Swimsuit Season Lie No. 4: The Beach Body

Cristen Conger

Body perfection doesn't exist.
Body perfection doesn't exist.

*This post is from a series I wrote in 2011: 5 Swimsuit Season Lies and though it might be a vintage blog post now, it's worth revisiting because "swimsuit season" lies will never go out of fashion, unfortunately.

Here's a disturbing survey finding from LiveScience to kick things off:

  • One-third of female college students said they'd trade at least one year of their life to have their ideal body.
  • Two percent said they'd sacrifice 10 years of living for a better bod.
  • 93 percent had negative thoughts about their looks within the past week
  • "Although 78 percent of the women sampled were normal weight - or even underweight - 79 percent of the survey group said they wanted to lose weight."

But there's a rub. Models' "ideal bodies" and perfectly smooth silhouettes we see sporting swimwear and such (i.e. beach bodies) aren't exactly the real deal. Sure, these women are genetically predisposed to have lovely figures, and they're paid to keep themselves trim. However, let's not lose sight of something that has undeniably skewed our idea of what the "perfect body" looks like: airbrushing.

Swimsuit Season Lie No. 4: You Should Have a Perfect "Beach-Ready" Body

By "perfect", I mean catalog perfect with nary a fat cell out of place. And, yes, it's no secret that models and celebs are airbrushed to high heaven but it's still good to remind ourselves that maybe the body ideal we're striving toward can only exist in Photoshop.

Last year, UK brand Debenhams made waves by featuring un-airbrushed models in its swimwear campaign. Of course, the untouched women still had knock-out curves. Yet the extent of airbrushing the models would've typically undergone is incredible. Just take a gander at all those "corrections" this fetching lady supposedly needs.

Ridiculous, right?

Almost as ridiculous as, say, willingly giving up a year of living just to look like a swimsuit model on the beach.