By Elizabeth Dubos
Disclaimer: I am not a medical healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns about your body, then I would highly recommend discussing it with a trusted physician. These are my own thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
The Summery season begins on June 20th. Summer is associated with hot weather, humidity, vacations, and bathing suits. Whether you identify as male, female, or non-binary, everyone experiences insecurities about their body image throughout their life. Body image insecurities can heighten during the summer season because society pressures people to have a swimsuit body with abs, a flat stomach, or toned muscles. Society’s expectations are highly unrealistic. Everyone has different body types and health concerns that affect their outer appearance. The number one rule about body positivity is to never judge someone’s appearance because you never know what they’re physically, mentally, or emotionally going through. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to wave your body insecurities away. The following tips are not a quick and simple fix; these tips are a step in the right direction for loving and feeling confident about your body.
1. Don’t weigh yourself. I know this can be incredibly hard, especially if you regularly visit the doctor because they only look at the numbers. In the medical office, ask the nurse to not reveal the number to you. Be sure to bring an exercise and food journal to demonstrate your health habits. Your doctor can help make medical recommendations based on your lifestyle, not solely on your numbers. Also, your weight number can shift throughout the day due to hormones and water weight. If the scale gives you anxiety, lock it away in the closet. You are more than a number!
2. Look in the mirror and point out things you like about yourself. Instead of pointing out all of your imperfections, flaws, and what makes you unhappy, try to figure out what you like about your body. Do you like the color of your eyes, your hair texture, or the shape of your hands? Then, write them down and leave the list o near the mirror, so every time you pass it , you’re reminded of what you like about yourself.
3. Surround yourself with supportive individuals. It’s time to purge negative people from your life. Purge those who joke about your body, make fun of your eating habits, or gas light your body image feelings. You should surround yourself with people who love and care for you. You will be motivated by their support to continue your body image journey. On this journey, you need to validate yourself because you shouldn’t rely on others’ approval to feel good about yourself.
4. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Doesn’t it frustrate you to see others who can eat whatever they want without gaining a pound? Well, it’s not their fault! Everyone has different body shapes and health conditions, so it’s unfair to yourself to be comparing yourself to an unrealistic situation.
5. Instead of body flaws, try body benefits. It can be really hard to find things you like about your body when all you see are flaws. Instead of looking at them as flaws, try looking at them as benefits. For example, some women dislike their pregnancy stretchmarks. Instead of focusing on the stretchmarks, keep in mind your body just created and gave birth to a human being. Your body is capable of wonderful things, so it should be honored.
6. Affirmations. Go on Pinterest and search “body positive quotes” or “self-love quotes.” After you find a few quotes that you like, print them out, and place them throughout your house, especially around mirrors. Every time you walk around your house, you’ll see a positive self-reassuring quote to promote self-love.
7. Retail therapy. You can only continue on this step if you’ve finished your “things I like about myself” list. Go on a shopping trip and treat yourself to clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. The list will help you select items that will flatter the parts of your body you like.
For instance, if you’re self-conscious about your stomach, select high-waisted shorts or swimsuit bottoms. Don’t focus on the sizes! Sizes differ from numerous stores and can easily ruin your self-esteem. Whether you’re interested in purchasing activewear, swimsuits, or seasonal wear, the following stores support body positivity for all body types: ModCloth, Aerie, ASOS, Old Navy, Target, Dress Barn, Fabletics, Dear Kate, and Neon Moon. These companies believe that all body types should be celebrated. The primary goal of retail therapy is to choose clothes that will flatter your body to increase your confidence.
8. The swimsuit body. This one is super simple because all you have to do is put on a swimsuit. Why does there have to be a designated swimsuit body type? Take yourself out of the box that says, “I can’t wear a swimsuit because I won’t look good in it.” Put on your swim trunks, one-piece, rash guards, or bikini and enjoy fun summer activities. If anything, remember to wear sunscreen!
Edited by Princess Berry