We’ve all been there. Standing in a make-shift closet, flooded with the cellulite magnifying light of a fluorescent bulb in a sea of two pieces, one pieces, mono-kinis and sarongs, doing our best to sob silently, only to be interrupted by the change-room attendant.
“Is everything ok in there?”
To which we respond: “I’m fine! ALLERGIES!”
Sometime during the last fifty years, the four months formally known as summer started being referred to as “bikini season.” No longer do our brains view this season as a time to enjoy the great outdoors or to ease into flip-flops instead of struggle into boots, rather it’s the season of stress-induced-sit-ups and swearing off sugar.
We’ve somehow managed to participate and at times, propagate the idea of getting our bodies “swimsuit ready.” It’s as if we’re agreeing that the state of or body becomes more valuable and worth our attention and effort when it’s on display for all to see.
Excuse me, but this is my body.
These are our bodies. Our bodies! The vessels of our lives! Our days, our months, our minutes, our hours, our seconds, our memories! You can’t have any of those things without a body to accommodate the experience.
We’ve become caught in a world that seems to have somehow juxtaposed what beautiful looks like from about 100 different angles. It’s impossible to scroll through any sort of social media venue without seeing some sort of hashtag that qualifies, verifies and solidifies what beauty really looks like.
#strongisthenewskinny #curvy #plussize #paperchallenge #effyourbeautystandards
Making matters worse, there seems to be an underlying disdain amongst women who follow one hashtag versus the other. Stuff like this sounds so ridiculous when we take the time to say it out loud.
It’s literally impossible to satisfy any one school of thought when it comes to agreeing upon what our bodies should look like. Perhaps there’s a dose of wisdom amidst that madness.
If it’s impossible to make everyone else happy, maybe we should focus our efforts on making us happy.
It’s not about fitting in a bikini. It’s not about turning heads on the beach. It’s about treating our bodies with respect. In all ways. At all times.