Image: Denise Bidot for swimsuitsforall.
Sun-drenched tropical setting? Check. Gorgeous model gazing dreamily into the distance? Check. Gently tousled beach hair? Check.
At first glance, swimsuitsforall‘s latest campaign ticks all the boxes of your average swimwear shoot. Starring model Denise Bidot, it showcases the brand’s latest range of one-pieces and bikinis in eye-grabbing prints and block colours.
It’s when you look closer, however, that you notice one small (highly awesome) detail that sets this campaign apart from the rest.
On Bidot’s thighs, you can see… cellulite. The kind of cellulite the majority of women notice on their own bottom and thighs. (Post continues after gallery.)
Now, any human being with eyes knows this isn’t an uncommon sight in real life. An estimated 85 per cent of women have some cellulite on their body, regardless of their size, shape and level of health. A small number of men have it, too. No big deal.
It’s a different story in the fashion world. Models and celebrities certainly aren’t immune from cellulite (they’re real people, after all), yet we very rarely see any evidence of this in fashion editorials and commercials.
With a little help from image altering and professional lighting, dimpled skin — along with stretch marks, pimples and other perfectly natural, human features — is very easily concealed.
Of course, it's no secret the images we see in photo shoots like these aren't 100 per cent reflective of real life.
Therein lies part of the appeal — it can be enjoyable to gaze at aesthetically 'perfect' images, replete with flawless makeup, hair and fashion styling. Brands largely rely on the power of this perfection to sell their products.
That's not to say models, or women who naturally have model-like proportions or don't have cellulite, aren't real. However, it makes you wonder why something like cellulite, which you can see on bodies all over the beach and, well, the world, needs to be ironed out.
Smooth, unchanging skin isn't a requirement for looking great in swimmers — Denise Bidot's dimpled thighs and stretch marks certainly don't detract from how sexy (and more importantly, confident) she looks in hers.
And yet shopping for swimmers, and then wearing them to the beach for the world to see, can become a major source of anxiety for women regardless of their size and shape. It can be really hard not to compare your body to the ones you see splashed across billboards, TV screens, and posters lining the change-room where you're wriggling into that cute one-piece. (Post continues after video.)
This is precisely what swimsuitsforall is trying to tackle with their campaign. Under the slogan "Beach Body. Not Sorry", it encourages women to "Be Unapologetically You", regardless of whether you're a size 6, a size 16 or any size between or outside of these numbers.
"We believe that life’s best moments happen in a swimsuit. We want women to let go of their anxieties and step out unapologetically this summer," the brand's CEO and President Moshe Laniado explained in a statement.
It's a good point. Nobody should ever feel the need to apologise for their body, and the characteristics that make it unique.
When you're at the beach, for instance, there are so many more enjoyable activities to occupy yourself with — swimming, reading, walking, playing volleyball, learning to surf, reapplying sunscreen, and on it goes.
Trying to conceal cellulite, stretch marks, bony shoulders or anything else that makes you feel self-conscious should be right off the priorities list. Trust us on this one: you look great.
The thing is, there are no official rules for what makes a 'bikini body'. No, wait — that's a lie. There is one thing you need in order to have a bikini body, and that's... a body. And unless you're heading to a nudist beach (in which case... go you!) a great swimsuit will also come in handy.
How do you feel about this campaign? Do you wish swimsuit advertising was a little more diverse?
Want more swimsuit inspiration to warm you on this chilly winter's day? Check out these designs by Gabi Gregg: