It’s that time of year again, when we are bombarded with the message that we are not good enough as we are. From juice fasts to firming lotions, superfoods to diet fads, we are instructed to take drastic action in order to make our bodies acceptable for summer. The message is masked beneath a disguise of health and wellness, with gurus swearing that we’ll never feel better once we have endured the cleansing effect of a laxative-like detox tea or that our bodies will thank us for periods of starvation with only liquidised kale for nutrition.
The notion beneath the fads is that we must change; our bodies must become smaller or leaner, tanner or more toned, hairless and blemish-free. We must conceal our imperfections because the world would end if a glimpse of cellulite was spotted or a tummy fold caught on camera. Except…the world wouldn’t end. Not even an eyelid would be batted, because at the end of the day, we are all in exactly the same boat.
We all have our hang-ups and we all have our insecurities. Whether it’s the size of your thighs or the size of your pores you obsess over, we can all relate. Sags and bags and acne and moles, we all have these individual features that society deems imperfect and unsuitable for show. But they’re what make us human, and instead of saturating social media with methods to hide or eliminate these aspects of ourselves, the message we should be spreading is that it’s okay not to be freakishly flawless. It’s okay to not look like the models in the magazines because they aren’t real: those images are altered and brushed up, legs are lengthened and skin is clarified. In reality, there is no such thing as perfection.
So instead of tearing each other down by fixating on our flaws and obsessing over the latest way to banish belly fat or blitz bingo wings, let’s just love our bodies as they are and celebrate what they can do. You don’t need to starve yourself or exercise to exhaustion. You don’t need to eat something you hate because some unqualified blogger says it’ll help you tone up. You don’t need to do a detox or a cleanse because you have kidneys that do that for you.
All you need to do, is focus on loving yourself and your body, and spread a message of self-compassion. What you put out into the world will always matter more than the size of your waist or your body fat percentage, so don’t put yourself through hell in order to be ‘beach body ready.’ Because guess what?
You already are.