As much fun as summer brings, it could also be stress-inducing for some. And if you feel this way, you’re probably not alone. Year after year, society reinforces the idea that the “summer bod” (or the “beach bod”) is desirable and that it’s a goal you’re supposed to work towards weeks before summer even arrives. Trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle is one thing, but feeling pressured to conform to outdated and unrealistic beauty standards is a completely different matter.
As summer quickly passes by, our editors had a heart-to-heart conversation over on Slack recalling their insecurities as well as discussing why you need to stop being harsh on yourself, your girlfriends and other women you encounter. Self-love might be an overused term these days but during this particular time of the year, it’s more than necessary to practise exactly that.
Teresa Lam [3:08 PM]
The idea of the summer bod really bothers me. Not that anyone has ever used these words against me, but since when did we need to have a different body just cause the season changes?
Lily Chen [3:09 PM]
Honestly summer bod gives me anxiety, and the way society has deemed it necessary to put pressure on women to look good in the summer.
And it’s strange cause when you look at me, I’m not someone you think gets anxiety about that.
And I’ve heard everything under the sun, you look anorexic, why are you so scrawny etc.
Teresa Lam [3:10 PM]
What that’s rude. :face_with_rolling_eyes:
Lily Chen [3:10 PM]
Haha I’m used to it.
Teresa Lam [3:11 PM]
I feel you though about how it gives you anxiety.
It wasn’t until the past two or three years then I began feeling more comfortable in my own skin in a beach or pool setting.
Rebekah Ho [3:12 PM]
I think there are all these boxes that people put on what a summer bod is “supposed” to look like — as if we’re not doing our best if we’re not working towards having one of those bodies.
Teresa Lam [3:13 PM]
Yea, back in middle school, that was pre-Instagram but also when everybody still posted photos on Facebook excessively, I’d literally skip every trip to the beach I get invited to, which is quite sad when I look back on that time of my life.
Lily Chen [3:14 PM]
You go girl. What changed?
Teresa Lam [3:14 PM]
I think with social media, a lot of the times we only want to show the best versions of ourselves. It could be quite scary putting yourself out there knowing that someone might be judging you or even be mean about the way you look, because people do do that.
But it’s such a shame if you waste your summers away because of that fear of what other people might say about you. It’s none of their business really so you should be out there enjoying yourself. When you’re actually having fun, it doesn’t matter what others think about you.
Rebekah Ho [3:16 PM]
Yeah! I think there’s so much freedom in not caring about what people say.
I think for me, I never really had anxieties about my body until I heard one of my friends talking about another girl.
It was in sixth grade or something, and she turned to me and she was like, “Omg what is wrong with that girl’s stomach?” It wasn’t directed towards me or even said to that other girl’s face, but it kinda freaked me out about what people could be saying behind my back.
And for me being Asian, living in Asia, but not really having an “Asian body” (i.e. I’m short but I have boobs and curves), I do feel people staring sometimes. What has helped is surrounding myself with people who don’t make those mean comments about others, but more importantly, not making mean comments about myself.
Teresa Lam [3:18 PM]
That’s so true! It’s really important to accept what you see as your own imperfections.
Lily Chen [3:19 PM]
I do think social media is getting to be more honest, with people embracing just that. And it’s been super encouraging.
Teresa Lam [3:20 PM]
Exactly. It’s nobody’s job to have those “perfect” characteristics.
Not even models need to have a flat stomach or toned legs these days. It’s refreshing to see that the industry is finally starting to embrace bodies of different shapes and sizes.
Rebekah Ho [3:21 PM]
Yeah, I think it’s cool to see more and more models who actually look like people IRL.
Teresa Lam [3:22 PM]