Being a woman in a bikini attracts plenty of attention, wanted or not. But, for a plus-size woman, it can be a struggle not only to show up wearing a bikini but to even think about it.
Society's perception of beauty and health is not something we should be proud of. No one uses the term "beach body" for anyone but women. That's why it is inspiring, even brave to dear to wear one in public.
Marie Southard Ospina is a writer, and she read about a plus-size woman who was brave enough to put on a tiny bikini. Yes, it may sound like nothing if you are a guy or a woman up to size 10, but if you are above, you know the feeling.
Marie wore a two-piece on a beach in Spain, and here are her observations.
Writing for Bustle, the body positivity influencer said that she felt vulnerable. But the brave woman, and it is crazy to think that women are brave for wearing a swimsuit, but that's where we are at, noticed reactions.
Younger couples had mostly negative smirks and comments. Males started these, but females did not bother to defend Marie.
"Three young couples in total looked at me mockingly, and in each instance, it was the man who alerted the woman to my presence."
The young woman felt that men acted offended, writing that younger women "would've even noticed Ospina if it hadn't been for their partners pointing her out."
Politeness came from older couples. It gave the writer hope that age and wisdom come hand in hand.
Let's not forget that Marie is an average size for a European woman.
Now, let's get to name-calling. Again, one of the insults Marie vividly remembered came from a middle-aged guy who was on a beach with his children. The sad part was that he was already teaching his kids how not to act.
It was devastating for Marie, as she wrote, "I don't doubt that fatphobia, along with any other phobia directed at groups of human beings, is often learned behavior."
Girls were not kind, as one said, "Look at the fat woman." However, Marie wrote that she, the girl was more surprised than malicious.
The writer saw a handful of plus-size ladies wearing low-rise bikinis, and there was an instant bond. As Marie wrote, "Solidarity amongst women is a powerful thing."
Ospina encourages other women to wear what they want. Any body is a bikini body, and there's nothing you can do to stop people from talking.
Writing for Bustle, Ospina concluded:
"It is our perceptions and close-mindedness toward the different, the obscure, or the quirky that need to change. And in the meantime, the only way to normalize the 'abnormal' is to embrace it — to wear the bikini if you want to, or dress in drag if you so please."