Regardless of your own unique style, the reality of summer attire is that in general, it tends to be rather naked. Which, if you have a body (since you’re reading this, we assume you do), then you know — (and I know) — that despite the chill vibes summer is *supposed* to bring, it can, and often does, run a series of zero-chill criticisms, body-image insecurities, and tremendously toxic thoughts down the spine. So, in an effort to change the conversation, put an end to the self-sabotaging ‘beach body’ shaming (for good!), and make self-love your mantra all season – scratch that, all year long, The Summer of Self-Love continues with, What NOT To Do At The Beach.
From the girls who have done them all. (Even #8.)
The 8 Beach Behaviors You Definitely Want To Avoid
1. Scan yourself (or anyone else) for cellulite.
Cellulite is nothing more than fat deposits beneath the skin pushing against connective tissue. It’s one million percent normal and it happens to (almost) all of us including Instagram models, Hollywood movie stars, and Beyonce (well… maybe not Beyonce).
2. Wear a swimsuit you’re not comfortable in.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It took me a long time to realize that wearing something I’m worried about wearing isn’t a good fit. And don’t be discouraged if what was once your go-to barely there bikini bottom now barely covers half a cheek. We’re not robots, and we were not made in a factory. Our bodies will change from year to year, season to season, even day to day. Last year’s style is better suited for last year’s you, anyway. THIS is who you are right now. Work on loving her because she's who you've got.
3. Judge other women’s bodies.
“She is soooo skinny!”
“I wish I looked like that!”
"Well at least I don't look like her." (I know, terrible.)
I wish I could get back all the time and energy I've spent (and continue to spend) appraising my “flaws” and how I measure up against my delusionary idea of “perfect.”
I know that the idea of a "perfect” body is an outrageously toxic social construct.
I know how blessed I am to have a body that does (mostly) everything I ask of it.
I know that your body is YOUR body and my body is MY body, and I know that despite what the media tells us, our bodies are not objects to be judged. But this idea, that our bodies are objects to be judged, is so deeply engrained in our psyches it’s incredibly difficult to stop. I’m still working on it. I would like to look at a pair of legs and just think: “Those are legs.” No judgement, no comparison, no narrative, no nothing, but as with most things, easier said than done. I’ve recently come to accept myself as a work in progress and honest awareness is always the first step to changing any kind of behavior.
4. Engage in cruel commentary.
I'm not sure if it's the sweaty temps, sun soaked brain cells, lack of clothing or a combination, but beach days tend to bring out our judgey-ist inner appraisers. Per the above recommendation for all the same reasons, let’s do our best to shut her up for the time being shall we? Stop shaming other people for their swimsuits, hairstyles, selfie sticks, etc. It does not matter how many selfies the girl sitting next to you just snapped. It has nothing to do with you. And on the flipside, stop shaming yourself!
5. Listen to cruel commentary.
Even if you’re not the one doing the talking, if you’re anything like me — rather, the fresh-faced 15-25 year-old version of me — listening to other people’s self-deprecating complaints (ill-intended or not) is also toxic. If your brain reads: “If my perfect ten friends are upset with their perfect ten bodies, how much of a disappointment is my own???” Catch that thought! Try your best to change the conversation IRL and in your head. If your friends just won’t quit (you can control you but girls can be girls), go for a dip. Saltwater is the ultimate cure all.
6. Eat sh*t foods.
Consider this: You are as fresh as the foods you eat. If your beach bag is packed with processed snacks, salty foods, and summer shandys, it’s safe to say you’re not going to feel your best. Continuously feeding yourself this kind of cuisine is to quote Ree, our resident literista, “Like putting low-grade fuel into your Bugatti. You wouldn’t put low-grade fuel into your Bugatti, right? Your body is a Bugatti.”
Okay, this seems obvious but please hydrate. Dehydration can easily ruin your day at the beach and spending a full day in the sun means you’re going to need a lot more water than usual (especially if you’re used to spending the day behind a desk!). Pack a cooler and be prepared. Remember, your body is a Bugatti.
8. Intentionally or unintentionally starve yourself.
Abide by the two most important unspoken rules of Veganism: Bring food & don’t starve yourself. Maybe those are just our rules? Either way, it’s good advice whether you’re vegan, not vegan, or just wrapped up in the elusive allure of “skinny.”
Your body is a Bugatti. Treat it as such.
Thoughts? Tips? Things to say? Share with us below! This space is as much yours as it is ours and we LOVE to hear your words!