"Beach body" and "cellulite" are terms we rarely put together, unless it's to declare how one of them has arrived thanks to the obliteration of the other.
But plus-size bathing suit company swimsuitsforall has essentially said "Screw that" with a new ad campaign called — wait for it — "Beach Body. Not Sorry."
The campaign encourages women to be #NotSorry for their bodies, which are "beach bodies" just by virtue of being on a beach. Oh, and the best part? The photos and un-retouched video prominently feature plus-size model Denise Bidot's curves, including just a touch of that pesky cellulite so many women have.
It goes without saying that as far as fashion trends go, encouraging women to embrace their bodies and celebrate their natural shapes is one of the better ones out there.
And it is a trend: Target recently unveiled its own body positive swimsuit campaign, modeled by bloggers of various sizes. Rising plus-size model Tess Holliday has partnered with the American branch of British fashion company Simply Be to promote that tagline #SimplyBekini, urging women to embrace their naturally beautiful "bikini bodies" and "love themselves and their wobbly bits."
For swimsuitsforall, Bidot does one better than plenty of other ads by showing off what's actually underneath the clothes — the "wobbly bits," the cellulite, the rippled imperfect skin.
In her video for the campaign, the size 14 model sends home the same message of embracing what you've got:
"I love everything about my body. I've learned really to just love every bit of it. The cellulite, the stretch marks — everything that I, at one point when I was younger, thought was an imperfection, I now realize is everything that makes me me."
"It's time to stop apologizing. I want women to feel confident and sexy by knowing that there's nothing wrong with being yourself," she said via a press statement. "Forget all the rules!"
Of course, that confident disregard for "the rules" is easier said than done, as is the ability to "stop apologizing." People who are heavier by society's strict standard don't only go against beauty norms; they are often the subjects of judgment and negative attention. In her 2014 book The Watchers, photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero exposed just the level of scrutiny a plus-size body invites simply by walking around in the world.
The ability to embrace that, rather than hide or judge one's body, is tough. But, as small as one bathing suit ad campaign is, the empowering "sorry, not sorry" message behind it is one plenty of women can stand to hear.
"We want women to let go of their anxieties and step out unapologetically this summer. 'Beach Body. Not Sorry.' is an authentic depiction of female beauty and our contribution to summer body confidence," Moshe Laniado, CEO and president of swimsuitsforall, said in a statement.
If even one more woman gains the confidence to not hide her cellulite and enjoy her "beach body" for what it is, then mission accomplished.