I used to love and dread the summer weather coming because while I love the heat and sun, I dreaded looking at myself in a swim suit. Why? Because wearing a swimsuit meant literally exposing my body for both the world to see and for me to pick apart. All the magazine articles and pictures leading up to the summer tell us we need to get our bodies ready for the season and frankly I just never wanted to follow the strict guidelines being imposed. Call it laziness or whatever you want but as much as I dreaded feeling badly about myself, I also didn't quite care enough to change the body I was given. Still, the dreaded feelings of body dissatisfaction came into play.
Some of the usual thoughts that went through my head when I decided to suit up included "When I sit can you see my fat?" "Will my swimsuit actually fit my bottom this year?" or "Will you see all my imperfections because of my pale skin?" While I cannot comment on what other Average Girls feel when faced with this season, I have to assume that their thoughts are similar. I'm not skinny and I'm not fat, I've always been a little more in the middle...just Average. I knew I looked half decent in a bathing suit but still felt I wasn't quite up to par with what society deemed desirable. I wished that my hip bones protruded more, that my bathing suit stayed up far enough to keep me sucked it and that I was tanned. But this year....I am not thinking this way.
I am thinking about everything I get to do this summer and I am going to enjoy the body that allows me to do those things. I can't tell you what has changed, I can't even tell you if all those thoughts will truly ever go away....but I can tell you that more girls need to focus on what actually makes them happy. Think of the summer barbeques, family gatherings, night outs with friends...the glittering water, sunsets and the cool feeling on your toes when you dip them in the water. Make these feelings more important than feelings of body dissatisfaction and you won't miss out.
Feelings of body dissatisfaction don't go away over night but if you make these feelings less important than all the other amazing things in your life they will become less important! Enjoy your summers and your average beach bodies...in all their shapes and sizes :)