Summer isn’t over just yet. Although school has started again for some and Starbucks has already released their pumpkin spice lattes for the fall season, there are still some hot, sunny days heading our way. And what better way to cool off than going for a swim, right? More like no way since going to the beach, a pool or even a friend’s cottage poses the major threat of having to wear a bathing suit… in front of other people.
Why is that so hard? It shouldn’t be. But appearing half naked in front of your peers is a scary thought if you aren’t comfortable with your body in a bathing suit. In this day and age, with Instagram setting the standard for what women — and men — should look like in a bathing suit, it’s getting harder and harder to find swimwear that is flattering, comfortable to wear and actually makes people feel good about their bodies. And because big companies want to make us feel like Victoria’s Secret Angels, they tend to forget that very few of us actually look like them.
The size 00 to size 2 bikini models we see all over our social media fees are far from what is considered the norm. A study done by Maclean’s found that the average Canadian woman comes in at 5’4”, has a waist size of 33 inches, and weighs around 155 lbs.
What doesn’t help is that clothing sizes have changed over the years and aren’t accurate depictions of people’s bodies. According to The Washington Post, a size 8 dress today would be about a size 16 in 1958, based on the same waist and bust measurements. Although it is true that Americans and Canadians weigh more than they did 50 years ago, women’s clothing sizes are just absurd. Go into one store and you’ll come in at a size 4 jeans, go into different store and a size 4 pants might only fit one thigh.
What’s the deal? Well standard sizing was eventually scrapped by the government after World War II and individual clothing companies we’re able to start determining their own sizes. Many companies adopted the practice of “vanity sizing,” meaning they started assigning smaller sizes to clothing to make women feel good and buy their clothing. So if you’ve spent most of your life confused about what size you actually are, that’s explains it.
But there’s no need to avoid the beach if you don’t look like a model. Aerie, the sister brand of American Eagle, introduced a bathing suit that has changed the swimwear game. It’s safe to say you’ve probably seen their Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit somewhere this summer. It’s a classy but sexy one piece that covers just the right amount of skin while still showing enough to get that perfect summertime glow. The one piece comes in 10 different colours that compliment any skin tone, is available in sizes XS – XL and even has longer versions for those who are on the taller side. Retailing at under $60, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck — especially considering how often you’ll wear it through the final days of warmth and upcoming getaways.
Finally, a brand that understands that we don’t all look like Kendall and Kylie; a brand for everyone. Aerie has been known for using models of every shape, size and ethnicity, to create a variety of styles of swimwear and intimates for all women – petite, average, plus size and everything in between.
I, myself, have this bathing suit and a handful of my friends have it too. But as different as all of our bodies are, it actually looks great on all of us. I’ve never looked or felt more comfortable in a bathing suit before and many of my friends have said the same.
However, it’s sad that coming across a bathing suit like this is a rare occurrence. Other brands need to take note of what Aerie has done with their swimwear and follow suit. By creating the super scoop one piece, Aerie is showing its buyers that they are a company with a strong standing for body positivity in contrast to other big brands. If the clothing a women wears doesn’t make her feel good, then she’s not wearing them for the right reasons. Women shouldn’t fear going to the beach because they aren’t a size two, they should have access to stylish swimwear that makes them feel great about their bodies.
The reality is one size definitely does not fit all. So thank you Aerie for recognizing that although I wish I looked like Candice Swanepoel, I’m not actually a supermodel — and that’s totally okay! After all, you’ve made a bathing suit that makes me feel pretty damn close.
Featured image: Aerie
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