Swimsuit Season Lies

Swimsuit Season Lies No. 5: Bikinis Are Bad for Women

The bikini itself wasn't invented as some sort of sartorial tool of female repression to feed the male gaze (yes ma'am, I just said that). In fact, the shrinking of women's bathing attire was heralded as a form of emancipation.

Swimsuit Season Lie No. 4: The Beach Body

Models' "ideal bodies" and perfectly smooth silhouettes we see sporting swimwear and such 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 Lies No. 3: Boys Don't Have Body Issues

I'd wager that around 99.9 percent of "swimsuit season" anxiety perpetuated by advertising and weight-loss articles are targeted toward women and girls (Men's Health subscribers, correct me if I'm wrong here). Why? Because guys don't have to flaunt it all in a bikini, so they have no reason to be body conscious, right?

Swimsuit Season Lies No. 2: Skinny Equals Healthy

Who hates swimsuit season more than everybody's (least) favorite single gal comic character Cathy? C'mon, you remember ol' Cathy, staring at herself in the dressing room mirror wearing an ill-fitting bikini. All she wanted in the world was to drop some pounds and slide right into some polka dotted lycra and spandex. But Cathy -- and a lot of other people, both real and fictional -- have the wrong idea about thinness.

Swimsuit Season Lies No. 1: You Can Get Rid of Cellulite

Yesterday, I received my first pool invitation of 2011. The sun was beating like a bongo here in Atlanta, and my sunglasses were slowly slipping down my face due to sweat when the prospect of a pool popped up. But the first reflexive thought in my to-pool-or-not-to-pool decision had nothing to do with the heat. How will you look in a swimsuit? Are you really bikini-ready, Conger?