It's barely spring and already I've started getting emails about summer - or should I say 'bikini season'.
Here's fair warning: anyone who pings me a message with those two words in the subject line should expect an instant redirect to the trash folder. I hate the term - am completely sick of it - and here's why.
1. It's intolerably sexist. Where are all the emails about trunks season? I don't see men being bombarded with the same deluge of media on how to get ready to lie on a beach. Men can simply continue as they have been, refer to June-September as the more traditional 'summer' and look forward to wearing 95% less knitwear. Meanwhile women's bodies are so disgusting they have to be warned in February 'bikini season' is coming and they better start preparing now or risk making people nauseous at the sight of them.
2. It turns summer into an effort. I love summer. I like Pimm's, going on holiday, festivals and not wearing tights. Summer should be the time we all breathe a sigh of relief and relish being shiver-free. Instead, I'm worrying about waxing, exfoliation, dieting and tanning. Summer is fun. Bikini season is miserable.
3. It insinuates your body isn't good enough as it is. Your body is great and you should be proud of it. Why should the idea of putting on a bikini be so horrifying? Why should we think for a second we're not good enough for a piece of clothing? There's a Polaroid of my mum on holiday in the 1970s wearing a bikini top, tiny denim shorts and the longest hair you've ever seen. She's standing outside a caravan in Ayr and looks magnificent - not a care in the world. If we threw off the self-consciousness bikini season encourages, we'd enjoy actually wearing bikinis a hell of a lot more.
4. It's like the bogey man of summer. It's "just round the corner" - it will be "here before you know it". Bikini season hangs over us, being judgey in a Miranda Priestly fashion. It feels like a time when we'll be punished for eating too many crisps and not dry-brushing, a bit like a threat to get your act in gear.
5. It only exists because we let it. When did these words even enter our vocabulary as an accepted term? Let's all make a pact to reject bikini season right now and revert to the preferable, more fun version of the warmer months, summer. I don't know about you, but I feel better already.