If I asked you the question, do you feel confident in your body, would you shout a resounding YES? Or would you give me a strong ‘NO’ as an answer?
As teens, there is a lot of pressure in the world to be what I like to call “Instagram Perfect.” You have your make-up on, hair done, fanciest clothes, most flattering pose, and then a handful of filters and lighting adjustments to make it look just right.
How many photos do you see on social media of someone with bed head? No, I don’t mean those staged ‘natural’ photos, I mean actual casual photos. How many photos look like they have not been retouched? Even when people use #nofilter, that doesn’t mean it’s not modified in other ways.
When it comes down to it, there aren’t many examples out there of people who feel confident – truly confident – in their bodies. Summer is also right around the corner, and I have already been seeing what I usually see every summer.
Ads, with phrases like:
- “Get summer-ready with this quick and easy diet!”
- “Lose 20 lbs fast!“
- “Book your appointment for a full body wax!”
- “Water-proof make-up now on sale!”
- and, of course, “Prepare your ‘swimsuit’ body!”
Society and the media have so many expectations that it can feel suffocating. Women and girls modeling swimsuits have been through extensive hair and makeup (and not just on their faces). After the pictures are taken, they undergo hours of editing to look perfect.
Seeing these ads and messages are not only a lot of pressure for girls, but guys too! Men and boys modeling swim shorts are buff, usually have a toned stomach, and muscles, and they also go through hair, makeup, and hours of editing. I also recently read a post online about the amount of insistence some guys get to go shirtless at the pool or beach without wanting to.
At the end of the day, we are given impossible ideals. We are not looking at real, raw, people, but plastic, fake, weapons of deceit to drive us into shame and self-destruction. No wonder it’s difficult for you to feel confident in your body.
I want to share with you 3 tips on how you can feel confident in your body during this summer. There are only a few weeks away, and I want you to feel your best whether at home, at the pool/beach, or out about town.
Every Body is a Summer-Ready Body
Here’s a basic summer-ready body checklist: do you have sunscreen? do you hydrate regularly? take care of your body? have a swimsuit you feel comfortable in (I certainly do! I just got mine about a week ago and I can’t wait to wear it!)? If so, ta-da! You are ready for the summer.
It’s better to focus on a level of healthy that is good for you – we all have unique needs, so something that works for me, may not for you. And that is OK! No diets required or needed, just come as you are – you have a body, you’re ready for summer. Perfect!
It’s Okay to Be Different
We all have different body characteristics. Some of us are plus-sized, have curly hair, and have hair in inconvenient places of our body (it had to be said). And some of us have stretch marks. I myself, have stretch marks on my thighs and back legs. For a long time, I was really embarrassed about it, thinking that they were ugly and that I looked weird because of them.
I’ve never really voiced it to my mom (who is the queen of owning your body, btw,) because I felt ashamed. It was just recently that I realized that I don’t feel those things anymore because I know that it’s natural and that my stretch marks are in fact, a great part of me. Like it says in “So Am I” by Ava Max – a song I’ve been obsessed with lately,
“Do you ever feel like an outcast?
You don’t have to fit into the format
Oh, but it’s okay to be different
‘Cause baby, so am I”
Don’t give a second of your cares to people who compare you and try to dull your shine. Like my mom always says, “if they care about those things, they obviously aren’t important.” Find friends who do support you and love you as you are. True friends will embrace every wrinkle, scar, and mole and focus on your beautiful personality.
Commit to having fun and being the best version of yourself. Swim, jump, run, play, act like a child, because you only have so many summers to behave like one. I have 2 left, so I want to make the most of them. As long as you remember that, my friend, you will feel confident in your body and there will be nothing you can’t do!
I want to issue a challenge for you to share a picture online of your ‘summer-ready’ body – just use the hashtag #nofilterneeded and tag us @whollyart on Twitter or Instagram, and remember, no filters, edits, or any other trimmings, just show me how you are celebrating yourself!
Happy Summer, everyone! How do you boost your body confidence for the summer?