When Kayla Itsines decided to call her workouts “Bikini Body Guides,” she didn’t think much about whether the message she was sending could be harmful to the women she was trying to help. But since amassing 7.1 million Instagram followers—and a legion of seriously devoted fans using the #BBG and #kaylasarmy hashtags—the fitness influencer has come to second guess the objectivity of her branding. (So have some of her most loyal supporters.)
Which is why, in an essay for Teen Vogue, Itsines says she’s chosen to make 2017 the year of body confidence—and that includes rethinking her signature catchphrase. “I love that there’s no standard definition of a bikini body, nor should there be,” she reveals. “We should never say one body type is better or more beautiful than another. To me, bikini body confidence is all about being comfortable in the skin you’re in. It’s feeling positive about yourself and not being at war with your body.”
“The important thing is being the healthiest, happiest person you can be.”
Instead, she says, the key to happiness is keeping the focus internal. “It’s important to remember that working on yourself isn’t about making your body appeal to someone else,” Itsines advises. “It’s about feeling strong and confident within yourself. Positive body image and self-confidence [don’t] mean you never have a bad day. The important thing is being the healthiest, happiest person you can be.” So does this mean she’ll soon be launching a body confidence guide hashtag? TBD on the #BCG, for now.