Bikini Body Shame

A new survey has revealed that more than half of British women hate their body to the extent that they would rather stay at home than have a holiday on the beach or by the pool.  Of course beach holidays are not the only option and so one wonders if these women are travelling elsewhere or if they are literally missing out because they don’t want to be seen in their bikinis.

The Figures

The survey found that only 1% of women have no hang ups about their bodies at all whilst more than 53% can’t bare the sight of themselves in a swimsuit or bikini.  This seems extraordinary as more than 1% of women have perfectly nice bodies to put on display. 60% refuse to be photographed in their swimming gear and a massive 93% pull their stomachs in when walking around the pool. The stomach is the area which concerns women more than anywhere else and many say they wear or would wear a sarong to cover up their bodies. I think we all have somewhat unrealistic notions of what we should look like and these are doubtless based on the models we see in the media.

The Evidence

Meanwhile it has emerged that unflattering holiday snaps are the primary motivation behind half of all weight loss attempts by British dieters.  So whilst many hit the gym and start dieting before their holidays in order to improve their look an even larger number are goaded into action after their trip when they see the pictures. I suppose there is nothing like a dose of reality!

Who’s Looking Anyway?

With concerns over body image seemingly rife it is a miracle that anyone takes a holiday and that those who do manage to actually enjoy it. I can understand concerns over body image being somewhat less than perfect myself but at the end of the day I think we all overestimate the extent to which other people are looking at us. In addition these people are strangers and we won’t be seeing them again and so body beautiful or not surely it isn’t worth worrying.  At least it isn’t worth worrying to the point that you miss out on a holiday altogether. The truth is that other people really don’t care and will have forgotten you just seconds after you pass by. The hatred of photographs is more understandable though. I don’t like those and my sarong is at the ready for my next trip!


The survey findings are in line with the results of similar investigations into women’s attitudes to nudity in front of their partners. Many women don’t even feel comfortable naked or in their lingerie even with those closest to them and will undress in the dark or in another room.  As the population continues to get bigger and bigger it is a problem that isn’t going away any time soon.  For those who are seriously overweight those holiday snaps could be a valuable means of encouraging a diet regime but it appears that there are millions of women who hate their bodies when there is nothing to be concerned about.


Article by Sally Stacey

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