But it's not always that simple. There are those who use the swimsuit not to pander to the male gaze, but to call out the bullshit, problematic feelings that often come with being half-naked in the first place. So, we've put together 11 examples of moments when movies and TV reassured us that we're not alone.
Not every example is going to seem empowering at face value. There are some moments that will undoubtedly make you say, "Well, why is this in here? This character's not delivering the bikini takedown I was promised!" But in those instances, we encourage you to consider the bigger picture. Is Olive's swimsuit segment in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant feminist? Well, not really. But the scene itself illustrates just how batshit crazy those toddlers-in-tiara contests can be.
Ahead, your insecurities about beach season, as depicted through the trials of 11 completely fictional women.