There Is No “Summer Body”
Your Body Is Beautiful Through Every Season

No Summer Bodyby Ebehi O.

Hello my lovely readers,

First of all, thank you so much for reading my articles and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I love writing them. Most importantly, I hope that you are connecting with the articles and can relate to them in some way.

I believe I missed Body Positivity Month – but I don’t care…every month should be Body Positivity Month. We should never stop loving our bodies or learning how to become more confident and positive about our appearance.

As the weather gets warmer, everyone, everywhere is talking about “getting into your summer body”. What is a summer body? The media and peers have coined this term for the “ideal” body shape/type you should have during the summer – usually in direct relation to the beach.

How ridiculous is that? The media and peers are telling us how we should look during a specific season. Not just ridiculous, but unrealistic in many ways.

I am about to get very real and vulnerable with you, so get ready to have some truth snow cones tossed your way. A little (bad) humour for you – who doesn’t love a good snow cone on a hot summer day? I know I do!

… Snow cone time!!

Reading this far you probably think I am someone who is very comfortable in her own skin, but like some of you, I am not. Growing up, I struggled with many insecurities about my appearance; from my hair, to my teeth, to my chest, to my weight, to my overall appearance.

For my hair, I grew up with a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) called trichotillomania (pronounced: trick-oh-till-oh-may-knee-uh)… trust me, it took me a while to learn how to say that. Trichotillomania is a form of OCD where you have the urge to pull out your own hair. Sound painful? Oddly enough, it wasn’t. I have been dealing with this for as long as I can remember, and with counselling at a very young age, I’ve been able to get it under control. I was made fun of for having very short hair or “looking like a boy”.

For my teeth, my way of coping with stress (e.g. my parents divorcing) when I was younger was by sucking on my fingers. Obviously when you’re a baby or toddler, you do that to soothe yourself, but for me I continued to do that, as I got older. Because of doing that for so long as a child, my teeth are now pushed forward and I have an open-bite. I hated people telling me to smile with my teeth because I was so insecure. To be honest, I still don’t like smiling with my teeth, but I do it.

Oh boy, the “girls”. I was one of those girls who developed breast early and I felt like it was a curse. When you’re in the fifth grade and someone asks you, “why is your chest so big”, you can’t help but feel insecure and question it yourself. You don’t even know the answer and now you’re getting asked “why” about something that is completely out of your control. Even as I got older, there were days where I was ridiculed about it. It’s not a good feeling at all, but you don’t have to explain your body to anyone or be ashamed of having more (or less) than someone else. Everyone has different genes, backgrounds, and grows differently.

The big “W” word… weight. This is probably the biggest topic amongst people these days. Not just younger people like us, but people older than us as well. My weight was always up and down as a younger person – I was either “medium” or “big”, never really “small”. Our weight is something that we have some control over. Everyone’s body is built differently, as I’ve said before, not even identical twins are always the same. For me, my weight has always been my biggest Achilles heel (obstacle)…and that’s the problem. Seeing a “flaw” about you as an obstacle will only make it so. For example, if you look at a splat of paint and think that it resembles a toad… you see a toad. The same goes for your weight/body image. If you think that you are too big or too small, that’s all your mind will let you see. I am no doctor, so I will not tell you how you should take care of your body or weight, but I will say: love your body, be comfortable with it and your weight. It will make a major difference in your life. It has in mine. I still have those days where I don’t want to look in the mirror, but you know what…it takes time, so don’t give up.

I grew up with one parent that has always, and continues to, encourage me to embrace my body and myself, and one parent that would always point out my flaws and make fun of me. Not everyone has the first type of parent; some unfortunately have the second kind – and I know that sucks. But if the second parent sees the splat of paint as a toad and you see it as a flower, and you let them convince you it’s a toad – what happens? You only see the toad, when it really is a beautiful flower. Basically what I’m saying is don’t let those negative thoughts of yours or others stop you from seeing the true beauty that is yourself.

You probably have extreme brain freeze from all of those snow cones. But I hope they were flavourful enough to help you realize that you don’t have to look like everyone else, or look a specific way… especially for one season.

It’s a season! It changes, just like we all do.

So, PLEASE don’t let your “summer body” be something that you think you have to achieve to meet the expectations of others. Your summer body is YOU! Your summer body is just YOU in the summer.

Wear a one-piece, wear a bikini, wear shorts and a t-shirt, wear what makes you feel comfortable – not something to make other people feel comfortable. But ALSO, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – it can be fun!

I bought a bikini last year for the first time EVER and I must say, it felt great! I usually wore a one piece with shorts (and t-shirt) or didn’t enjoy the weather at all because of how I felt about my body. I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit, and you can too. You don’t have to do anything drastic, but DO feel confident in your body – sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone a little can do that.

Be proud of your body. Be proud of you. Be positive. Be body positive. Love YOUR (summer) body. Don’t body-shame yourself, body-praise yourself!

Again, let me know what you think in the comments section.
Thanks!
Ebehi

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