Beachbody is a word, ya’ll.
When I typed the two words, “beach body,” in the space offered by social media’s detective magnifying glass, the Internet offered a few responses like what I expected.
But I admit, I was surprised to see that beachbody actually functions like a single noun, all by itself. At least it exists in the Google search engine and various social media outlets. What does that mean for healthy body image?
Honestly, I’m not sure. It puzzles me as I sit in my room, overlooking the Mexican beachfront that lines the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea.
It puzzles me because no other adjective-noun combinations are joined to make one word. I don’t find anything worth reading when I attempt to put these words together: “healthybody” or “skinnybody” or “strongbody.”
And yet, I know what beachbody means. Beachbody conjures images of bodies marked by defined muscle lines, elongated bronzed limbs, sinewy and svelte.
But I am not seeing a lot of those bodies here.
I am at the beach.
I’ve seen hundreds of female bodies roaming freely in bathing suits. Some women are quickly pacing behind toddlers strapped tight in armed floaties, happily sucking pacifiers. Some of the younger girls are strutting, hoping to look confident, as they walk around the pools with their girlfriends, wearing swimsuits that reveal less than their undergarments afford. In the crowds of sun-hungry people, the sixty and seventy year-old women are “over-it.” They enjoy their families or friends with whom they now love to travel, combing the beach and laughing, wearing, well, whatever the heck they want.
What I haven’t seen a lot of is the beachbody that is so overwhelmingly advertised on social media or on the latest-greatest exercise programming. The women filmed here, who are often teaching and advising, are beautiful in their own right. They communicate a desire to help all of the rest of us who desire to achieve the goal of body perfection. Or at least body satisfaction.
So, I thank them for doing good at what they are gifted to do. But I want to remind most of us that some of these women are surgically improved, by their choosing, for their occupations. And, yes, some happen to have been born that way, more naturally hourglass shaped than the rest of us.