Summer peeks around the corner and – bam! – here they are, the same lame claims as every year:
“Super-skinny in 30 days!“
“Super-toned thanks to bootcamp-workouts.“
“Super-healthy with this detox-fast.“
“Super-steely six-pack-abs in three days.“
They take all the fun out of the bathing season, right?
With the empty promise to turn into some avatar-style goddess within a few weeks (if, and only IF, we’re willing to free ourselves of our money, our mental capacity, our precious time, and—overall—our dignity) a carrot gets hung in front of our noses. And as the proverbial donkey, we start going after it. Our self-worth is hijacked, and we become convinced that we’re not cute/skinny/toned enough to wear a bikini the way we are right now, and that we therefore can’t shamelessly enjoy the heck out of summer.
The way the word “bikini-body“ is being tossed around, we’ve come to believe that it’s a badge of honor indicating our worth—WHICH IS FLIPPING ENRAGING! I mean, seriously. Has humanity lost its mind? Argh. If it weren’t so tragic, we could stop for a second and see how ridiculous it all is.
But because most of us bought into this crap, we have obediently started to go after that carrot dangling in front of our noses. Inevitably, just as many of us have experienced the ensuing misery: Hunger, shitty mood, peculiar obsession with anything food- and/or fitness-related, loss of carefree joy of life, loss of self-worth, missed out opportunities for sweet memories with friends and loved ones, and—sooner or later—THE FAILURE. For which we took the blame, every time.
Why, one might ask, do women run from one restrictive “lifestyle“ (they can’t be called diets anymore, these days, that would be too obvious) to the next, be it by detoxing, fasting, clean-eating, low-carbing (read: zero-fun-eating) and—at the same time—exhaust themselves with increasingly insane workout-habits? Why are women willing to treat themselves like slaves just to lose those “last 10 pounds“?
Probably not because it’s SO MUCH FUN, right?
Probably not because it’s NOT working for them long-term, right?
And HOPEFULLY not because they don’t have bigger dreams in life, right?
So, why? WHY?
It’s logical. For one, there’s only one single type of body that is being represented in the media. We are literally being bombarded by the message that, we can ALL look like that, and that we better get our damned asses moving if we want to be accepted in society.
So we start to feel guilty and ashamed for not looking like the people we see on TV and in the magazines. And don’t get me get started on the ads! From cars to breakfast cereal, from travel companies to cat food, from headache medicine to contact lenses; the men and women we see make up the very smallest percentage of the general population.
AND they’re photoshopped. Please. How could anyone be immune to that?
In the US alone, the diet-industry is making 60 billion Dollars off of our body-shame. 60 BILLION Dollars! That, my friends, is a fucking lot of money. Read: That’s a fucking lot of people spending a fucking lot of, just to find that happiness that’s being promised at the end of the diet-rainbow. (So if you belong to those few who went unfazed by all that toxicity, tell me how you do it!)
I was one of believers. Year after year after year I did my very best to “better“ my body.
Restricting food all day, only eating dinner. No exceptions (for 8 years straight).
Brainfog from hunger.
Inevitable binge-eating attacks.
Punishing exercise routines (daily, for 8 years straight) that drove me into the ground. (Mind you, people applauded me for it. “Woooow!” they said.“You’ve got so much discipline, I wish I could be like you“… Uhm. No. You don’t).
And since we are leading examples, girls start to go after that dream-body at ever younger ages. There is hungering, joyless-to-compulsively restrictive eating, obsessive exercising, in many cases vomiting (at which I—thank GOD—never had any success), dreaming of cosmetic surgery. Everything; just to be skinny. Yet the only ones who get to be as happy as everyone is dreaming to be, are the giants of the diet-industry.
In truth, we all aren’t meant to look the same. Just as no apple tree looks exactly like any other, and just as every apple tree is a small miracle, so are we. Let’s stop comparing our branches and leaves, our fruits and trunks with the trees surrounding us and feeling miserable. Bellies aren’t supposed to be flat, and no ass is supposed to look like the photoshopped version of J-Lo’s. None of us is meant to “fit an ideal“. Each and every one of us are exactly as lovable as everyone else, we are all more than allowed to fully accept ourselves and show up at the beach.
I want to see a generation of girls growing up to be proud in their unique bodies. To live in them with confidence and ease, and to spend their time, creating great stuff in this world.
Screw those who want to go after some sort of “bikini-body“.
You already have it.
Summer is yours!
At any size.