In recent weeks we've seen the news about the phrase "Bikini Body" being axed from Women's Health US, alongside Mar Ortiz sharing her inspirational "love handle" selfie on Instagram. These two stories address the age-old debate of what the right size really is.
The fact that the definition of the "perfect" body has changed so much over the years is proof that there isn't a correct answer. When I think of Instagram all that comes to mind is a mix of selfies and photos of food, which essentially sums up the state of the culture we live in - one that is obsessed with obtaining perfection, whether it's in what makeup we've applied or how good we've made our dinner look. We are much too obsessed with creating the perfect image of ourselves online, and backing it up with creating the "perfect" body to show off in real life.
I for one am glad that Mar decided to show off her body on Instagram and go against the materialistic grain fixated on flat abs, salads and gym selfies. What we should be focused on is loving ourselves, not an idealised version of ourselves that we think we need to achieve in order to be happy.
Happiness can be obtained whatever your size. I have known people, particularly during my time at University, who gained a little weight and responded to this by becoming reclusive, staying in their rooms and never socialising due to the fear of being tagged in unflattering photos on social media. I find it incredibly upsetting that self worth is based around how you think you should look compared to other people - does it matter? If your answer is yes, I recommend reading on.
Being healthy and happy is not about killing yourself on the elliptical, going for a run every morning without fail even though you hate it, nibbling on salads and reading up on how to get a bikini body in six weeks. I've been there, I've looked it up, I've gained and lost weight at alarmingly fast rates, only to realise that my self-worth does not revolve around the size of the jeans I pick up in a high street store. It revolves around a healthy work-life balance, eating a range of foods - and yes, that includes chocolate, so you can stop drooling over food porn while you munch on that lettuce leaf - and doing the exercise you love, at a pace and frequency that suits you.
There's no need to Google "How do I get a bikini body?" The answer is simple.
Put a bikini on your body. And own it.