In a surprising case of totally unlikely body positivity, US lifestyle magazine Women's Health has banned the "bikini body".
Editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird announced her intention to rid the mag (well, the cover at least) of the term in an article published at the very end of 2015, just in time for the annual ritual laid out by women's media insisting us gals shed all our ghastly Christmas weight and become acceptable humans, not only for ourselves but for all those poor souls who must set eyes upon us.
In an open letter to the phrase, Keller Laird wrote:
Dear 'bikini body',
You're actually a misnomer, not to mention an unintentional insult: You imply that a body must be a certain size in order to wear a two-piece.
You've got a shaming, negative undertone that's become more than annoying.
Citing reader feedback which said: "I hate how women’s magazines emphasize being skinny or wearing bikinis as the reason to be healthy," Women's Health insisted it "never want[ed] to be that type of women's magazine. So, 'Bikini Body,' see ya. Wouldn't wanna be ya."
While a rallying cry from social media saw thousands sign a petition to have the posters and billboards removed, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed it was not offensive and the company issued the following statement:
It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren't focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.
Getting 'beach ready' is not a new concept. It's a fashion that is followed by millions (admittedly not everybody as we have seen!) around the world when they look forward to their summer holiday. We absolutely have no intention of removing the adverts because of a minority making a lot of noise.
Eight months down the line, some would suggest the company may have even benefited from the outrage:
But, in case you needed a reminder, here's how you can achieve that perfect bikini body in two simple steps...