Every Body is a Beach Body: Chronic Illness and the Media, Representation, and Inclusivity

by Ariela Paulsen
Every Body is a Beach Body: Chronic Illness and the Media, Representation, and Inclusivity

We live in an exciting moment where advertisements and social groups are moving past the expectation and portrayal of “perfect” bodies in favor of inclusivity. Diversity — of size, shape, race, culture, etc. — is finally being celebrated!

Whats Currently Happening

Creative ads break down the gender expectations perpetuated for decades by the very same industries. Beauty product suppliers now question what we mean by “beauty.” LGBTQ+ actors are finally being cast as beloved characters on TV. Stigmas and body shaming are being replaced by ads celebrating all bodies for what they can do. We see images of people who look shockingly normal and hear slogans like “every body is a beach body!”

It is a breath of fresh air for those who have felt left out, or even pushed out, of the mainstream. Chronic illness magnifies one’s differences and creates new ways to stand out from the crowd. It feels incredible to finally be included.

And yet…

For all the celebration of diverse body shapesmultiracial hair, and non-patriarchal gender expression, where are the spoonies? Where are the bodies with scars, hypermobility, feeding tubes, bald heads, and wheelchairs?  

Even in this, we are starting to see change! Adaptive wear is becoming more prominent. Brands like Aerie are actively seeking spoonie models for mainstream products. Beyonce’s fashion line currently features a model with muscular dystrophy. Prominent figures like Selena GomezYvie Oddly, and Dan Reynolds are opening up about their conditions.

Representation is an integral part of Mighty Well’s mission

Our products are not only created for patients but designed and modeled by patients! More than this, our products are specifically designed to be functional and a fashion statement you can be proud of! You can read about the medical intervention that led to our PICCPerfect® PICC line Covers here and our models’ stories in our Meet Mighty Model series.

Let’s take this moment in history, to be honest with ourselves and those around us, to boldly wear the gear we need and not feel the need to hide our experiences! The more visibility we gain, the more the world will accept us for what we are — mighty!

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