Bikini pictures, or the perfect occasion of talking about Naomi Wolf.
I have infinite admiration for the American essayist who published her famous “Beauty Myth” in 1990. Thirty years ago already, she shed light on the new tyranny that would perpetuate the oppression of women: that of physical perfection, of corporeal desirability, of the staging of our bodies as sexual objects.
The media and social media have done nothing but fulfill her prophecy.
And here I am, in a bikini on the internet. Not that I particularly like it, but because most women have a swimming suit in their wardrobes.
Not that I like it but I am aware of how much anxiety comes with wearing a swimsuit. I get it too and I wanted you to know that. This is why it is important not only that I publish them but also that I write an adapted text to accompany them.
We have been so poorly educated by false images and dishonest discourses.
Stretch marks? What are those?
Cellulite? No one has that and shame on you if you do.
Visible veins? How dare you?
That mandatory pre-summer diet, though? Oh yes, yes please let’s talk about that.
It’s ridiculously silly but also ridiculously destructive.
When my photographer sent me the unedited versions of these photos I was – because of my educational biases – very unsatisfied. Not tan enough, not slim enough, not smooth enough.
And then I looked again, and you know what? These pictures are great. My veins show, I’ve got cellulite, rolls on my stomach and that’s all okay.
You can see my veins because I’ve got a cardio-vascular system (hallelujah) and poor blood circulation, which I won’t complain about because we’ve all got our unchangeable genetic lot.
I’ve got cellulite because I am a woman who, just like over 90% of the Caucasian female population, has cellulite.
I’ve got rolls on my stomach because… well, I’ve got one, I’m contorting my body and my photographer is telling my horrible stories to make me laugh.
I’ve got all of this because I am alive.
Because I have lived.
Because at 43 years of age, I’ve lived well, I’ve carried children and I still count on living well for many years to come. I have never prevented myself from living the life I want in order to comply with unrealistic body standards.
I have all these imperfections because none of these photos are altered, in accordance with my values and principles.
I’ve got them because I have this body, which allows me to evolve through life and supports me in everything I do and that’s already huge.
Asking for more would be… egotistical.
In a nutshell, it would be the opposite of real life.
You won’t judge these photos as harshly as I just have. You won’t notice the veins, the rolls, the cellulite. That is also my point: the weight of the environment in which we are immersed is so heavy that our bodies never find grace in our own eyes. Every woman is pulled down by this weight, in one way or another.
So, you know what? Let’s liberate ourselves from the environment for a minute or two.
Let’s just live.
Stella McCartney swimwear – The Kooples hat embellished with a ribbon – Chanel sunglasses – Maison Château Rouge cotton robe