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Journey to a Summer Body < Journey to Summer Body Positivity

As the weather heats up, I’m sure in direct correlation so is the subconscious pressure to fulfill the acquiring of your “summer body.” Instilled within our society is an idolization over this concept where looking skinnier, particularly in the summer, is the beauty standard. Nevertheless, our society is obsessed with diet culture, which declares that in order to achieve blissful happiness, we have to be happy with our physical appearance in regards to conforming to our society’s beauty standard. In the unprecedented times we’re in, where our world has been flipped completely upside down, every single individual has struggled, has suffered, or has been detrimentally affected of some sort. Therefore, this unattainable, unhealthy idea of being overtly skinnier during the summer certainly should not be your priority; Being happy should be, and, trust me, being a size 0 doesn’t automatically grant anyone happiness. 

However, I’m here to remind you that any body is a “summer body.” Therefore, if you’re feeling the need to acquire this idea of a “summer body,” you’re actually in need of acquiring a sense of “summer body positivity.” So, let’s start your body positivity journey!

1. Your Lifestyle.

If you aren’t feeling comfortable with your body, it may be simply your perspective; Improving your perspective = improving your lifestyle. Add more exercise and factor in some healthy foods to your lifestyle. I’m certainly not telling you to abide by a strict diet or workout three times a day, that, in itself, is unhealthy to your mindset! Rather I’m encouraging you to look up “healthy snack alternatives” or “workout routine that doesn’t feel like you’re actually working out.” Instead of candy, you could snack on fresh strawberries and whipped cream, and instead of scrolling through TikTok, you could look up more difficult TikTok dances to get your body moving. It’s been proven that healthy foods have a positive effect on one’s mentality, as well as it’s renown that exercise is healthy for you not only physically, but also mentally. So, simply create a happy balance with your lifestyle endeavors where you feel happy with how you’re treating your body and feel confident in the beautiful skin you’re in. However, do this lifestyle improvement/modification only for YOU, and no one else. I know it can be difficult to not have society’s beauty standard detrimental influence your perspective, but the only perspective that matters in this concept is you. Enjoy the spotlight in this internal journey!

2. Your Surroundings.

The individuals whom we chose to surround ourselves with have a tremendous impact on the way we see and feel about ourselves. If you’re surrounded by people who are obsessed with their physical appearance in accordance with society’s beauty standard, this can detrimentally affect your mentality into comparison. Comparing yourself to others is intelligibly harmful. Every body is uniquely different in its own way, and no one specific body is better than another. While you shouldn’t compare your body to the body of society’s beauty standards, you definitely shouldn’t compare your body to those in your surroundings. Surround yourself with people who reiterate this idea and who love you for YOU, not your size. Don’t listen to individuals who say that in order to be beautiful or to feel happy with yourself you have to fit the unattainable beauty standard that society has systematically established. Whatever your size is, your body is beautiful, and no size should ever define your worth.

3. Your Self-Love.

In my opinion, this concept is the most significant in your journey to body positivity. As the world spins faster and faster, your mind’s racing may be increasing speed, as well. Nevertheless, you persist. And that, in itself, is what makes you beautiful. Your drive and your heart are what thrusts your character into taking action in life. While you need to acknowledge the great impact you have on those around you, you need to address the extent of the positive impact you’re having on yourself. Next time you point out what you believe to be a physical flaw, point out something about yourself that you love. Soon you’ll associate those self-perceived flaws with self-perceived characteristics that you like about yourself. Look up “self-love tactics,” to get more tips like this, and watch how your self-esteem, a.k.a. your self-love, improves. You are so worthy of happiness, and, believe me, your size or shape does not determine that. So, hype yourself up! Give yourself some credit for all the amazing things you are doing, because that is what defines your worth, not societal beauty standards. Besides, beauty standards are temporary as they evolve, but self-love is forever.

            This journey to body positivity is going to be difficult, and even when you think you’ve mastered the journey there’s probably going to a bump on the road where you’ll submit to the societal illusion of what beauty is represented as. Nevertheless, in the summer, images of women with “Barbie™ bodies” in bikinis circulate the media, which stimulates mass influence in society to conform to this unattainable, impractical beauty standard. Forget a “summer body,” your body is summer ready; It’s your mindset that may not be! You are worthy, you are strong, you are loved, and, most importantly, you are beautiful. Once you absolutely believe that, I promise you, your mirror will agree.

Loreanna is an Elementary Education and Mathematics major with an endorsement in Special Education. Proverbs 31:25-26 construct her sense of self which states, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness." Loreanna loves to travel and experience new cultures, spend time with her loved ones and dog, work out and participate in other physical activities, go to the beach, watch good shows/movies, and shop. She hopes you and your loved ones are staying happy and healthy during these unprecedented times.
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