Summer is finally on the horizon and it’s time to strip off and enjoy the sun. Not everyone enjoys flaunting their stuff though, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Here’s how to take time this summer to fall in love with yourself and your body all over again.
I don’t know about any of you, but I’m still carrying a little ‘winter weight.’ By, ‘winter weight’ I mean weight that I claim to have put on over the winter period, specifically during the merry making of Christmas. I mean really, it just makes good biological sense to put on a little weight over this period – right? You need the extra padding and anyway, I’m stocking up for Brexit. However, now we’re fully embarked into spring, I May (get it? 😉) need to acknowledge that this is actually now my new size. And do you know what, I’m ok with that. My mid- 20’s are hurtling ever closer and my body is changing. If I put on weight, I don’t just shed it instantaneously – it sticks around. I’m still totally healthy, but my body has definitely morphed into a different shape over the past couple of years.
Now of course, the body positive goddess in me wants to shake my belly and my booty and celebrate. The human in me is not such a fan of the leg chafing and rolls of fat where there weren’t any before. Clothes I’ve had for years, definitely don’t fit any longer and I’ve started to adapt my style accordingly. Over the winter months, it’s difficult to tell if something has put on a few extra pounds. You’re so buried beneath layers of clothing that really curves are taken over by an inevitable dumpling shape of jumpers. All that is changing though – we’re finally starting to see some sunshine and it’s time to strip back the layers.
Perhaps the most famous body positive campaign was the ‘every body is a bikini body’ movement. In a literal sense, that’s very affirming – you have a bikini, you have a body, you’re all ready to hit that beach up. It’s not just the bikini’s though, it’s the shorts and the sundresses and the nudist parties (is that last one just me?) In summer, you show more skin. Fact.
It’s great to be body positive, but this can make a lot of people really self-conscious. Including me! Even my summer wardrobe from last year, doesn’t sit quite right on my body anymore; but neither my wallet nor the environment can take the cost of a new one. There are two solutions here that can be used separately or together: One, pick out some new favourites from charity shops that are cheap, cheerful, suit your new style and don’t harm the planet. Two, take it slow and show off your skin to those you trust. If you feel self-conscious about your size, stretch marks, scars or anything else for that matter, then show yourself off around those that love you first. You don’t need to go from totally covered, to flaunting a bikini thong at a crowded resort.
Body confidence is not another thing you for to tick off the list or ‘succeed’ at. In fact, we all of us ‘fail’ at it a little every day – few of us are always kind to ourselves. But, if you feel comfortable with it and it’s culturally ok for you, show off a little skin this summer. Take the time to remind yourself how great your body is and all it does for you. Show it off! Feel sun kissed and relaxed. It doesn’t matter how your body changes, and how your clothes look – to quote a very wise person, ‘pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in the world.’ So, the only summer lovin you need this year is with your very own fabulous self.