Living in Michigan, it’s almost a right of passage to spend some of your summer days by a lake with your toes in the sand. Sadly, messages from magazines, T.V., and social media convince many of us that only certain body types are on the “swimsuit approved” list. These advertisements and pictures can lead to feelings of insecurity and body shame.
Every body deserves the right to feel comfortable at the beach this summer. Do you have a body? Do you have a swimsuit? Then you’re ready! Here are some tips on how to feel confident all summer – and all year – long.
TREAD LIGHTLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is powerful. Use it responsibly and to your advantage! Make a conscious effort to not follow people or pages that don’t promote positive body images. Try not to compare yourself to images that have likely been edited and filtered. Conversely, start following people who inspire and promote loving your body just as it is! Check out @effyourbeautystandards, @benourishedpdx, or @danafalsetti to get started.
BIKINIS AREN’T YOUR ONLY OPTION
If you want to rock a bikini, do it! Otherwise, there are tons of other swimsuits and clothing options to feel comfortable in at the beach or just outside in the warm weather. Find what you love most and what you feel the most comfortable in. Cover-ups, board shorts, and one-piece suits are just as fashionable (and way more practical if you ask me!)
BE RADICAL AND LOVE YOURSELF
The diet industry is a $60 billion dollar industry with a 95% failure rate. They depend on us feeling shameful and buying right back into their ways. It is actually quite radical to fight against this! Make a pact with your friends to not give in to their ways. Write down what you love about your body and keep it visible. Find a body positive mantra and stick it to your bathroom mirror. Listen to music that makes you feel good and gets your body moving. It’s a process and can take time, but it’s so worth it!
If you’re a person who’s totally confident at the beach, keep doing you! It’s also important to recognize that this body positivity revolution isn’t just for the people who are struggling. We can all be more body positive. Complement other women. Don’t gawk or stare. Encourage women in your life to love their body just the way it is. Every body is perfect the way it is and worthy of sunshine and beach time this summer!
Emily Betros is a licensed clinical social worker, certified health coach, and owner of Reclaiming Health, LLC. She helps clients put together an individualized plan to meet their health goals. Emily enjoys hiking, traveling, vegan-izing recipes, and spending time with her husband and daughter.