Life

It’s Time To Say Goodbye To The Ideal “Beach Body”

Embrace the body you have – in all its sweaty, summery glory.

Summer has well and truly sunk it’s teeth into the year, delivering 30 degree days and scorching nights. I had to work on one of the first 30-degree days of summer, ready to bath in iced cold soda water and bitch about the heat non-stop. Yet the first thing I saw when I walked in was my work mate smothered in full-length jeans.

“What the fuck babe?” I said. “You are gonna roast! What were you thinking putting those on?” To which she answered, “My legs aren’t summer ready yet”. A sentence that may sound absurd to some, but is painfully relatable to many.

Everyone is familiar with the term “beach body” or “summer body”; the unachievable concept of looking fit, fab and picture perfect in the minimal clothing that summer demands.

Well, I think it’s about time we say goodbye to this absurd fuckery and let women and men embrace their god given bodies at all times of the year – body hair, cellulite, and all.

Being fit and healthy is undeniably a good thing, but not wearing shorts because your legs aren’t “summer ready” needs to stop. I’m all for pushing yourself to be active and enjoy the body that you’re in, but aiming for unrealistic ideals is not good for anyone. We need to stop feeling shit about not shaving our legs everyday, the cellulite on our thighs, not being the right shade of “tanned” and/or the muscles on our chest.

This is about embracing the body you have – in all its sweaty summer glory.

It’s A Narrow Mould

If you type “summer body” into Google images you’ll be flooded by images of toned skinny white women in bikinis and ripped tanned men. This is a hugely narrow body type that most Australians don’t fall into.

The summer body is an oppressive concept conceived to place men and women into specific moulds that are often unachievable. The “beach body” goal is yet another way women and men’s self esteem are getting knocked down by society’s big idealistic foot.

Fellas, We Feel For You Too

Although this is a huge problem women face, it also really affects males.

There’s a really good YouTube video that demonstrates this, showing a bunch of reporters getting photo shopped with men’s ideal body types, proving just how unattainable they really are. As it turns out there are just as many David Beckham body types as there are Miranda Kerr’s.

It truly is about time we started enjoying our bodies for what they are

At the end of the video, one guy says, “Improve yourself because you want to, and because you enjoy it, not because you’re trying to achieve an ideal that someone has told you you should fit.”

Here, here! It truly is about time we started enjoying our bodies for what they are rather than constantly trying to fit them into the status quo.

Times Are A Changin’

Luckily we’re starting to see some change. With the body positivity movement gaining some traction, we get to see just how amazing and different our natural bodies are.

YouTuber Loey Lane, for example, recently took on society’s expectations on how women should look during the hot months in her very sarcastic video, “Fat Girl Summer Dress Code”. Some celebs are even poking fun at the bikini body notion, such as Amy Schumer who Instagrammed herself in a bikini with the hashtag #wherewasmyparisfashionweekinvite.

Feeling crumby about your body as a result of society’s standards of beauty sucks. It really does. But it’s about time we all tap into this movement, embrace our god given bodies, and not let it stop us having fun in the summertime.

Because as it turns out, having a body and it being summer means you have a summer body! Yay! Fuck you society. As I read on a Pinterest post recently, “Self confidence is the best outfit”. Yeah it is, and it’s best worn however you’re body naturally comes. Boo-ya!