Unfortunately, summer isn't just a time where we can go outside and enjoy the weather. Our experiences are usually marred by the onslaught of shaming beach body advertisements.
Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to help change that by banning body-shaming ads from London's transport network.
The Guardian reported that the move comes after a controversial "Are you beach body ready" advertisement from Protein World that was featured on London's tube network in 2015. There were numerous petitions to get the ad removed, but it did not end up being banned by the Advertisement Standards Authority.
In a statement regarding the ban, Khan said, "As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. It is high time it came to an end. Nobody should feel pressurized, while they travel on the tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this."
Khan's words promote the body positive message that any body is a beach body. This message is spreading across the Internet as seen with many body positive posts, and a number of retailers that show all bodies are ready for swimsuit season by offering a wide selection of bathing suit sizes. ModCloth's 2016 swimsuit campaign is a good example, as it featured community members of all shapes and sizes. Model Iskra Lawrence is another champion of the "love your body" movement. Consumers have responded positively to seeing a variety of body types in the media that represent themselves.
In regards to one of Lawrence's bikini photos on Instagram, one commenter said, "I'm in love with her body omg. She makes me feel better about myself."
Model Ashley Graham continuously promotes a body positive message, too. She recently uploaded a new swimsuit photo and one user wrote, "It's so powerful that you're breaking barriers within such a predetermined industry in which a certain image is expected. But fuck that certain image, let all sizes be equal. #beautybeyondsize"
Andreja Pejic uploaded another photo to celebrate her bikini body. One commenter summed it up by writing, "beautiful."
Here's one of the many examples of ModCloth's positive swimsuit snaps.
Bodies like Gigi Hadid's are worth celebrating as much as any other type of body. The important thing is that we aren't inundated with only one body type.
Khan's plan to ban an ad that promotes unrealistic beauty expectations from the London transport system is just an effort to show there is more than one body type to celebrate. And while the model featured in the ad in question most certainly has a beach body worth admiring, it's important to have variety in the kinds of bodies we see.
As, Graeme Craig, TfL Commercial Development Director, pointed out in the announcement, people cannot switch off an advertisement they see on the train, the way they can on their phones, computers or televisions, nor can they turn it over the way they can a magazine. Everyone should be able to enjoy a ride on the train without having to deal with shameful feelings, and Khan and Craig hope to do that with engaging ads.
(H/T: The Cut)