to feel beautiful.
However, the new age supermodel is rather about a healthy, fit physique to aspire to. Instead of starving themselves, girls are encouraged to hit the gym and aim to change their lifestyles, not just their bodies.
Designers all over the globe have jumped on board this fantastic new initiative and are refusing to hire the overly gaunt young models that were once so highly coveted. The industry is not only promoting beauty, but health, and we couldn't be happier about it.
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Despite this emphasis on health and fitness, as a culture we’re more accepting of everyone's differing lifestyle choices and corresponding physiques.
Dresses do not simply come in sizes 0, 2 and 4 any more. We are slowly breaking down stereotypes and celebrating beauty at every size.
Of course, we all still feel the sometimes insurmountable pressure to look like the prototypical, beautiful girl, but body positivity is no longer the responsibility of the industry. It is up to us to embrace our bodies, bumps and all and be confident in our own skin.
Body positivity is a necessary quality for every strong, young woman battling it out in our ever changing society. No one can predict what weight, height, hair colour or clothing will be desirable 10 years from now. But we can control our opinion of ourselves. Be confident, be positive and be proud of your body; you are beautiful.
Words: Sophie Catsoulis