By: Devin Riggs, Regular Contributor
Last week I was browsing the swimsuit section contemplating whether to mix it up this summer with a sassy new suit. Standing in the fitting room, mirrors all around me, I caught myself in a moment of self-deprecation. I noticed how my stomach bulged out, my chest didn’t fill out the tops quite as nicely as the models on display seemed to, and I realized I hadn’t shaved my legs in a long time.
I found one or two suits I liked, but my confidence in pulling them off waivered as I thought about actually purchasing anything. It was a stressful moment, and I thought, “Why am I so worried about this?”
Weight loss companies, like Protein World, profit from that one single glance in the mirror. They feed off our desire to be good enough, to live up to those ridiculously high expectations we see in magazines and movies (thanks Photoshop…). They surround us with ads asking, “Are you beach body ready?”
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? WHY DO YOU CARE IF I’M BEACH BODY READY?
Are you asking if I’ve taken swim lessons? Yes I have.
Are you asking if I’m prepared to sit on the beach with my friends or read a good book? I’m pretty sure I can handle that.
Are you asking if I’ve stocked up on sunscreen? With my fair skin, I don’t go to the beach without it.
Those seem like the only reasonable follow up questions one would ask. And yet, we all know what it really means. Does your body meet our expectations?
So here we are…again, talking about how the media and big corporations are profiting off our insecurities, feeding us lies about our self-worth, pushing us toward self-destruction… claiming it as confidence rejuvenation. Starting at a very young age, we are told that we are not good enough. With the expansive and saturated world of technology and social media, we are constantly exposed to these impossible standards. And we spend our entire lives trying to meet them, sometimes to a dangerous degree.
And a lot of people are fed up with it.
While I don’t know if we’ve reached “the tipping point,” Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his book of the same name, we are at the cusp of a revolution. The backlash has been substantial as Protein World ads are defaced, a petition is being signed, and activists are speaking out. We are reclaiming our curves. We are fighting back. We are changing the message.
If you want to go to the beach, go to the beach. Wear whatever you want, whatever feels comfortable, whatever feels sexy, whatever feels confident. And wear it for you…not for them.
Your body is ready to rock the beach, no preparation necessary. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Let's Chat! What's you favorite thing about your fabulous beach bod? How do you rock your confidence at the beach? Share it with us here!
Devin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.
image via dailymail.co.uk