It’s a HOT summer here in Florida and as much as I dislike the heat and humidity, I like that I can go to the beach regularly, get a good tan, and just generally enjoy the outdoors way more than I could if it wasn’t sunny all the time.
Last weekend I visited Sebastian Inlet State Park, which is a park (obviously) where people can do different activities like camp, fish, go boating, visit the beach area, and go canoeing or kayaking. I went solely for beach purposes, but before I stepped into the water, I took a second to people watch.
Along with social media and internet influences comes this idea of a “bikini body” or even just a body that is swimsuit ready. Summer gets closer and closer and everyone starts working out a lot and dieting and it’s all for the sake of this “bikini body.” As much as I tried to resist it, I kind of fell into the “bikini body” trend too; I started working out more and trying to eat better, I tried restricting my sweets (which is hard if you have a sweet tooth like I do), I tried a lot of things to prepare for this bikini wearing season. I’m not going to lie, though, I fell in love with some aspects of the preparation. I’ve found ways to work out that make me feel empowered, I love eating better but I’ve found that I’m not very good at it (thanks, sweet tooth), but most importantly, I’ve found that I really like the confidence I have found in myself to wear a bikini. And that confidence didn’t come from dieting or working out, it came from a place within me where I found that I was comfortable with myself to a point where I could go out and flaunt the body I do have.
When I was people watching, I noticed that there were people from all over the place with all different bodies wearing bikinis or wearing their swimsuits with no shame in their bodies and that’s exactly how it should be. There were men and women with toned bodies and soft bodies and bodies on all ranges wearing and flaunting their swimsuits and although I’d been hearing it all summer, it was the first time that the phrase “Every body is a bikini body” or “Every body is a swimsuit ready body” clicked. There is this idea perpetuated by the media that a body should look a certain way in order to be socially acceptable and it’s just not true. Wearing a swimsuit has everything to do with your own confidence and less to do with what your body looks like. So this summer and next summer and all the summers for the rest of eternity, if you want to go to the beach, do it without worrying if you have the perfect body because as long as you love your own body, that’s all that matters.