A Reminder to Love Your Body This Summer

Summer break is quickly approaching or, for many of you, has already begun. Shorts, tank tops, and bikinis are a little intimidating after a long, Midwestern, winter and the stress eating that comes with finals. It's typical to stress about getting your body where you want it to be as fast as possible. Here is your healthy reminder that your body is beautiful the way it is, and body perfection is an overwhelming, unhealthy, and unreasonable goal.

 

 

You Only Have Your Body

Instagram is packed with tall, skinny, smooth, half-naked models trying to sell you gummy hair vitamins and diet pills. It is unreasonable to obsess over these models for a few reasons:

You don't know the truth behind their appearance.

They could be wildly unhealthy, physically or mentally. Beyond that, what is healthy for their body type and genetic makeup is likely not exactly the same thing your body needs. Social media influencer Alexis Ren has over 12 million followers on Instagram and is praised for her beauty. Last year, she opened up about the eating disorder she had been hiding for years. When we envy somebody else, we are often blind to their life behind the scenes.

 

They have managers, photographers, stylists, and photo editing tools.

It is dangerous to try to attain what you see on the internet, in real life. The way we see ourselves is often too harshly criticized anyway. People notice the person you are and how you carry yourself and are unlikely to think twice about the things you consider your biggest insecurities. Before you criticize yourself in the mirror, ask yourself if you would ever say the same thing to anyone else.

They were born that way, and you were born this way.

Well, when you take away the edits, filters, lighting, angles, contours, possible surgeries, and potentially dangerous dieting habits, they were born that way. Everyone wants what they don't have, and that is a futile endeavor. More often than not, the features you wish you could change are the things other girls wish that they had. Our height, breast size, hair texture, and everything else about our physical appearance all come with perks and disadvantages, but they are ours and are worthy of admiration and acceptance.

A Better Approach

If you have health goals you wish to achieve this summer, my intention is not to stop you. In fact, I encourage you! It is when we get too wrapped up in looking a certain way, though, that we exhaust ourselves for fighting for something unattainable and unhealthy. Giving your mind, body, and soul time to rest and unwind this summer is equally important as eating right and staying active. Keep your goals simple and positive. Fuel your body with nutrition and hydration, move because you can, and embrace your well-earned break from classes.

    Rachel is a junior at Augustana college majoring in English. She is newly involved in writing and editing at Her Campus, a college buddy in the Best Buddies program, and won first place this year in College of Dupage's Writers Read creative writing contest for her piece "Finding a Voice".

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