Summer is upon us, and with it, shorts and dresses and swimwear.
Whether you’re going to the beach on vacation, or just trying to cope with the Arkansas heat, summer means less fabric and more skin.
For some, this fact can lead to a crisis: Am I too fat? Too skinny? Too lumpy? Not fit enough? Man or woman, baring skin can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have the body of a Victoria’s Secret or Calvin Klein model.
Thus, we begin preparing months ahead of time for our “beach bodies.”
We try to force our bodies to fit the image of the perfectly tanned and toned figures of those we see in popular culture and, admittedly, all around us.
We get frustrated when, no matter how hard we try, we still find ourselves comparing our “insufficient” bodies to that girl down the beach or that guy walking down the street.
Enough is enough. It is admirable to work for a healthier, more fit you; working out and eating right is perfectly fine and we should probably all do it more often.
However, the vast majority of us, no matter how healthy we are, will never achieve the “beach body” of our dreams. And that is perfectly okay.
Summer should not lead us into existential crises. We shouldn’t have to constantly compare ourselves to others to feel validated or unworthy.
Here’s my advice: If you find yourself staring with envy at that individual that has “achieved” what you cannot, keep in mind that standards of beauty change constantly, and a lot of it comes down to the genetic lottery.
Eat well, take a walk or a hike and have fun.
You won’t get to enjoy summer for long, and there’s no point beating yourself up because your particular genetics didn’t line up to a size zero —or whatever the ideal size for men is.
Trust me, even when you are that person that everyone envies, you still envy someone.
We are constantly chasing what we do not have, and life is too short to let something so superficial stand in the way of happiness and self confidence.
Love yourself, curves and lumps and stretch marks and angles and all. And please, enjoy your small respite from life, because it won’t last long.