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July 8, 2021

Selena Gomez’s Photoshop-Free Bikini Pics made me Feel Seen.

Selena Gomez in a bikini. No photoshop (so it seems). No editing out of her curves.

That’s it.

That’s the article.

I’m kidding. But damn, something stirred in me when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw images (taken by photographer Grace Bukunmi) of Gomez’s collaboration with swimwear brand La’Mariette.

Gomez poses confidently in a multi-colored bikini. But what stood out most was how natural she looked. How she wasn’t trying to suck in her stomach. How she wasn’t trying to twist and turn her body in a pose that would hide her curves.

These photos made me feel seen.

I have boobs and curves and skin rolls and an ass that is incapable of completely fitting in any bikini I’ve ever owned. That’s my body and I was raised to love it.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always been easy. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been made to feel ashamed about it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been told to cover up or suck something in or twist myself into a pretzel to get the right angle. It doesn’t mean I haven’t looked at myself in pictures—especially bikini pictures—and wished I looked different. This is a body I’ve grown to love.

And that’s why images like Gomez’s are so important.

Representation matters—and Twitter users agree. Here are some of the best reactions:

And Gomez’s Instagram caption is a beautiful, if not heard often enough, reminder for how we should see ourselves:

“What I love about this brand is that it celebrates women who love their bodies unconditionally, giving themselves the grace they deserve.”

 

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For more, check out Pema Chödrön’s video about maitri (making friends with ourselves) and Ashley Graham’s message for anyone who’s worried about their “bikini body.”

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