You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens. -Louis Hay
Ask about one thing that stays constant every summer, and the answer is to build the perfect summer body. This age-old concept continues to seep into the minds of teens generation after generation, and Gen Z is certainly no exception. But not being able to escape its impacts does not mean that we are reduced to the norm. And this article explores the heart of that question: why the idea of summer bodies is a living stigma, and why we need to get rid of it.
The bubble we live in
We currently live in a society where we continue to buy bad ideas from time to time. This being one of them, can be detrimental to our mental health and, moreover, can stagnate our growth as an individual. The teenage years, being an essential part of everyone’s life, shouldn’t be spent feeling insecure about their body image or making comparisons just to feel less acceptable. Unfortunately, the majority of teens today suffer from body image issues, and social media has its say. The Guardian published an article, titled “Teenage Girls, Body Image, and Instagram’s Perfect Storm,” which stated, “over 40% of Instagram users who said they felt “unattractive” said the feeling started while using the app.” And while these tell-tale statics do exist, the rise of body insecurity during the summer remains a less talked about topic.
Photo credit: Ignant.com
Be your best friend
While you can’t change everyone’s standards of perfection, you can certainly be the one to break them. The easiest way to do this is to accept yourself (and above all to show yourself off). You deserve the same love and support you would give to your friend going through difficult times. Being kind to yourself is the essence of being your best friend. Beauty standards vary, and you cannot compromise your peace of mind to please or meet societal expectations. What’s better is that you can set an example for others by pouring love and respect for the form you embody, because no matter how cliché that sounds, the truth is that you are beautiful as you are. Remember, a hot girl’s summer isn’t really a hot girl’s summer unless you feel like it inside.
Your business matters more than you think
The importance of having a good social circle cannot be overstated. As someone who struggles with bodily issues, it is all the more important to feel nurtured and loved. Choose your business wisely and try to be around people who love you for who you are, not what you look like. Affirmative words always wonder if they come from within or from someone else!
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This also applies to social media platforms. It is up to us to be responsible consumers and not to fall into the mundane traps of idealization. Try to follow influencers that your personality resonates with. It can work as a good source of inspiration, seeing someone behave confidently, and destigmatizing the mental game of idealization that already exists.
Happiness on validation
Staying fit and working on yourself is always a choice, but the decision to do so shouldn’t be made under peer pressure, or for any outside reason, in general. It’s your body, and you don’t have to minimize its value by trying to feel like “everybody”. You are unique and have much to share with this world. So even if you decide to invest in yourself, no matter in what form, drawing happiness should be the only reason. Strive to be someone you wish you had when you were in need. It’s never too late to start prioritizing.
With summer knocking on our doorstep, we now know what we’re supposed to do: express our unfiltered selves and not let curves define us. If you identify as someone with bodily insecurities, take that as a sign to step out of the cocoon and enjoy the rest of the summer.