Lockdown or Not, It’s Summer, and Celebrities Are Stripping For Selfies
Just in time for Memorial Day, celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Lizzo are back posting bikini pictures. These proud displays of bodies are exactly what we need right now.
Say what you will about celebrities being the worst during quarantine, but I’ve missed them. Or rather, I’ve missed their abs. I yearn for the past when the sight of Kylie Jenner in a vintage bikini counted as news, or when tabloids and fan accounts breathlessly chronicled a fleshy Instagram live the way the rest of us now wait for Andrew Cuomo’s daily presser.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the most dire ones, many stars toned down their selfie output. (Brave.) But now, as some lockdowns lift, temperatures rise, and the general resignation that this is our lives now has set in, things look a little different.
Kim Kardashian is back at the gym, documenting her “workout” in a leopard print string bikini. Emily Ratajkowski passes the time selfieing alongside her massive German shepherd in tiny black bottoms. The popular bathing suit line Solid & Stripes still tags influencers wearing the brand on their porches or rooftops with the caption, “THE BACKYARD SUMMER!”
It’s Memorial Day weekend, and damn it we’re all going to show our skin. The CDC might advise against hitting the beach tomorrow, but there’s no rule against looking cute and next-to-naked from the comfort of your own household.
Everyone from Lizzo to a girl I met once for two minutes in a bar bathroom and subsequently followed on Instagram has slapped on a strappy bikini bottom and showed the world their rear ends. As Lizzo suggested to her 8.6 million followers, “Put on some cute panties today and smack ur own ass.”
In an essay for Man Repeller, Harling Ross wrote that after months of sweatpants and socks with holes, she simply misses “feeling hot.”
“The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that hotness—in its most figurative sense—encapsulates the unique joie de vivre of human existence, and boy do I miss it,” Ross summarized.
Of course women, especially famous ones, cannot be thirsty on the ‘gram without attracting a few snide comments from strangers who have ideas about what they should be wearing.
“You’re almost 50 put some clothes on,” someone posted underneath Kim K’s gym snap. (Fact check: she’s 39.)
“Loose [sic] weight now,” a troll wrote after seeing Lizzo’s photo. Gross, but no surprise, considering the amount of white people who lose their shit whenever the Grammy Award-winning singer celebrates herself and champions the inherent sexiness of all bodies.
The course of online horniness never did run smooth. No matter a woman’s intention when she poses for her followers, someone somewhere will inevitably allege that she’s seeking attention. But in quarantine, isn’t everyone? All we have to do now is stare down at our phones and hope we’ll feel something. A thirst trap reminds us that we’re still capable of horniness, even if we’re on our second day without a shower.
And who doesn’t appreciate their own body right now? I have no ab crack to speak of and take 10 minutes to do about three crunches. Every magazine I’ve ever bought reminds me of some flaw—a less-than-taut belly, hair that won’t stay put, my friendly monthly chin pimple. But these days, I am in love with the vessel that keeps me breathing and moving, even if it’s just trudging from my couch to the fridge.
The most thrilling thing I did yesterday was realize that I was not actually out of refills for my Swiffer duster. As I swept underneath my couch, my broom unearthing the crumby remains of something once edible, a video of Kylie Jenner rubbing sunscreen underneath her bikini line flashed on my phone.
No existential threat, not even the one we find ourselves in now, can distract me from her seemingly impossible proportions. In that moment, staring at Kylie Jenner, things felt almost normal.