Spain tells women: Don’t worry about body image on the beach

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Spain’s government has a message for women who are uncomfortable about their bodies when they wear bathing suits: Don’t be.

The government’s Equality Ministry launched a summer campaign Thursday encouraging women to reject “stereotypes” and “aesthetical violence” — a reference to the social pressure some women feel to conform to beauty ideals.

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A poster advertising the campaign features women of different ages, sizes and skin colors in bathing suits on a beach. The slogan is: “Summer belongs to us, too.”

In a tweet, Equality Minister Irene Montero said: “Enjoy (the summer) however, wherever and with whoever you like.”

The head of the Women’s Institute, a government body, said gender stereotypes are at the root of discrimination based on physical appearance.

Spain, Spanish government, beach bodies, body image, body positive, Spain Equality Ministry, beauty norms, ideal beauty, inclusivity and diversity, bathing suits on a beach in Spain, indian express news A woman plays a ball during a foot volley match at the beach in Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

“Expectations are projected onto women about how they should look,” Antonia Morillas told state news agency Efe. “That doesn’t only affect our self-esteem, it also takes away our rights and limits how we behave in and whether we enjoy public spaces.”

Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government, which came to power four years ago, has made women’s rights one of its political banners. The Cabinet has 14 women and eight men in ministerial positions.

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