The dreaded beach body

We all struggle with our body image; no one is 100 percent happy with how they look. That’s what makes the summer season so difficult: the dreaded beach body. There’s nothing like the struggle of wanting to go swimming and trying to find swimming attire you’re actually comfortable wearing. Believe me, I’ve been there. We all have. It sucks.

The thing that sucks about summer is that we spend year-round working toward that summer body. The bikini body has become this weird common goal we’re all supposed to strive for—but why?

I recently came across a meme that said something along the lines of, “How to get a beach body: Step 1: Go to the beach. You now have a beach body.” Easier said than done, right? But it’s definitely on to something. We need to stop putting so much focus on getting that perfect swimsuit body, and instead focus on enjoying ourselves this summer. If you don’t feel comfortable in a swimsuit, rock some board shorts and a tank top or T-shirt instead. Don’t sacrifice the opportunity to have some fun just because society has put so much pressure on you to have that hot summer bod.

It’s important to remember that, just because you’re not comfortable in certain swimwear, the cure isn’t always to lose weight or change your body. Sometimes you’re just not comfortable in certain clothing items, and that’s OK. There’s not always a specific reason for our discomfort, so don’t assume that discomfort means there’s something wrong with you.

And while we try to build ourselves up, we have to remember not to tear each other down. There’s a horrible stigma that larger women shouldn’t wear swimsuits showing their midriff, but to hell with that. I applaud women who are confident enough to rock more revealing swimsuits in comparison to covering themselves up with every layer possible like society tells them they should.

The thing about swimsuits is that you don’t have to have a specific body to wear them, you just need to have a body. And how you choose to dress your body is your choice. Some people will always judge you for your choices, but remember they have their own insecurities and struggles, so rather than feeling bad about yourself like they want you to, consider that the hell going on inside their head must be terrible if they have to tear others down for their own self-approval.

The beautiful thing about human beings is that we aren’t copycat clones of one another; we are all our own shape and size. You don’t need to be thin, have abs or have an orange-skin glow in order to wear a two-piece swimsuit, but you can have all those things and still choose to cover yourself up at the river or beach this summer. It doesn’t matter what your body type is—you’re in charge of it. This summer, dress your body to your comfort level.