Photos via BuzzFeed Life
Beauty is not definitive and it certainly cannot be contained by an S, M or L. To say ModCloth is pushing the boundaries of our definition of beauty is trivial, because we really shouldn’t have any boundaries. In the online retailer’s recent promotion of its new swimwear line, the women of ModCloth proved just that. Beauty ideals are unideal.
Several months ago, I blogged about body confidence and how uncomfortable I felt posting a photo of myself in a bikini on Instagram to prove a point. I entered a Body Confidence Challenge and after being showered with compliments, I felt the need to take it down. While I should have tried not to cave, I didn’t deserve a gold medal for posting my imperfections on the internet. I shouldn’t need bravery to strive to be beautiful, I should feel beautiful already.
Teeny weeny yellow bikini: 1
Jillian’s quest for self-acceptance: 0
ModCloth stated in a BuzzFeed interview that readers responded so positively and related their bodies to each photographed employee. Their body types are representative of ALL women and not just a margin. It’s an applaudable and fantastic message to send to ModCloth consumers who may lack the same courage and confidence. The shoot was created as a reaction to Sports Illustrated unrealistic body types.
I’ll admit it, I’m one of those people who lurks the comment sections of news stories. I like to understand where other people are coming from and where my personal opinions fall on the spectrum. I come across the term “real woman” more often than not. By conversationally using “real” to describe every woman who isn’t in a magazine or on a runway, I think we’re contributing to a whole other monster of negative thought. We’re all real women. I’m a real woman. You’re a real woman. Karlie Kloss is a real woman. Beyonce is a real woman (I swear, guys. She is.) Perhaps the phrase we’re looking for is “authentic women.” The ladies of ModCloth are authentic women who aren’t under the limited microscope of others or behind the cursor of a graphic artist. I’m an authentic woman and I strive to feel like one inside and out each day. It’s a struggle but also a responsibility.
“Self-acceptance is this finicky idea that’s easy to talk about, yet seemingly such a feat to conquer,” Christen DiClaudio, ModCloth merchandise copy editor, told BuzzFeed Life.
Self-acceptance is often the elephant in the room. All of us wish we could attain it, yet only some of us come close to it. Confidence shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a necessity. I feel that by uplifting each other, we’ll uplift ourselves.
“We saw the need for our representation,” Ingrid Taller, customer advocate told BuzzFeed Life. “And I think it’s safe to say we were right.” I’d say so, ModCloth.
In celebration ALL women, I’ve gathered some of my absolute favorite new ModCloth swimsuits. Time to swim, sunbathe, smile, laugh, live, and breathe authentically. I’ve been a long time fan, but I admire ModCloth’s vintage style and unique designs. Kitschy prints and puny names are two of my favorite things joined together to make amazing results.
Comment with your favorite suit! (Photos courtesy of ModCloth)