By Rebekah Hibbert, IATG ContributorFebruary 17, 2016
image via bustle.com
To the editors and team at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, thank you.
For too long, many of us have looked at the covers of magazines and questioned why they don’t reflect the diversities of the bodies we see around us. We would look at the covers and feel like there was something wrong with us, because we never looked the same. No matter the time we put in at the gym or the food we ate, our body shapes were disregarded, and we were shown only one kind of ‘perfect body.’That has a damning affect.
So we turned inward, assuming that we weren’t acceptable to society’s standards. We tortured ourselves trying to fit into a box most of us were never meant to be in. Then something brilliant happened, a magazine, long touted for having ‘the most beautiful women with the most beautiful bodies,’ showed us covers with diverse bodies, all beautiful, all stunning.
Each one was different from the other, none of them less, all of them brilliant.
I don’t know who could look at any of those covers and see anything but beauty and, even more important than that, body confidence. There is nothing wrong with any of those bodies; they are different, just as each of us is different, and yet what they create is a feeling of togetherness. Because in those differences, we start to see ourselves and the other women around us. We appreciate other women’s unique selves and recognize what makes us all gorgeous in our own right.
I am proud that truly diverse bodies are making their way to the main stream, and from the reaction already on social media, I think the world has long been ready for this. The message of body image is finally starting to change to something more accurate. You see, beauty is not easily defined. It is not one size fits all. It is different to every person, and it’s refreshing that we’re finally starting to realize this, appreciate it, and put all types of beauty in places we thought we would never see it.
Congratulations to all three women on the cover. You are part of a revolution that encourages an open ended definition of beauty.
Have you seen the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover shots? Check them out and share on social, so we can start spreading a positive body image message!
Rebekah works as an Athletic Trainer in Kentucky. She also maintains her blog The Real Girl Grind and is dedicated to inspiring others to maintain a positive self image in this image obsessed world.
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