You’re reading it right: I have no respect for the full-figured woman in bathing suit. Does that shock you? Read on first and let me know your reaction after.

Image by Marcy Guevara for Life & Style of Jessica

[dropcap]Last[/dropcap] week fashion blogger Jessica (Life and Style of Jessica) a picture of herself on her blog. In the picture we see Jessica on the beach in her bathing suit. Nothing special about it. At least: that’s what you’d think.

If you’d read the reactions to her picture without having seen the picture itself would namely suspect that there is something special going on with Jessica’s photo. It appears from the comments that Jessica is seen as ‘superhero’ and ‘inspirational’. Moreover, she gets a lot of ‘respect’.

With that kind of comments it is logical that you, as Jessica suggests on her Facebook page, think Jessica has overcome a serious illness, is fighting an addiction or stepped out of a violent relationship. 

Superhero status and encouraging words because she is obese and poses in a bathing suit.

Nothing is less true: Jessica receives a superhero status and encouraging words because she is obese and poses in a bathing suit.

Geen respect voor dikkerd in badpak
Fashion Blogger Jessica got the superhero status assigned after she’d put this picture of herself online. Image by Marcy Guevara for Life & Style of Jessica

Acceptance of diverse body types

I am flabbergasted. That we now have a greater diversity of body types represented in the media – at the moment we especially see more plus sizes – and there’s more positivity around body types that do not meet the standard model sizes is obviously great.

That we’re acting as if it is normal to cover up a heavy body and that we give hail and glory to heavy-bodied women that rifuse to do so is, in my view, a ridiculous situation.


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Jessica placed this photo on her Facebook after she got ‘positive’ responses to her bathingsuit photo. The picture then went viral and got a lot of recognition on her statements.


If we’d truly accepted differences in body types, we’d not be giving heavy-bodied women in bathing suit respect

If we’d truly accepted differences in body types, we’d not be giving heavy-bodied women in bathing suit respect. We do not find them inspiring and we’d definitely wouldn’t assign them with a superhero status. No, we’d just ask the lady where she got that cute bathing suit from.

Cultural influence

Nevertheless, the thin beauty ideal is so deeply rooted in our culture, attitudes and values. I question whether we can ever really have exactly the same attitude towards a full-figured woman in a bathing suit as we have towards a straight sized woman in bathing suit.

This of course does not mean that we need to find all body types equally beautiful; personal preference – which is really okay – comes into play here. One person prefers full-figured body types, the other person prefers skinny body types or anything in between. But come on: a superhero status assignment to, and have respect for someone who shows her body?


Admitted: I still find it hard to not be influenced by the thin beauty ideal. I find it difficult to judge myself and say whether I look at a picture like that of Jessica and not think “Gosh, respect to her for doing this ” or something like that at all. I would like to say that I really don’t feel that way, but I am aware of the fact that it is very difficult to judge my own attitudes and behavior.

How about you? Do you have respect for full-figured women in bathing suit? Are you influenced by our standard beauty ideal? And what do you actually think about the superhero status that Jessica was assigned?

Disclaimer: it is not my intention to offend full-figured women. 


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About Author

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour.

I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!

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