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What I Learned During Spring Break: Body Positivity

Over Spring Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to surprise my grandma for her birthday. It was the first time I had been to her place in over six years, and it was such a good time. She lives in a city on the coast called Vila Velha, which meant we would spend a lot of time on the beach. It was summertime there, so everyone was out with their best summer clothes and bathing suits, soaking up the hot weather.

I saw diversity in body types between men and women on the beach, but mostly with women; I noticed people wearing what they wanted no matter their body type. The women were taking pictures in the refreshing water and on the hot sand celebrating their bodies and loving themselves no matter what. As a college woman with social media, it can be hard not to compare yourself to others, seeing what is deemed the “beauty standard” online.

copacabana beach (3)

It was different to see because, in the U.S., it has been ingrained in our minds to look a certain way to be loved or love yourself, to obtain that “bikini body.” Every body is a bikini body, and all you have to do is put a bikini on to have it. Of course, every woman is entitled to their own choice whether to achieve a particular goal or not, but no woman should need to feel ashamed of themselves and feel like they cannot wear what they want to feel happy.
Of course, fatphobia is a serious issue that occurs in the U.S. and Brazil, but seeing the women of Brazil celebrate themselves and their beautiful bodies was truly a liberating experience.

It was great to feel loved by others who love themselves for who they are. Seeing these stunning women live their lives in the best way possible was inspiring and made me feel comfortable in my skin throughout the trip. This Spring Break trip taught me that I do not need to compare myself to others, everyone is unique, and their beauty should be celebrated.

Julia is an intended Entertainment & Media Studies major. She enjoys all types of music (except country), anything with pesto sauce, and sitcoms. In her free time she loves exploring new places with friends and watching movies.
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