Summertime

Summer is my favorite season, for so many reasons. From the sunny days to flip flops to the family cookouts and strawberry lemonade, summertime easily ranks as my favorite time of the year. But, like everything else good in this world, summertime comes with its downside.

GET BIKINI BEAUTIFUL IN TWO WEEKS!
LOSE THOSE ABS IN TIME FOR SWIMSUIT SEASON!
Your thighs can be leaner! Your hips will melt away!
BE SKINNIER THAN ALL YOUR FRIENDS!
STOP EATING BECAUSE YOU CAN LOOK GOOD IN A TWO PIECE!
LOSE 5 POUNDS IN TWO DAYS!
Pressure Pressure Pressure Pressure Pressure Pressure
Suddenly, an invite to a pool party becomes a challenge.
A visit to a swimsuit department becomes depressing.
A trip to the beach becomes terrifying.

The media screams at us from the minute the temperatures start rising until just before fall. These ridiculous claims stalk us, from magazine covers in grocery store aisles, to radio advertisements, to television shows. The message is the same:

SKINNY=GOOD. You can be SKINNIER=MORE GOOD.
NOT SKINNY=NOT AS GOOD. BE GOOD. BE SKINNY.

Don’t even think about wearing a one piece, sister. LOSER.
Summertime should be a wonderful time of year. From t-shirts and shorts to fireworks, the summer months have so much going for them. Beach trips. Breezy nights. Outdoor parties.

The trick here is this: this summer, let us not allow these messages to shame us into thinking that we should be chasing an unrealistic perfect form. Let us not allow these messages to keep us from donning our favorite, most comfy swimsuit at the next pool gathering. Let us not allow these messages to make us feel like failures. Instead, let’s celebrate ourselves this summer, in whatever swimsuit makes us feel comfortable and beautiful. Instead, let’s strive this summer to be what we should strive to be all year: healthy. Turns out, that is the most beautiful we can be.

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