A Project for Better Journalism chapter
A&E, Opinion

Stop starving yourself for summer

The arrival of spring and warm weather marks the annual season of tweets, Pinterest boards, and general statements surrounding the concept of attaining the “perfect bikini body” for summer. This concept isn’t new; it’s an annual obsession of getting back into shape and eating healthier, all in the hopes that our bodies will look like every Victoria’s Secret models’. Not only is this fad harmful for self-esteem, its entirely unrealistic.

This isn’t my usual fashion piece, an exploration of different style trends of the season and advice for taking advantage of such trends. However, fashion isn’t always about clothing. Fashion entails all of the things people do to be “in style,” and this sometimes involves livelihoods and the ways in which people try to make themselves, and their bodies, stylish.

The “bikini body” is a stylish fad. It’s something so many strive for in hopes that they will be considered as cool as everyone else, simply because they starved and exercised themselves enough to erase all hints of fat from their body. But the fact is, while so many people strive for it, so few actually succeed, and it just doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter. 

Having the skinniest body for the summer swimsuit season isn’t the only way to fit in or feel good about yourself. The reality is that, especially here in Colorado where nobody goes to the beach everyday throughout the year, the expectations for summer body physique are grossly overrated. As teenagers, (especially as teenage girls) we tend to believe that because the rest of the world, particularly the internet world, makes it seem as though everyone is preparing their bodies for summer, we have an obligation to prepare our “perfect” bodies as well.

The point of this is not to say that you should not exercise or eat healthier to create a skinnier body for summer. If that is your goal, by all means, it’s your decision. However, my advice is to recognize that the expectations by society for your “perfect bikini body” are unrealistic and frankly, don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. My suggestion is to eat healthier, yes, but also to search for cute swimsuits or bikinis that work with your current body type and will flatter you just as much as negative levels of body fat will.

When figuring out how to get ready for this summer, try searching for a cute and fun swimsuit that will make you feel good about yourself and your body, no matter how much exercising you’ve done in preparation. You’re beautiful the way you are, don’t let any Pinterest board or advice column tell you otherwise.