Alana_Ripcurl-4

*New feature klaxon* Every week, well most weeks anyway, we'll ask a question then do our best to answer it in the most sane yet thought-provoking way. We'll then urge you to join the debate below the line or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. First up:

Do you have to look hot in a bikini to wear one?

It’s that time of the year again. The trees are teeming with life, the days are long and bright and almost every women’s magazine and web site on the planet is banging on about bikinis. How to squeeze your skin into one, how to match one to your shape (be that pear, apple, pineapple… what are we cartoon fruit!?), bikinis to stop your man cheating on you, bikinis to make your friends love/envy you and so on until infinity.

My two favourite responses to the collective brain melt are this facebook post (excuse the swearing):

bikini body

And this Bikini Bodies and Me piece on The Vagenda which includes the killer line:

“What happens if you put on a bikini, without having the requisite ‘bikini body’? I’m here to report: nothing happens, you just have a bikini on."

You’ll notice we’ve never joined the bikini freakout chorus. And we’re proud to have never uttered the word diet either, nor will we ever in the future but still we’d be wrong to not acknowledge that the pictures we run both in the mag and on the site of surfers and models (often two in the same thing) looking smoking hot in bikinis (Alana Blanchard and Laura Enever for example) could have some subliminal, or even quite conscious, influence. From 'buy this bikini and you’ll look like Alana Blanchard' to the more worrying 'you need to look like Alana Blanchard to wear any bikini ever'. To the one that worries me most of all, 'to be a good surfer you must look like Alana Blanchard'. Now I like to think everyone is post-modern and knowing enough to deconstruct the brand messages at play here and not be negatively influenced by them but it’s kinda tricky to check, without drilling into your skull which could get a little messy.

Which makes it all the more important to remind you of the facts every now and then, which are:

1. You’re in way better shape than you think you are

2. The only person fretting over any cellulite you may have is you

3. Not giving a shit and having a laugh on the beach is far more attractive TO EVERYONE than sitting joyless and rigid at a weird angle on a sun lounger because your stomach looks better that way

4. Anyone who disagrees with the above is a douche and not worthy of your friendship

5. If you want to wear a bikini, wear a bikini

6. Wearing a bikini in summer feels nice

7. Swimming in a bikini feels even nicer

8. Surfing in a bikini is also pretty nice, especially if you like the added buzz of wondering if you’ll be surfing in no bikini after your next wipeout

Sermon over, go play in the waves!