7 Reasons To Stop Worrying About Your “Beach Body”
When it comes to summer – we usually think happy thoughts. The swimming, ice cream, vacations. But it also comes with a bit of dread. Mosquitos. Humidity. Sweating. And….of course, beach bodies. Usually, right after we ring in the New Year, we start getting bombarded with ads and commercials about summer diets and crazy weight loss pills and gym memberships. They all say the same thing. No, not just “New Year, new you”. It’s always “Get your body beach ready! Make sure you’re ready for summer!” But the problem with those messages is that it only makes room for one kind of body on the beach, and quite frankly, it’s a body that literally almost no one has. As spring blows by, you start worrying about cellulite or the size of your boobs, or feeling “exposed”. Maybe you just haven’t found the “right” bathing suit, or one that you feel good in. But the point is, you deserve to feel good in anything and say goodbye to worrying about your “beach body”, and this is why.
1If you have a body, it’s a beach body
Period. There is no sign on the beach that says “must be this size to ride”. It is not this exclusive club reserved for models or the cast of Baywatch, and it is so awful that so many people, especially women, have grown to feel that way. Don’t let the idea that you don’t “look the part” keep you from having your share of summer fun. The beach is for everyone, and every type of body deserves to enjoy it. You belong on the beach no matter what your body type is.
2There is no such thing as the perfect beach body.
Even the perfect “beach bodies” you’re getting glimpses of in magazines or on billboards are by no means actually perfect bodies. Companies have teams of people sitting at computers completely tweaking and morphing images of people into versions of themselves that aren’t even remotely close to accurate representations of their actual bodies. By the time designers and photo editors are done with an image, the person that gets plastered across the pages of a magazine spread is more of an adaptation of imagination or a perception of perfection than they are an actual person. They become an interpretation and adaptation of all of the ideas society has constructed around what a person “should” look like in a bathing suit, rather than what a person should actually look like in a bathing suit. Even on TV, there are people editing the way a person looks. There are some actresses that won’t agree to a project unless there’s someone that can “fix” their chin, or their butt, or whatever else they’ve been conditioned to be concerned about. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I have to edit my photos with is a few Instagram filters – so it’s really not fair to yourself at all to an image that is so completely distorted from reality, regardless of your body type. Bottom line is it’s not real and you are.
3Everyone in the world worries about it.
Okay, maybe not the entire world. I will say that to a lot of people in other places, the concept of worrying over whether or not your body was ready to be seen at the beach would seem really trivial. But, to avoid making sweeping statements, there are a lot of people that do get wrapped up in this worry. When you think about it, it’s kind of silly. If almost everyone is worrying about it, it’s almost like what’s the point in worrying? Instead of contributing to and participating in widespread self-consciousness, wouldn’t it be better to help encourage and build each other up? It also is important to note though, that sometimes this is easier said than done. The relationship that one has with their own body and the way someone sees themselves can’t always just be remedied by positivity. But, it is better to be there for each other and encourage self-love than it is to help spread the messages that induce negative worry. Plus, There are SO many other things you could be focusing on. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between focusing on your body image and focusing on everything else going on in your life. Don’t allow it to completely take over your thoughts or your time.
4It’s an unhealthy ideal.
When you look at all of the products and diets that spring up as summer gets closer, it’s almost impossible not to be alarmed. It is so dangerous the way that commercials pair images of excessively altered bodies with the advertisement and endorsement of horribly unhealthy substances that are supposedly created to “help” people look a certain way. All of these crash diets and pills and shakes that are being pushed and sold as a way to “achieve” a “beach body” actually do way more harm than good to your health. There is nothing healthy about depriving yourself from valuable and essential vitamins and nutrients, and there is no real replacement for them. If making adjustments to your diet is something you are interested in that’s totally fine! There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat healthier foods for your health. But don’t look to crash diets and dangerous alternatives to look a certain way. Value your well being, and your body will follow suit. There is no quick “fix”, because you don’t need to be fixed. Focus on taking care of yourself first, instead of implementing unhealthy practices advertised by unhealthy ideals.
5Think of all the fun you COULD be having.
Sometimes, yes it is totally easier said than done to put aside your worries, especially when it comes to body image. The thoughts you have about your body while trying to actualize self confidence aren’t necessarily ones that you can just brush off and go have a good time – BUT it is so important to know that you are beautiful and deserve to enjoy yourself just the way you are. Instead of letting negative thoughts about the way your body looks take away from the fun you could be having, think positive, self-affirming thoughts about how wonderful and amazing your body IS. It may also help to think of the amazing pros that come with summer instead of dreading what it means for pool or beach season. There is no doubt that being exposed on the beach can make you feel more like you’re trapped than like you’re free, but when you begin to work on letting those thoughts go, it is totally liberating.
6Who is really looking?
When you’re at the beach, ask yourself who is really looking at you? Do you think people are really spending time looking for stretchmarks, five “extra” pounds here, or body hair there? Not as many people are spending time over analyzing or judging your body as you think. It’s easy to feel like all eyes are on you, but it totally isn’t the case. A lot of people are at the beach simply to have fun with their friends and family and to relax and enjoy the scenery. If being judged or looked at by your friends or comparing yourself to your friends is what you’re worried about, think about who your friends really are. The people that you love and care about and surround yourself shouldn’t care about the nuances about your appearance at all if they are your true friends. If you’re concerned that your friends will love you any less because of the way you look, then that’s the real problem – not your “beach body”.
7You are the most beautiful just the way you are.
If you’re perfect just the way you are, being authentically you and loving yourself for it, why chase perfection? Ask yourself, what’s the point of chasing some completely unachievable standard of perfection (see number two)? Especially, when you could be fully thriving as the beautiful person you are all summer long. Being confident and loving yourself is a mini revolution in and of itself. It’s a huge screw you to all of the industries that try to make women in particular feel anything less than amazing for not fitting into the most impossible box there is. Summer is one of the most fun and exciting times of the year. Don’t close yourself off to any opportunities or experiences or amazing moments because of the way you think you look in a bathing suit. Summer is a time to shed your worries and stress, and you deserve to dive right into all of the wonderful things it has to offer, rather than waste time trying to be anything other than your beautiful self!