My dear readers, time is running short. The season of bikinis, crop tops and too-short shorts is upon us. And along with it comes the crucial question. Can you guess what it is?
How to get killer abs in two weeks?
Nope, not that one. It’s just impossible. If you start today, you might get lucky and have half an ab by the end of August. Just forget it.
How to lose 10 pounds in one week?
Wo wo wo? That’s super dangerous! (You’re just going to have to learn to live with it, hahaha, come on, let’s start a support group cause I’m here with you.)
How to…hmmmmm…download Facetune in three minutes?
Ah, you might be onto something there. Since we’re behind schedule on the whole perfect body thing. What? You don’t know Facetune, the app the stars use everyone uses to get a dream body and baby soft skin? Oh, well now you know.
BUT NO THAT’S NOT THE REAL QUESTION!
Noooope. The crucial question is:
How much skin can you show on social media and still look chic?
Ah, that’s a good one, right?
Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in the past few years, what’s acceptable to show…has changed radically. These days, it’s almost normal to go out half naked (as long as you cover your nipples, of course. Aaaaah, the charms of American hypocrisy. In France, when we want to be naked, we go naked, we’re just that sexy – along with our baguettes!)
And if you’re reading carefully, you will have noticed that this loaded question also contains three other loaded questions, which we will of course examine in detail today.
The first being, obviously, “how much skin?”
Because you can criticize the Kardashians for being half naked (sorry, uh, fully naked actually) on Instagram as much as you like, but it would be pretty mean and condescending to cast the first stone at them. We’ve all had that moment when we thought we looked super hot and wanted to share the good news with the world.
Especially when looking that good took two hours at the gym per day and five fat-freezing sessions (never tried it, can’t say I’m not tempted), minimum.
Unfortunately, for me those moments generally end in an ego-drama as soon as I pull out my phone and reality strikes: who knows why, but in photos, we’re always ten times less hot than the movie that was going on in our head.
Because hey, me too, I’m tempted to show a bit of skin myself sometimes, believe me. Especially now that I’ve gained (by the sweat of my brow) a half-ab thanks to my new religion – Pilates. And people do it so often these days (show their skin) (and Pilates too, actually), it’s almost weird not to. You show photos of yourself at the gym, at the pool, at the beach, in bed…at every occasion. And sometimes there’s no occasion at all (having a reason to show off your half naked self is so 2012).
So that’s where our second loaded question comes into play. Can you still be chic if you’re half naked?
To answer this question, let’s perform an extensive market analysis by taking a look at the “Explore Posts” feed on Instagram…
- There are the women who pretend someone took a photo of them by surprise when they were naked, in a swimming suit or in lingerie.
And somehow by an act of Holy Spirit they ended up posting the photo. Sometimes, if these ladies have a sense of humor (I’m talking about women, but everything in this post totally applies to men, who are just as vain as we are) they might manage to make a joke justifying their nakedness.
Or, they try to make us believe their nakedness isn’t actually the point of the photo, like *full-body photo in monokini arching your back so hard you might break it, licking a dripping ice cream cone* with the comment “I have a real passion for frozen desserts!”
Darn, IF ONLY I HAD THAT MUCH IMAGINATION, I’d be spending my life half naked on my Instagram feed too!
- There are the women who pretend they’re making a statement that being naked is a feminist thing.
Ok, ladies, sorry but LOL. No. Our mothers did not fight so we could be naked in “back arched so hard you might break it” position on social media. It’s not cool to do that to them. So let’s just admit it and move on: if the photo is airbrushed, your back is arched, and you’re doing duck face, that’s not feminism, it’s vanity. Or worse, you’re just trying to get more likes. Period.
PS: I mean, for me, since half nakedness isn’t part of my business model, I wouldn’t be surprised if my readers got a little annoyed if I posted a photo of myself in a bra (but I promise you, it’s a breathtaking thing of beauty)(well that’s what I imagine anyway, I haven’t gotten my camera out yet).
PPS: It bothers me that feminism has become a means to justify slutty behavior. I’m not against slutty, there are people who do it very well, but using feminism to justify it – nah. Not chic.
- There are the women who admit they just wanted to show off their new abs.
And they smile at the camera and own it. There you go. Confess you’re being vain, you’ll be half forgiven. Same thing when you just have an amazing photo of yourself and you want to share it. Well yeah, go ahead, make yourself happy! It’s cute.
And if it’s cute…it’s chic, I say.
Wow, I never thought that paragraph would close on such a cheesy note.
But anyway. Moving on. It’s not like we have all day. My Pilates class awaits.
Our third and final question-in-a-question is…social media.
Why social media?
I’m going to make this one short. I’m pretty tired of talking about social media, but hey, since that’s where we all spend our lives these days (even my mother who fought for women’s rights), my role, if I ever had a role to play, is to tell you that while social media may be nice and fun, it’s kind of full of nonsense about life.
It’s full of nonsense about the freedom to be yourself, nonsense about humor, total nonsense about love, and even more total nonsense about emotions, beauty, and nakedness.
Because nudity is gorgeous, fresh, natural, beautiful. Whether it’s behind the camera or not. And the freedom of being yourself, loving yourself – that’s not something you can cultivate in the eyes of others. It’s between you and yourself, in that very pure and safe place that no one else can access.
A place where there are no likes, but there’s lots of love.
So there you go. On that note, I’m going back to work on my half ab and my self-esteem. And if you catch me red-handed being half-naked at the hottest point of the summer, try to be nice.
Loving yourself is also accepting other people’s vanity ;)
Translated by Andrea Perdue