Collage by: Lucy
Article by: Jazmine Alcon
I loved hearing myths as a child. There was an eternal and legendary aura that they carried. As summer rears its head so does a certain myth I distinctly remember: The Legend of the “Summer Body”. The legend in particular tells of bikinis and how only a certain body type and gender can wear them, golden washboard abs so treasured and adored, and the terrifying monster of unshaved legs and chubbiness. I have heard the repetitive monologue of “I need to work out and look good for summer” or “God, I cannot go out looking like this in the summer. I am so screwed!” As a society, we have put an extremely large and overbearing amount of pressure on body image, especially once summer shows it’s pretty little face. This myth has become one for sirens and we are sailors being lured into our own dooms.
Summer has always been a time of mixed feelings for many. While we are overjoyed that school is out, anxiety starts to crash, hitting us with the fact that not only is school out, so are our buns and guns, and are we really ready for such things? We have constantly been fed the illusion that it is only acceptable for us to go to the beach and feel confident in ourselves only if we have flat tummies, rock hard abs, great biceps, and bangin’ leg muscles. If you do not have at least one of those things, you have been manipulated to feel ashamed, as if you have not worked hard enough or are overall unhealthy and should not feel good about the body that you have been blessed with.
The “Summer Body” myth has been retold over and over again to generation after generation. It is a vicious cycle that is more prevalent that is more prevalent than self-love and spreading it. I am allowed to have chub and flaunt it. Working towards a healthier lifestyle is amazing, but you should not feel obligated to go the gym if you do not want to. You should not feel less than your worth because your tummy is sticking out over the button of your jeans. You should not feel less than your worth because you do not have rock hard abs. You should not feel less than your worth because your butt is not big. You should not feel less than your worth because you are who you are. These things should not be transformed into flaws, rather we should treat it as a decoration of the home we have built with our muscle, bones, body, and mind. Do not ever let mainstream media tell you what you can and cannot look like. Do not let Twitter tell you that you cannot be a certain weight and not wear bikinis. Do not let Instagram make you feel like you have to stay at home in the dark under your blankets because you do not look like the people you follow. Do not let people tell you that your body is not right for whatever you want to wear. The questions you should be asking yourself are: Do YOU feel good in it? Do YOU feel like you could crush a whole army in those jeans? Do YOU feel like a God/Goddess in that crop top you just bought? THEN WEAR IT!
Say it with me: I am allowed to have small boobs and flaunt it. I am allowed to have big boobs and flaunt it. I am allowed to have fake boobs and flaunt it. I am allowed to have a big butt and flaunt it. I am allowed to have a small but and flaunt it. I am allowed to be skinny and flaunt it. I am allowed to be fat and flaunt it. I am allowed to be who I am and flaunt it.Let us remake the myth of “The Summer Body” to be something that makes everyone feel proud of who they are and what they look like. Let us remake the myth to become a fairy tale rather than a horror story for people that don’t fit the conventional beauty standards. Let us remake the myth to represent the world, diverse, different, individual, unique, and eternally beautiful.