There is a surefire way to attain the perfect summer body. It doesn’t require a diet made up of lettuce and honey water, or training for an Iron Man; it simply requires a change in perspective. Want to know the secret to the perfect summer body? You already have it.
Despite what “Game of Thrones” might have you believe, winter is not coming. Summer is here (well almost here), and jean shorts, swimsuits and bro tanks are upon us.
For many people, the change in weather is more than welcome. However, for those of us who like to pack on weight in the winter like a bear before hibernation, summer can seem daunting. Clothes may not fit correctly, but every Instagram model with a detox tea promises that shedding the summer weight will be as easy as four payments of $49.95.
Freshman student McKenna Lilja shared her own reservations: “I have not been positive to my body and treated it with respect.”
When it comes to showing off her body for summer, Lilja stated, “It’s just like homework and projects. You would not give a professor of your favorite class a project or assignment that you did not finish or positively work on and you are not happy with.”
Lilja’s sentiment, and those of many other students, are that their bodies are like objects, vulnerable to judgment and criticism.
I’m proposing a solution: instead of dieting or killing ourselves with intense exercise, we embrace our bodies this summer. Just as people are supportive of those trying to physically better themselves by losing weight, we need to learn how to support one another as we evolve mentally in learning to love our bodies. Most importantly, we need to treat others with the same compassion we would hope to receive in our more self-conscious moments.
It’s important to acknowledge how big a shift in cognition this can be for some people. Social media sites perpetuate standards of beauty and excellence that don’t reflect reality. It’s the rare person who shares images of themselves that highlight those curved and “imperfect” angles. Even at NDSU, I cannot count the number of times I have heard a student refer to themselves as “fat” or insist on the need to lose weight.
What’s so fascinating about all these encounters is that most people never even notice a friend has gained weight. Followers won’t look at an Instagram post and marvel at how skinny a person’s arms look in a picture. Nobody sees that pimple on your chin until you tell them how annoying you think it is.
College-aged individuals are so incredibly hard on themselves when the truth is that those that love and care about them see beauty where they see flaws. In order to find the perfect summer body, people just need to try to embrace the beauty others see in them versus the faults they see in themselves.
Those individuals who are labeled as the ideal share just as many insecurities as anyone else. While striving to be healthier can build self-confidence, it’s important to not lose what makes a person uniquely beautiful in the quest for the perfect picture.
An NDSU where everyone looks the same would be an unbelievable shame. There is beauty in every body type, every skin color and every individual, especially in those who can’t see that beauty in themselves.
So, if you’re trying to get that perfect summer body, just remember: you already have it.