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All women should enjoy summer, Spain says on launch of beach body positivity campaign

“Fat women suffer harassment on the street, on the beaches, they’re censored and stigmatized,” said the director of a rights group.
Spain’s Ministry of Equality campaign
Spain’s Ministry of Equality has launched its “Summer Is Ours Too" campaign, encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to go to the beach.The Ministry of Equality via Twitter

There is no such thing as a body that is not beach-ready, according to a new campaign in Spain.  

“Summer is ours too,” the country’s Equality Ministry tweeted Wednesday alongside an image of five women of different ages and body types, one of whom appeared to have a mastectomy scar. 

Women should enjoy the season “however, wherever, and with whomever,” without “stereotypes” or “aesthetic violence,” it said. 

The campaign was launched in conjunction with the Instituto de las Mujeres (Institute of Women), a Spanish rights group that works with the ministry. 

It “came about as a response to the fatphobia, hate and questioning of non-normative bodies, particularly women’s bodies that is more pronounced in the summer period,” the group said in a news release Thursday.

“When women are told that if you’re not thin, young, if you have stretch marks, cellulite or scars your body is not valid, our self-esteem is destroyed and it has a direct impact on our health, our quality of life and on the possibility of being and exercising all our rights,” the group’s director, Antonia Morillas, said in the release. 

“Fat women suffer harassment on the street, on the beaches, they’re censored and stigmatized, they find great difficulties to access employment and or other rights,” she added.

Some were less impressed with the campaign, however. 

Cayo Lara, the former leader of the United Left party, tweeted that the campaign was “the height of absurdity” and that it was creating a problem that does not exist.

Others questioned why the campaign did not include men, some posted pictures of plus-size male bellies, and others asked whether women really needed permission to go to the beach. 

Others were quick to defend the scheme, with Spain’s minister for equality, Ángela Rodríguez Pam, tweeting that validating bodies was a “profoundly political and feminist task.”  

Spain’s ruling Podemos party also tweeted that anyone offended by beach bodies can “stay at home tweeting.”