As a travel blogger, I’m hearing more and more of the term “summer ready.” I tend to ignore this phrase. For me, this phrase carries an underlying message of a particular type of body to have during the summer months. This message tends to put pressure on people to change their bodies during the summer months. Just as there is no perfect time to travel, there is no ideal body to be had for the summer. Here are a few ideas on accepting yourself as you are and being summer/travel-ready anytime.
There is a range of summer clothing and swimwear, and there is also a range of body types and sizes. Find people and sites to follow that allow you to feel accepted and empowered. In my recent travels to beach destinations, I find comfort in seeing the variety of body shapes and sizes and comfortable people in their skin. Know that no two people are the same and enjoy the skin you’re in.
Acknowledge the why behind advertising and marketing. For example, brands are trying to sell their products. So they focus on who they think will purchase the products being sold. Acknowledge that everything you see is not for you and focus on what you believe represents you. When you become more focused on yourself rather than the product, you become more aligned to accepting the body you have over the body you want.
Embrace body positivity. Traveling allows us to recognize the vast differences in cultural norms. It also reinforces that what some see as beauty in the body can be different from what others perceive. But, again, we must realize the role marketing plays in what we are meant to assume is the perfect body image. Do not allow others to affect your enjoyment of the summer months based on their perceptions.
Recognize that your body is not seasonal. The same body that takes you through winter and fall is the same body that takes you through spring and summer. We are constantly growing and changing. If you feel the need to change your body at any time, feel free to do so. However, we should never feel pressured to pursue an exterior body standard. Instead, stay healthy and happy and focus on loving yourself as you are.
Do you feel pressure to have a summer body? If so, why? I’d like to know.