It’s that time of year again, ladies. Detox teas are running through the streets like April showers, Instagram influencers are selling their workout routines for $40 bucks a pop, and some rando from your old high school is trying to sell you a miracle weight loss shake. Every photoshopped picture advertising swimsuits is trying to convince you that you are not enough. Well, actually they are reminding you that you are too much. But don’t worry! They can fix it and get you a summer body in 10 weeks or less.
And it’s all a great big lie. I promise you — your body is already a summer body. How do I know? You have a body, and it exists in summer.
I know you might not feel that right now. You might be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Shut up.” But I want you to know that I’ve been there, refusing to get in the pool even though I desperately wanted to just get in the damn water and move around freely.
Like so many other women I grew up watching the people I loved meticulously counting calories, trying new diets, making comments about their own bodies and even mine. I don’t blame or fault any of these women, because I know that they were just doing their best. Doing their best to follow the rules of society and dealing with the internalized messages that so many of us continue to carry today.
But you don’t have to keep carrying that weight. Our daughters are watching. Our sons are watching. And you know who isn’t watching? Anybody else at the pool. And if they are, walk your beautiful, glorious thighs right past them and let your child see their mother as the strong creature that she is.
You don’t owe the world anything. Being thin is not the price we pay for existing in this world. And you know what? You deserve to feel the gorgeous, hot summer sun on your skin. Bathe in that sun, mama, and soak up every last bit.
What if I’m not ready?
You don’t have to be ready to jump into a bathing suit today. I don’t know your situation, and maybe you’re dealing with past traumas or a lifetime of being routinely exposed to messages that say you’re taking up too much space. If you’re not ready, don’t force yourself.
Instead, start taking slow steps towards finding happiness and comfort in your body. A good way to start is to expose yourself to images and media that show people who look more like you or who focus on things like body inclusivity. Social media can be a dark place in terms of body positivity, but there are some shining stars.
- If you’re looking for someone who points out the insanity of detoxes and measuring worth by size, try Jameela Jamil or her i_weigh movement.
- If you’re looking for someone who embraces body positivity, visit Megan Crabbe’s bodyposipanda page.
- If you want to see unphotoshopped advertisements, check out Nunude’s products.
- Still want more? Follow the hashtages #bodypositivity, #bodyacceptance, and #healthateverysize.
Sometimes exposing yourself to positive injuries isn’t enough. Try unfollowing accounts that make you feel negatively about yourself after you visit them.
Ultimately, your body is your body, and you have to live in it. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines because society thinks you take up space. Your body is already a summer body, and don’t let anyone else tell you differently. Now get out there and enjoy that summer sun you beautiful goddess.