A whopping 68% of Americans have admitted to not feeling comfortable with their body image. The New York Post cited a survey of "2,000 Americans [which] examined the emotions and attributes that make people feel self-conscious about their appearance — and revealed 59 percent aren’t comfortable in their skin."
In the survey, several key factors were attributed to these feelings of discontent folks had with their own bodies: clothes that don't fit the way they would like, social media, and skin issues were all cited as leading causes of bodily dissatisfaction.
YouGov's findings seem to support this claim, stating that 51% of Americans "feel pressured to have a certain body type."
These feelings can manifest themselves in certain ways. Some folks, when put in situations that typically necessitate wearing less clothing, like going to the beach, feel anxious and maybe excuse themselves from certain activities.
Others feel the need to criticize those who appear to feel comfortable in their own bodies, which many people are accusing this TikToker of doing after footage they uploaded of a water park went viral.
TikToker Kim Stram, who posts under the handle @kstram83 sparked a debate after calling into question the bathing suit choice of a woman at a "family water park." In the clip, a young woman can be seen wearing a one-piece thong bikini while wading in a communal wave pool.
Kim wrote in a caption for the video, "Thoughts!! I don’t think its appropriate there’s kids all around her, but she looks great!!"
There's been a long-standing debate about the "prude-ish" nature of Americans when it comes to nudity and/or people's bodies, especially women's, especially when measured against European standards.
Taking a look at the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings for films, it's not uncommon for many films and TV shows to display graphic scenes of violence in PG-13 movies, but the second there's a nipple on the screen (with a few notable exceptions) movies are immediately slapped with an R-rating.
It seems that this mentality has somehow been transferred into what's acceptable viewing material for children. From personal experience, I could watch the movie Commando ad nauseam as a child where a man gets his head sliced in half with a buzzsaw, another gets his arm chopped off with a machete, someone gets impaled on an upturned chair leg, and countless people get gunned down. That was all fine for me to view.
However, my parents would force me to close my eyes during a split second scene where a naked couple was in bed together during the middle of a fight scene between the film's protagonist, John Matrix, and mid-boss level bad guy, Cook.
When it comes to dress codes at Water Parks, many of them vary. At Disney water parks, for example, the Mouse dictates, "Swim attire must be appropriate for a family environment, and must be without buckles, rivets, zippers or exposed metal. Inappropriate swim attire, swim attire with buckles, rivets, zippers or exposed metal, and other sharp objects are not allowed on any of the attractions."
Six Flags' water parks also mention a "family environment" when it comes to what guests are and aren't allowed to wear: "Swimsuits are only allowed in Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, and must be appropriate for a family environment."
TikTokers who responded to Kim's post seemed split down the middle, some said that the woman should be allowed to wear the bikini without judgment or call-outs from other people, while some folks said that it was inappropriate for the setting. What do you think?