We've all heard them before: cankles, thunder thighs, muffin top. These terms have pretty much become widely accepted ways to describe women's bodies, and have even ended up in dictionaries
Urban Dictionary. But the way we talk about our bodies has a bearing on how we feel about them, and these terms are, well, not very body-positive.
"I do think, a lot of times, people think these words are descriptors," actress-director Natalie Morales
tells Refinery29. "And sometimes these words are funny. But hurtful is never funny. I'm not for censoring anybody, but I am for advocating kindness and being considerate of other's feelings before opening your mouth."
She's right — terms like these seem innocent enough, but they can have a big impact on self-esteem. YouTuber and author Hannah Hart
tells us that, as a kid, she had a personal struggle with the term "muffin top."
"I've always had some extra spillage out the side of my pants," she says. "When I was a kid, I had to wear jeans from the boys' department, and they were labeled 'husky.' I felt so comfortable in the jeans, but so uncomfortable in the label. It messed with my ego for years, until I began to realize that specific cuts of jeans are made for one body type and not all body types."
It's frustrating that such negative phrases have made their way into our modern lexicon. There's not much we can do about them being there, but what we can
do is make lemons into lemonade and redefine the phrases that make us feel the worst. So we tapped Morales, Hart, and YouTuber Grace Helbig
to take some common body descriptors and find new, more positive meanings for them.
Ahead, Morales, Hart, and Helbig take their crack at giving some outdated phrases new meanings.
It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach, here.