SELFCARE SUNDAY: SUMMER BODIES

16:17:00

Summer is a funny time of the year. It is supposed to be completely light-hearted, made up of long days by the lake or pool or the sea followed by barbecues with friends, lots of drinks outside and dancing the night away until dawn. However for many of us, summer comes with its unique set of pressures and anxieties. The idea of a bikini or summer body can be found absolutely everywhere these days, there´s bikini body diets, workouts and detoxes all over glossy magazines, social media and TV channels. There is a clear and precise idea of which bodies should be allowed to be seen and shown in summer and which ones are shameful and deserve only to be hidden away. When we think of bikini bodies many of us share a very similar idea: that of a skinny, toned body fitting into a size small at most.


I personally have wasted an intense amount of summers and hot days hidden away inside, instead of in a bikini, precisely, because I felt I did not fit into these clear standards and measurements. During my teenage years, when my body changed from very flat-chested and skinny 14-year old to relatively curvy 16-year old I was called fat on the daily. There was a group of guys in my class, who made fun of the way I looked and they made sure I felt ugly and unworthy every day. Being fat became the worst thing I could possibly be. It became the reason I was bullied in school and why going to school was hell to me every day. So I learned that being fat was something that deserved to be shamed and laughed at and used against me, because it was inherently bad to be fat. And I deeply felt like it was ultimately my fault that I was fat, that I was simply too greedy, too lazy, too undisciplined to be skinny and that because I was not able to loose weight, that I deserved to be made fun of by others. This ideas was not only ingrained into my by the idiot boys in my class, but by the magazines I read and the shows I watched, in which diets were advertised and the popular kids were always skinny, long-legged white girls. I am no longer in high school and I no longer get called names for how my body looks, but deep down inside of me, many of these ideas persist and have a weird power over how I think and behave.

I am aware that this comes from someone, who fits into a size medium, who works out and eats healthy and has visible abs. I fulfill many of the ideals sold to us and I am aware of my skinny privilege, of how ridiculous it may sound to many that I used to feel so insecure and hateful about my body.  But the idea that our bodies are somehow wrong or false the way they are and that they are in constant and dire need of improvement, the idea that there is something inherently wrong with anybody, who is not a size 36 or who has no extra fat on their body is still promoted all across Instagram and magazines on the daily and ingrained into almost every little girl and boy out there. I can´t count how many fad diets I tried, how many times 16 year old me cried because of the way I looked or how many times I decided not to wear shorts or a dress or a bikini. Our society (despite the very honourable efforts of many) still values skinny bodies more than fat ones. And the idea, that if we are not skinny or don´t have a giant ass, tiny waist and huge tits it is our fault for lacking discipline, for not being mindful enough, for being too lazy is sold to us in a million if not billion dollar industry. That is just our lack of discipline or willingness to have the right body type. That if we just tried a little harder, worked out more and ate less we can easily achieve the ideal. It is simply our own fault, that we are too fat.

This narrative is made even worse by fitness influencers and diet gurus selling easy fixes. While we may have learned to distrust huge companies (and many of us still don´t manage to do that and still happily purchase Skinny Teas and juice cleanses), we trust the influencers we follow. We feel like they are more honest, more real and that if we just do as they do we can achieve the same results. It is almost the same as fake before and after photos, just worse because these are actual people, which we like to believe in so much more. We trust them, we follow their daily lives. And yet an intense amount of these people restrict food, work out excessively and possibly even suffer from eating disorders. Yet worse: they make money of catering to your insecurities.

With the entire society, with social media stars and huge companies selling us the idea, that we are not good enough, that we are only worthy if we look a certain way, that we need to hide away and body that does not fulfill an intense set of ideals what can we do? We can try to realise that these ideas are lies, that have been fed to us from the youngest possible age. That these lies are fed to us constantly to make us feel less than, to make us feel ashamed, to make us feel worthless so that we are willing to buy products to stop us from feeling this way, so that we are constantly occupied with something as trivial as our weight, our looks, to make money from our insecurities and self hatred. And once you can begin to understand this, you can slowly and carefully begin to work on loving yourself. Just as you are. To allow yourself to be okay with who and what you are. A little more every day.


It would be a massive lie to tell you I am happy with how my body looks. I am not. I am not sure I will ever be. Despite my best efforts, despite logically being aware that the body that was sold to me as ideal and the only one worth loving, is unattainable, I still feel like it is my personal fault, that is is because of my lack of persistence and discipline, that I do not look like the girls on cover pages or on Instagram. I would be lying to you if I would not tell you that I feel horrible when I see the number on the scale go up. I have worked out more this year than ever before. I am coming increasingly closer to be able to open a bag of chips and close it again. I am more aware of my unhealthy eating patterns, of how I am using food to cope with emotions. I am more happy to wear a bikini and tight clothes today than ever before. I am working against the idea that I am not enough, that I am less than because I do not fit into a size zero every single day. But it´s still hard for me. I still feel like I may never truly be happy if I am not skinny, whatever that means.

I may not love my body every single day. But I am not willing to leave the fucktards, who bullied me in high school or the dumb bitches on Instagram or a million dollar company selling tea, that makes you shit yourself dictate how I live my life. I am no longer willing to starve myself and over exercise for six months so that the three weeks, the weather is actually nice in Germany I can look acceptable. I am no longer willing to binge in secret while eating salad in public, to miss out on birthday dinners or cakes at the office or a chocolate bar while I am on the go just to fit a standard, that is simply bullshit.

I eat relatively healthy, but I try to do it because I feel better when I eat more nutrient dense food than chips and candy. But I also work on no longer demonising foods. On no longer looking at food as black and white, but simply as something that I enjoy and that helps me live my daily life. I try to exercise, because I largely feel better, because I feel stronger and I don´t longer have back pain, because Yoga grounds me and running is fun. And I have given up on weighing myself. Because last week I felt absolutely worthless when the number had gone up, despite people telling me I look thinner and my clothes fitting better and changed measurements I am so attached to the number on the scale for my worth, that I can´t look at it logically. I am pretty sure it will be a life-long battle and an uphill one as well, because we live in a society, that constantly tells us how we should look and how wrong it is to look completely different from that ideal.

I can´t tell you how to truly love your body, because I am not there yet. But I can tell you that it is bullshit to waste summer or days by the lake or getting a tan or enjoying the sun, because of how you look and how others made you feel about your body. Our bodies love us so fucking much. They carry us everyday, they fight against infections, heal our bruises, shed old cells and keep us breathing happy and alive. Why can´t we value them for that? Why can´t we stop beating them up for doing what makes most sense biologically, for storing a little extra fat to make it through winters and especially for women to produce babies, to make it through times when we are sick and through periods. And I feel like we should value them for this and be kind to them for the few months a year where it is warmer. I hope you rock a bikini this summer baby no matter how you look. I hope you eat loads of icecream and barbecue food and you go back for seconds, because it is damn good. I hope you have a happy, light, brilliant summer at whatever size you are. And I do truly hope you get to do that for the rest of your life. Because it truly is too short to skip out on dessert or going skinny dipping, because of some godamn dumb ideal.

You Might Also Like

0 Kommentare

Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!

Subscribe