It was a lousy summer day at work when we decided to take a break for lunch. We headed to the cafeteria and instead of opting for my usual Spaghetti, I ordered something which I’ve run away from my entire life– A Salad. “I need to get my summer body on!” I said as I sadly swallowed my salad amid the burgers and nuggets my friends hogged on.
In a world where Instagram models set the benchmark of ‘acceptable’ body standards, we’ve all been guilty of clickbait-ing ourselves into “How to get a summer body in 3 weeks!” and comparing ourselves to bronzed up, smooth-skinned, infallible (and photoshopped) models. I know I have. Precisely why the ‘summer body’ fad becomes problematic. It reiterates and normalizes in public discourse, the notion that our existing body—‘winter body’—needs change.
Taking care of yourself is essential. Working out and eating healthy is wholesome. All of this at the cost of your happiness isn’t. We live in an era of feminism and body positivity, but still end up following a singular definition of beauty, one propagated by brands and magazines. We chase to fit into the ideals created by billion dollar industries thriving solely by monetizing our insecurities.
What is a summer body anyway? Since when did we need a physical entry exam for seasonal existence? You have a summer body. It is the same as your winter body. So, I’ll slurp my Spaghetti if that brings me happiness, or eat a salad, if that does it. Summer body or not, I’m over it. You should be too.