Spain's Equality Ministry Launches Beach Body Positivity Summer Campaign

Sarah Kester
Woman on floatie
Unsplash | AllGo - An App For Plus Size People

The Spanish government is encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to go to the beach.

The body-positive message is being delivered through the Ministry of Equality's new campaign.

It aims to end the dangerous "beach body" mentality by showing five different women on their poster of all different sizes, ages, and ethnicities.

For decades, men and women have been bombarded with "beach body" advertising.

Woman looking in mirror
Unsplash | Paige Cody

These harmful campaigns put pressure on people to be skinny enough or fit enough to flaunt a swimsuit at the beach.

Even the glossy pages of women's magazines include "bikini-ready" workout and nutrition tips.

To make matters worse, Protein World put up billboards in New York City in 2015 advertising a diet supplement.

The ad showed a photo of a skinny woman in a bikini alongside the slogan: "Are you beach body ready?" That same campaign had sparked an outrage in the U.K.

More than 71,000 people signed a petition to remove it on Change.org

Woman on beach
Unsplash | Jakob Owens

There was even a small protest in Hyde Park. Eventually, the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain banned the advertisement, citing "concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims."

One advertisement that's looking to change the conversation on body image isn't from a company at all ⁠— it's from a country!

Spain’s equality ministry released a body-positive summer campaign encouraging women of all ages and sizes to hit the beach.

There are five women on the colorful campaign enjoying a sunny beach day.

Jlo clapping
Giphy | NBC World Of Dance

All have different body types and ethnicies. There is even a topless woman who has had a mastectomy, which is a way of treating breast cancer by removing the entire breast.

"Summer is for us too. Enjoy it however, wherever and with whoever you want," the Ministry of Equality tweeted.

"Today we raise a toast to a summer for every woman, without stereotypes and without aesthetic violence against our bodies." Yass!

“All bodies are beach bodies,” Ione Belarra, the leader of Podemos who serves as social rights minister in Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government, tweeted.

“All bodies are valid and we have the right to enjoy life as we are, without guilt or shame. Summer is for everyone!”

Despite a positive message, the reaction to the campaign was mixed.

Woman looking stunned
Giphy | Married At First Sight

One translated tweet argued that the message was anti-inclusive. "And summer for everyone? There is not? And our bodies? The message is not very inclusive, forgive me for telling you," one person tweeted.

Left-wing politician Cayo Lara called it "the peak of absurdity."

Woman at a pool
Unsplash | AllGo - An App For Plus Size People

Lara stated in a tweet that the poster was "trying to create an issue where one doesn't exist." However, politician Ángela Rodríguez Pam tweeted out in defense of the campaign.

“Men saying that fat women could already go to the beach without permission from the ministry of equality,” the junior minister for equality tweeted.

Woman saying yes, bitch, yes
Giphy | Bachelor in Paradise

“Of course we go but dealing with hate for showing off a body that doesn’t fit the norm. What we are reclaiming is that all kinds of bodies are fine.”

Regardless of the criticism, the campaign is a step in the right direction.

Lizzo saying "let's go"
Giphy | BET

This, combined with the efforts from companies to be inclusive with their swimwear designs, truly makes a difference.

Now, go forth, ladies and gentleman, and seas the day!