Thursday, March 26, 2015

Allison's 2nd Blog Post: Embracing the Body

Just recently, this photo became viral, receiving over 10 million views and 320,000 likes on Facebook. 


The photo depicts 32 year old, Rachel Holis, in a bikini with her body showing visible stretch marks caused by her 3 pregnancies. Holis included in the photo caption, "I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could.They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!"

In today's society, it seems to be implied that bikinis are only acceptable to wear by women who have a certain body type. That body type includes either having a toned or flat stomach, toned arms, and toned legs. When women do not fit this description, they sometimes feel hesitant to wear bikinis, feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable. Therefore, it is quite different to see Holis, a woman who does not completely fit the "bikini body type," openly and confidently embracing her body in a bikini. Holis' action brings about a sense of women empowerment and reminds women everywhere that beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes. Sure, there is always an "ideal body type" that members of society create for themselves and try to attain, but that does not mean that those with a "non-ideal" body type are not beautiful. As cheesy as it sounds, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and will forever be extremely subjective. 

Women responded very well to this photo, with one user, Samantha Bain, saying, "Wow, well done mamma! You look amazing. Perfect child bearing tummy. We shouldn't shy away for the sake of an imperfect tum." Holis' self-empowerment allowed other women to feel more accepting of their own selves, which is probably part of the reason why this photo became so popular. 

However, this photo was received well not only by women, but men as well. One man stated, "Whenever I see such marks, I’m reminded of what she did for us" and another said, "Just so you women know, we don’t even notice [the stretch marks] in the photo. We just see a girl on a beach, so stop second-guessing yourself." This goes to show that the idea of an "ideal body type" is majorly fabricated and implemented by women themselves, not really men. 

Overall, this photo captures the complexity of beauty and emphasizes how embracing one's unique self is ultimately one of the most important things an individual can do. 

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