Summer should be a time for fun in the sun, long nights, beach trips, and weekend adventures.  However, summer is starting to look more like a giant advertisement for weight loss and self-loathing—Ouch!

Where’s the body positivity when you need it? 

It’s easy to forget your body hang-ups during the winter when you’re allowed to bury yourself under mountains of clothes. But when summer is here, it’s hard to ignore all those negative, self-hating body image issues you’ve kept literally buried. What to do? Lock yourself indoors all summer clothed in baggy tees and jeans? 

But that’s no fun! 

Don’t let a negative body image keep you from enjoying the nice weather. It’s time to embrace body positivity and learn to love yourself this summer.

Stop Scrolling Through Your Feed

Put the phone down! Stop scrolling through Facebook and Instagram; it will only make you feel worse. 

Nothing on social media is 100% real. 

That Instagram model you’re following, who looks amazing in a bikini and owes her success to detox tea—yeah, she was paid to post that; plus she tweaked the image so her waist looks smaller and her skin flawless. And why shouldn’t she? She’s an advertisement trying to get you to feel bad enough about yourself that you’ll buy a product you don’t need. 

Stop comparing yourself to unrealistic images and to other people

She may be a size 2 but hate how big her feet are or how thin her eyebrows are—you don’t know! Body image issues exist in everyone but it shouldn’t keep you from having fun or living life. 

Stop Counting Calories

Counting calories is an unhealthy habit that can be a sign of mental health problems. In this case, a low body image which can, in extreme situations, lead to health disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.  

If you are fortunate enough to live someplace where food is readily available and can actually afford it, it’s a shame to not actually be able to enjoy your food! Eating should be enjoyable; an act that you can do with friends or family or even by yourself to unwind after a long day. 

Counting calories makes you hate eating which in turn makes you hate yourself for even having (or thinking you have to) count calories in the first place! Stop doing this to yourself. Starving yourself won’t make you lose weight and it won’t make you love yourself either. 

Focus on the Good

That Instagram model isn’t perfect and neither are you and that’s okay!

Not to sound cliche, but we are all beautiful. We’re all beautiful in different and unique ways but it’s hard to see that when we all strive to look one specific, and narrow-minded way. Take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror (preferably naked) and find aspects of yourself that you like, something you may have overlooked. Most importantly, see look at these features in a positive way!

Big round eyes or Sultry almond-shaped? 

Long legs or Shapely hips? 

Shiny hair or Bouncy curls? 

Big and strong or Tiny and cute? 

Look at the things you don’t like about yourself and instead of bashing it, complement it and accept these features as a part of yourself, for better or worse. This is your body, the vessel that will take you through life, and it’s the only one you got. 

No one is perfect but there is something beautiful, and uniquely perfect about all of us, we just have to discover it first. 

Strut Your Stuff

Now that you’ve ditched social media and the scale and have identified parts of yourself that you actually like it’s time to strut your stuff. 

What’s the point of body positivity if you don’t actually go out into the world? 

I use to shut myself away because I hated how big my thighs looked in shorts or how my tummy bulged over my waist pants and you know what? I missed out on a lot of fun. I either didn’t go out or I spent the whole time obsessing over how (horrible) I looked. 

Newsflash! No one cares!

And if they do, A) they are not your friends and B) they have some body image issues they’re working through themselves and are just projecting that hate on to you. 

Look, it’s normal to dislike things about ourselves whether they be physical or personality traits. The point is not to let them hold you back. Dress up the part you like about yourself. Wear bold eyeliner to show off your pretty eyes, wear tanks to show off your shapely arms, wear some jeans that pop the booty! 

Or be like me, and choose comfort above all else. Tights all day—every day! 

Embracing body positivity isn’t about vanity, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin and not letting it keep you from the things you want to do in life. 

How will you be enjoying the summer? 

Originally published at