Swimsuit Season: The Nice Weather Rant

By Morgan Elyse.

Photo by frank servayge

Photo by Frank Servayge

The warm weather is officially here and I’m sure you’ve all seen the ads. Get ready for swimsuit season: with our new diet plan, with three simple exercises, five minutes a day, find the suit that’s right for your body type, hot off the runway looks, cleansing, toning, burning – ENOUGH!

Guess what, Internets and fashion magazines (like you matter anyway), it’s 100 degrees with the humidity of a sauna in Kansas City during the summer and people should be able to wear what makes them comfortable, dammit! We don’t have to cover up our stretch marks or cheesy thighs because it’s freaking hot! DEAL WITH IT!

Honestly, if someone is so shallow as to judge me for trying to avoid suffocation from the heat when they don’t even know me or how much effort I’ve put in over the last year and a half in becoming a healthier person, frankly, I hope their eyes DO burn when they’re staring at aaaallllllll of this!

I hope people reading this will join me in realizing how utterly pointless it is going to be to stress ourselves out as we stare our bare bodies down in those dressing room mirrors trying to find the swimwear that hides our “flaws” just right. You are not flawed. I am not flawed. We are all beautiful. Not just curvy women practice these terrible habits of self-hate, and not just women do it either.

Photo by Marcus Q

Photo by Marcus Q

Most of you reading this are educated people. You know better than to base your ideal body image on Hollywood, Vogue, or that one girl you saw walking on the Plaza who you thought was perfect but, in all actuality, probably has body image issues just like you and me or worse. We all come in different shapes and sizes! Yes, it’s cliché, but it surely bears repeating if we still have yet to grasp the concept! Are we just destined to eternally chastise ourselves for not being born into the body type that’s “in” during this era? You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you? MARILYN WAS A SIZE 14! Relax!

I want everyone, as they leave the last week of classes behind, and face the freedom of summer, to truly be free; I want you to be free from the worry of what everyone else thinks of YOUR body, free from wondering whether you might be bearing too much flab or, perhaps, the worry that you might be missing some flab in the “right” places. I want you to feel free to laugh and run and jump and play and dive – even if you jiggle funny while you’re doing it – free your mind, spirit, and body, and enjoy the warmth of the sun against your beautiful skin (with plenty of sunscreen slathered on to it, of course), however large or small a surface area that amounts to.

Love your body. I know probably as well as anyone that it’s a very hard thing to do, especially in the months ahead. But let’s all just make the pledge to keep the thought in our consciousness. If we are consistently making it an effort to love ourselves, this will become our new habit rather than the dirty looks and comments in the mirrors and negative thoughts we have about our appearances we’re accustomed to. Love your inside and your out; as long as you know you are living healthy (feeding your brain, eating right most of the time, and exercising at least a few times a week), there is no reason you shouldn’t be proud of everything that makes you who you are.

Photo by Eleventh Earl of Mar

Photo by Eleventh Earl of Mar

And hey, love others too! Spread the kindness and remember to use the right speech and thinking in regards to others’ appearances as well (you know we’re all guilty, especially when we’re not at peace with ourselves). Take a summer pledge to love every body – now get out there and bare yours!

Photo by Deb Roby

Photo by Deb Roby

 

To learn more about Body Image programming at UMKC, sponsored by Women’s Center and Counseling Center, visit us online. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.