Miami Swim Week is always a hot ticket. But this year’s swimwear showcase was especially steamy. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit topped the annual event’s Saturday show with the debut of its body-inclusive Sports Illustrated Swim and Active apparel line, shown on a stunning cast of curvy, real-women models.
The bathing beauties, all finalists in a contest that will culminate with a winner being photographed for the February Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated, rocked styles such as bust-enhancing metallic one-pieces, super-high-cut briefs designed to flaunt strong legs, and tiny tops revealing gorgeously rounded tummies.
“[People in the crowd] lost their minds when the curvy girls came out,” MJ Day, editor of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, tells The Post.
“I think they were shocked because you don’t typically see that at fashion week … especially at swim fashion week,” Day says. “Some people [in the audience] were moved to tears because they saw themselves represented on the runway, which they never thought they would.”
No one wants to hear that there’s no solution to the problem that vexes them. And while we might be loathe to admit it, we don’t want to find out that the solutions that do exist are time-consuming and difficult. Take our bodies, for example: Most of us want whatever our personal vision of a perfect physique is, and we want it yesterday. We want our cellulite to improve instantly. But easy fixes to our beauty wishes are like magic tricks—you’re willingly suspending your skepticism in order to believe in something better than reality. If you looked harder, you’d see the deception every time.
This is why it’s so easy to sell people—and unfortunately women in particular—expensive salves and bizarre contraptions designed to cure not just aesthetic problems, but insecurities too. We don’t buy cellulite cream because vaguely lumpy looking skin is really that big of a problem. We buy it because we hope that if our cellulite disappears, self-confidence will replace it. Once your butt looks smooth, you’ll be able to wear that bikini you bought two years ago that always makes you feel too bloated. You’ll finally feel comfortable wearing shorts, against all odds and after years of misplaced insecurity about your thighs. You know how it works.
Cellulite is an especially easy “problem” to target, because somewhere around 80 to 90 percent of women have it to some degree—and they’re virtually all made to feel insecure because of it. So when one of your Facebook friends shares a post about a glorified massager, claiming it cured their cellulite…you’re going to at least click the link, right? That’s how one woman sold her FasciaBlaster to the masses, even though there’s no evidence it works. And it’s not just useless, either. It’s reportedly left women with severe bruises. Here’s a tip: bruising is not a sign of healing. It’s not a sign that you’re whipping your body into the shape you want it to be. It’s not a sign of weakness leaving the body. Bruising is a sign that you’ve damaged your blood vessels.
Hundreds if not thousands of women fell for that bogus device, and it’s just one of many. Every women’s magazine out there has hawked similar “solutions” and none of them ever seem to work.
And trust us: it’s very likely that none of them ever will.
“There is so much more variety [in swimsuits],” says Susan Marasco, fashion director of ready-to-wear at Bloomingdale’s, who counts off-the-shoulder ruffled tops and cutout one-pieces as some of the more popular styles at the store. “You can go for a deeper-V to enhance your top, or a bathing suit with a sexy cutout,” she says.
And unlike fashion fads, she predicts the body-positive movement is here to stay. “I think now more than ever, with supermodels promoting body diversity on Instagram” — such as Iskra Lawrence, size 14, with 3.5 million followers — “a younger audience is expecting more trends to become available for everyone. I think the trend is only going to get stronger.”
Additional reporting by Jaclyn Hendricks