This article was originally published on July 27, 2015.
Anyone who has been near a magazine, TV, or billboard starting the moment the spring thaw sets in knows how this works — the same unrealistic images are trotted out to inspire women to get ready for the beach. And no, we aren't talking about helpful photos of how to pack a picnic basket. Sick of the ever-present pressure to fit some kind of "beach body" standard
, we kicked off this summer with a single mission: Take back the beach. There's still a whole month of summer left, but we can't help but feel nostalgic for all that followed.
We visited Bangladesh
, and, most recently, Cuba
, to talk to women about how they view and experience the beach. We followed women into dressing rooms (not in a creepy way) and got real concerning what a terrible process swimsuit shopping
can be. We learned that the beach was a major source of body panic
for women, even though we know a day at the beach
is really about not giving a fuck. We spoke with women who are learning to overcome their insecurities
and love their bodies, and that goes back to what we've been saying all this time: It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both.
Click through to see some of our favorite images from our travels, and revisit what powerful things these women had to say about their own beach bodies.It's your body. It's your beach. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.