We’re now into the summer months, and around now is the point where people are trying on all the swimwear they’ve bought for their holiday, looking at themselves in the mirror and deciding that they don’t like what they see, because they don’t fit society’s view of an “ideal body”.
Both women and men have unfair expectations put on them about how they should look when at the beach. For women, you’re supposed to wear a bikini that shows off the “ideal body” – skinny and toned, but still curvy, with smooth, perfect skin. For men, you’re supposed to be comfortable in swimming trunks that show off the male “ideal body” – muscles with a toned stomach and six pack, with prominent abs. These expectations and ideals are thoroughly toxic and damaging to people’s self esteem and mental health, as well as their physical health too, if they begin to develop an eating disorder, or start to exercise an unhealthy amount.
The truth is, no one has a body like the ones that are shown in the media. Photos in magazines are edited a lot; models’ legs are smoothed out, their skin tone evened, and their stomachs flattened. Even supermodels have body confidence issues, and parts of their body that have stretch marks or stick out a bit. The media does not portray an accurate form of the human body, for neither men or women, and it’s about time that we started to realise this, and love ourselves more.
In order to get a “beach body”, you have your body, and go to the beach. In order to get a “bikini body”, you have your body, and you put on a bikini. It’s as simple as that – do not feel like you need to change yourself in any way just so that you can go to the beach for a bit. The beach is a place where you should be enjoying yourself, and relaxing in the sun, not a place for you to feel uncomfortable because you’re not confident in yourself. The people that you think are staring at you, they aren’t, they’re just having a good time at the beach, and you should be too.
So, this summer, I urge you all to put on your swimwear, look in the mirror, and tell yourself that you look amazing, because you do. And then, go have a great time at the beach, you deserve it.