It’s that time of year again. Target already has its bathing suits out on display. Wait, did I say bathing suits? I meant bikinis. At least, that’s all that’s displayed right in the front reminding us women that it’s that time of year again; time to relentlessly struggle for the perfect “beach body.” But does it have to be this way? Do we, girls, have to subject ourselves to the standards of the perfect beach body?
Every spring I would always get anxious as more and more retail stores start to put up their vibrant displays of swimsuits. March hits and I’d still be recovering from Valentine’s day splurges that I justified by saying, “I love myself. I deserve this cupcake.” April hits and Fat Tuesday becomes an everyday thing. By the time May rolls around, it’s way too late and the panic starts to settle in. But maybe if I work out more and do some crunches I’ll be ready by June! That’s what I told myself every single year. But the truth is, I will inevitably always repeat this vicious cycle. And that’s okay because I’m not suppose to fit into the mold advertisements flood us with. I’m not suppose to look like Gigi or Kendall because that’s just not how I’m made.
The thing is, I love my body and I have finally reached a point in my life where I can embrace how I look. But the minute bathing suit season hits that confidence is soon replaced by a communal stress felt by all my girlfriends. Plans are made to hit the gym together. We suddenly try to hold each other accountable for our diets. This is all fine and dandy. I mean that’s what friends are for, motivating us to live the best life possible. The problem arrives when we look at the reasons why we freak the moment the bikinis come out. We freak because suddenly we feel that we have to look a certain way to be able to enjoy the beach or hanging at the pool. Of course, this is absurd and no one actually believes this. However, when we use the phrase “beach body” we allude to a type of body, one that is slender and thin. This association of a thin body with the term “beach body” does some serious stuff to our minds. The “beach body” type excludes a plethora of different body types, all of which are beach bodies. Anyone can enjoy the beach. Anyone can enjoy the pool. Anyone can show some skin. Every body is a beach body!
This spring I challenge you to resist the urge to panic the moment you see a bathing suit display. You do not need to torture yourself at the gym while simultaneously cutting out all bread, sugar, gluten, cheese, salt, meat, and carbs. You do you, girl! Work out and eat healthy for you, because it will produce amazing health results. Don’t stress if you can’t measure up to Victoria’s Secret models. You’ll still have a fun time with your friends at the beach regardless if you managed to get a flat tummy or not. Trust me, I know. Courtesy of Flickr