Author and TV producer Jennifer Weiner has gifted the world with a new hashtag that will hopefully change the way we think about our bodies. #WearTheSwimsuit is gaining popularity after she posted an un-photoshopped, totally natural picture on herself in a bathing suit on Facebook and Instagram.
The caption read, “You don’t have to be a size zero, or a teenager, to look good/be allowed on the beach.” She went on to remind us how sad it is that there are young girls and adult women out there who dread getting into a bathing suit. “Too many of us would rather be skinned alive than put on a swimsuit,” she writes. “Too many of us are missing out on all the fun of summer.” The post has over 10,000 reactions and almost 900 shares as of June 30th, when it was first posted.
What prompted her to be so open on social media was overhearing her two young daughters talk about bathing suits with their friends. Jennifer told PEOPLE that they were chatting “about what they liked about what body parts and what they were not comfortable showing. One of my daughters is 13 and one of them is 8, and just the idea that girls that age are thinking about that stuff already was sad.”
That’s when she decided to put more visuals out into the world of real women wearing real bathing suits. No gimmicks. No lies. Just beautiful, everyday bodies.
“I started to think, ‘What would it be like if lots of women did this?‘ ” she continued.
Jennifer is encouraging women everywhere to join the #WearTheSwimsuit movement and share images of themselves rocking a bathing suit. “When you start to see bodies that look like yours, it resets your idea of what ‘normal’ is and how you’re supposed to look,” she said. “There’s an actual impact that visuals have, so I wanted to give the world some visuals.”
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”You could look at the comments, and see hundreds of real bodies, the way we don’t get to see them in magazines and in catalogs and online.” So Jennifer is keeping the momentum going. Shortly after, she posted a picture of herself stand-up paddleboarding (with her dog).
“There are women who look like me, there are women who are larger than I am, there are women who are smaller than I am, there are women who have scars, who have had mastectomies,” Jennifer told PEOPLE. “There’s lots of ways to be happy and healthy.”
Can someone give her some kind of mom award already?!