Take our free quiz, to get matched with a therapist.

Empowering Women's Journeys

The Truth About “Beach Body” & Self Esteem in the Summer

a girl near beach

What do we do when summer doesn’t make as feel as carefree as we’d like to be? It’s natural to want to head to the beach, relax with our loved ones, and bask in the sun. But as we plan these activities, we’re vulnerable to criticizing our bodies and becoming hyper focused on the concept of the “beach body”.

This term is built on decades of societal pressures and expectations about what women should look like in swimsuits. And what a shame! It’s a narrow, misguided perspective of a healthy female body. This can have a deep impact on our self esteem at a time when we should be soaking in some extra vitamin D.

Let’s explore the truth about the beach body and how to navigate self-esteem challenges this summer.

The Beach Body is a Myth

We’ve all got that elusive beach body image in our head: it’s a specific body type that’s slim, toned, oiled, and flawless. This portrayal is reinforced by models in advertisements, influencers on our social media feeds, and celebrities on television. 

But the idea that it’s the perfect way to look for the summer (or for any other season!) is ridiculous. It does not accurately represent the vast diversity of female bodies in the world. 

The beach body myth also harms men: it pushes them to pursue a very specific type of woman in a world where awesome women come in all shapes and sizes. And men have their own beach body insecurities, too.

The Realities of Body Image

For many, the pressure to achieve the beach body can trigger an avalanche of negative thoughts and emotions:

  1. Comparison Trap: Comparing oneself to the idealized images seen in the media can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism.
  2. Fear of Judgment: Concerns about how others perceive one’s body can create anxiety and discomfort, particularly when wearing revealing swimwear.
  3. Impact on Mental Health: Persistent dissatisfaction with one’s body can contribute to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or disordered eating.

Redefining the Beach Body

It’s time to challenge the notion of the “beach body” and redefine what it means to feel confident and comfortable during the summer:

  • Remember that your body is unique and is not meant to conform to someone else’s standards. Celebrate the individuality of your body and the experiences it allows you to enjoy.
  • Emphasize the experiences and memories you can create during the summer, rather than fixating on how your body looks in a swimsuit.

Navigating Self-Esteem Challenges

Here are some ways to navigate self-esteem challenges and cultivate a healthy relationship with your body this summer:

Be conscious of your time on social media

Every time you scroll past someone who looks tall and slim, with a tiny waist and large breast and six-pack abs—stop and take a quick breather. A lot of work goes into achieving this kind of body, which is okay. It might be a combination of diet, exercise, physical enhancements, angling, and good lighting. And that’s okay!

Now, if you don’t feel like going through that grind yourself, then that’s also an equally valid choice. Your body does an awesome job of keeping you up and running, even if it’s just to get through the daily routine, so don’t let the social media gurus get to you.In the future, you could try curating your feeds to include diverse representations of body types and positive messages.

Practice self-compassion and mindfulness

Be kind to yourself and recognize that everyone has insecurities. Think of it this way: you’ve been living in your body for as long as you can remember. Naturally, you’ll be more conscious of your body and your quirks. 

One way to navigate through your insecurities is to focus on the things your body can do, such as swimming, dancing, or enjoying a walk on the beach. These abilities are worth celebrating.

Overall, your body has helped you get through 100% of all your bad days. No matter how tired, sad, upset, frustrated, or angry you were or continue to be, it’s the vessel that lets you try again another day. Embrace your body as it is and practice gratitude for all it allows you to do.

Dress for both comfort and confidence 

Back in the day, one common piece of advice was to buy clothes a size smaller so that you’d feel motivated to work out. But think of all the pressure that puts on you. Choose swimwear and clothing based on how they make you feel rather than how you look.

Surround yourself with people who hype you up

Spend time with friends and family who uplift and support you. Avoid people who fixate on the amount of calories they consume, monitor their weight daily, or indulge in other self-destructive habits.

And if you find that your body image concerns significantly impact your wellbeing, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in body image issues. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. 

Make sure to celebrate your journey to self-love

Finally, acknowledge your progress and the steps you’ve taken to embrace your body and improve your self-esteem. Celebrate the small victories.

Conclusion

Summer should be a time of joy and relaxation, free from the burden of societal pressures around body image. By challenging the myth of the “beach body” and prioritizing your self-esteem, you can navigate the summer with confidence and appreciation for your unique self. Remember, your body is a beautiful vessel that carries you through life, and it deserves to be celebrated just as it is.

More Blogs

Women’s feelings and emotions have evolved throughout our history. From primal emotions tied to survival to the intricate tapestry of learned social emotions like empathy and compassion, our emotional landscape has grown and transformed.

Burnout

Are You Overworked? How to Recover From Burnout

When a world of opportunities presents itself to us, we can’t help but feel like we need to do everything at once. It’s probably a big reason why women today often juggle multiple roles: their careers, motherhood, and household chores, most commonly.

View More

Fill Your Bucket With Dear Eliza

Where you’re not just a client, you’re part of our vibrant, group of women who are putting themselves first. Let’s embark on this adventure together, because life’s a whole lot better when we’re in it together. 
With bucket loads of love and positivity!

Stay Connected

Subscribe to Dear Eliza for advice from “Eliza” herself and monthly touch points on ways you can fill your bucket!



    Join us for a free webinar

    Enter your e-mail address below to join for an upcoming webinar