Amanda Pendolino
July 22, 2013

The Bikini Challenge: Stop Looking at Bikini Photos — And Put on a Bikini

Bar Refaeli‘s Itsy-Bitsy Bikini.”

“How One Woman Went From Obesity to a Bikini Body.”

“Bikini Break: Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz & Leslie Mann Take a Break From Filming.”

These are all headlines I’ve come across in the last hour alone — and I’m sick of it!

So I’m proposing a plan: The Bikini Challenge. Part one: NO MORE LOOKING AT BIKINI PHOTOS ON THE INTERNET.

I understand why we’re curious about these photos, but avoiding them is for our own good. Every time I click on one of these, I start to compare myself. How can she be so thin — she just had a baby! She’s twenty years older than I am, but she looks better!

It’s impossible to ban these photos from popping up on the main pages of our favorite pop culture websites — but it IS possible for us to stop clicking. Join me and resolve never to click on a bikini photo ever again. I know you’ll be tempted … but just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ll totally survive if you never find out who has the best beach body.

Studies have shown “students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place a greater importance on sexiness and overall appearance than those who do not consume as much.” So it stands to reason that if we consume less media, maybe we won’t feel so bad about the bikini situation!

The second part of the challenge may be a bit harder: go put on a bikini of your own!

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

When I was a teenager, I never wore bikinis. You had to have a perfectly flat, toned stomach to wear them, right? Wrong.

I weigh about the same as I did then, but now I own six or seven bikinis — and I’m never going back. I guess something about growing older made me care less about body perfection. Newsflash: women don’t need to look like celebrities to wear bikinis.

Forget “12 Weight Loss Tips For Your Bikini Body” or “Finding the Right Swimsuit For Your Shape.” Are you shaped like a human? Perfect! Bikinis are for you.

Sure, there are plenty of adorable one-pieces out there — but if you’re avoiding bikinis because you don’t look like Kate Upton, you’re thinking about it all wrong.

Plus, when you get older, you’ll regret that you covered things up.

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six,” Nora Ephron famously wrote. “If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

If you don’t own one, I recommend H&M, which made headlines for featuring a plus-size model in its swimwear campaign earlier this year, without even mentioning her size.

Will you join me in the bikini challenge?