In case you missed it, H&M debuted their new swimsuit line this Spring using a “plus-size” model without making any mention of the fact that she was a “plus-size” model. The model, Jennie Runk, is a gorgeous 23-year-old woman who (according to her Facebook page) lives in New York City “with a fabulous one-eyed cat.”
Runk has received lots of attention since her H&M photo spread first appeared, and she’s written an op-ed for the BBC News Magazine about her life as a “plus-size” model. She talks about being made fun of as a teenager for being so tall and not as thin as the other girls in her school, and about how “There’s no need to glamorise one body type and slam another.” Runk adds, “We need to stop this absurd hatred towards bodies for being different sizes. It doesn’t help anyone and it’s getting old.”
I totally agree. When I first heard about Runk’s photo spread, I thought to myself, “It’s wonderful that another ‘plus-size’ model is getting the chance to be the center of attention, but neither ‘regular size’ models nor ‘plus-size’ models represent the array of body shapes out there in the real world.” Women of all shapes and sizes should feel proud of ourselves and know that we are “bathing suit ready” just as we are. Runk notes in her BBC piece that she has inspired some women to “to try on a bikini for the first time in years.” How sad that women rob themselves of the opportunity to enjoy the beach or the pool freely because they judge themselves so harshly and/or feel embarrassed about the way they look.
Here’s a bit of advice from Runk, via her Facebook page: “Stand in front of a mirror, naked, and say to yourself, ‘My body is as unique as I am. It does not, and will not ever, look like any other body on earth, and that’s why it’s my favorite.'”
And then put on a bathing suit and enjoy yourself this summer! Here’s some inspiration for you, featuring women of all shapes, sizes and ages rocking the beach and ruling the pool:
20 Gorgeous Photos of Women in Bathing Suits of All Sizes 1 of 20
Jennie Runk 2 of 20
Whatchu gon do with all that Runk, all that Runk inside yo trunk?!
Photo credit: hm.com
Comedian Yamaneika Saunders 3 of 20
Here's the beautiful and hilarious Yamaneika Saunders (L) celebrating summer at Fire Island with a friend.
Photo courtesy Yamaneika Saunders.
Beach Babes 4 of 20
Love the cowboy hat!
Photo credit: Flickr user W. bootz B. Photography
Silver Fox 5 of 20
Photo credit: Flickr user Mr TGT
Alaskan Beauty 6 of 20
Looking lovely in blue!
Photo credit: Flickr user Alaskan Dude
GABIFRESH X SWIMSUITS FOR ALL 7 of 20
Designed by fashion blogger GabiFresh, center, these suits are poppin' for summer! Learn more at her blog.
Photo courtesy GabiFresh.
MORE GABIFRESH X SWIMSUITS FOR ALL 8 of 20
Another of Gabi's fierce designs!
Photo courtesy GabiFresh.
Sweet Shades 9 of 20
Get it, gurl.
Photo credit: Flickr user planetc1
Ready to Pop! 10 of 20
Lookin' good, baby!
Photo credit: Flickr user Haleyface
Surfer Girl 11 of 20
Do you love me, do you surfer girl?
Photo credit: Flickr user mikebaird
Flower Power 12 of 20
A beautiful woman in beautiful Haiti!
Photo credit: Flickr user TomEnHaiti
Blogger Tameeka Ballance 13 of 20
Enjoying the sun with a (cropped out) friend in Puerto Rico!
Photo courtesy Tameeka Ballance. Check out her website, Tameeka Time!
Gorgeous Redhead 14 of 20
Look at this stunner! The suit was handmade in Galveston, TX.
Photo credit: Flickr user hsld
Ah! 15 of 20
Friends don't push friends into pools. Unless they refuse to get wet, then go ahead.
Photo credit: Flickr user smulligannn
Go Granny Go Granny Go Granny Go! 16 of 20
Yas! One of my favorite things about living near Brighton Beach, Brooklyn is that more than anything this is my view and I LOVE IT.
Photo credit: Flickr user vanz
Own That Blanket! 17 of 20
It matches the suit and shades perfectly. Nice work.
Photo credit: Flickr user oxcnpxo
String Bikini 18 of 20
Check the nails! I see you!
Photo credit: Flickr user Brent Gambrell
Group Shot! 19 of 20
I'm feeling the hats, ladies. Keepin' it classy.
Photo credit: Flickr user Meredith Leigh Collins
Lil Diva 20 of 20
And one for the childrenz. This look is everything! The kicks, the suit, the scoot, the face, beyond.
Photo credit: Flickr user Bethany L King