Why You Don't Need A "Spring Break Body"

Spring break is next week, and everyone seems to be in the mindset of getting a "spring break body." Everywhere you look, there are advertisements for diet plans, juice cleanses, gym subscriptions and health supplements. The media bombards us with pictures of stick-thin models selling the diets and workout routines that they claim to have helped them achieve their bodies. Because of this, women are made to believe that their body must look a certain way before they even think about trying on a bikini. However, this should not be the case.

The idea that, as women, we are only permitted to feel good while wearing a swimsuit once we lose weight or look a certain way, is heartbreaking. Hating our bodies has become so normalized that it is almost uncommon to find a woman who feels confident and secure in her physical appearance. As someone who has heavily struggled with body image for about six years, I have grown extremely tired of this. I am tired of constantly hearing the women in my life putting their bodies down as they compare themselves to the media's images of "perfect" bikini bodies. Friends, classmates, and even my own mother point out areas of their bodies that they wish were smaller or more toned. 

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Women should be taught that they absolutely do not need to lose weight in order to look good or feel positively about themselves while wearing a swimsuit. Instead of being told that they are not good enough or comparing themselves to media images of women smaller than themselves, they should be proud of their bodies. The girls in the magazine do not even look like that in real life - their photos are excessively retouched to appear naturally flawless, when in reality, no woman looks like that.

So this spring break, do not stress yourself out trying to drop 10 pounds in a week. Do not skip meals or starve yourself. Do not completely exhaust yourself with excessive exercise. Yes, it is okay to change your lifestyle to eat healthy or exercise, but if you do so, do it with the ultimate goal of being healthy, not fitting into a bikini. It's just like the old saying goes, "to get a bikini body, get a bikini and put it on your body." Instead of feeling like you have to lose weight just to wear a certain swimsuit, try one on that fits you and that you feel comfortable in. Wear it proudly. Your physical appearance means nothing, especially when you wear a swimsuit proudly and radiate confidence.