Instagram is flooded with a myriad of selfies showing revealing, sun kissed bodies on holiday, by the pool or at the beach. It’s what summer is all about; yet, it can cause problems for many impressionable young (and older) people who suffer with body confidence issues, as often it can create an unrealistic beauty standard that they feel they should aspire to achieve.
However, the problem with this is that photos on social media are barely ever almost always airbrushed, photoshopped or filtered prior to being posted, so the bodies we see can sometimes be completely unachievable without the use of enhancing applications, items to alter the body (e.g. waist trainers) or even plastic surgery. This is something you have to keep in mind, nobody looks perfect from every angle and photos posted online showcase only the very best of them - a person may take 50 photos before picking and editing the one which appears on your social media feed - to you it looks effortless, but looks can be deceiving.
It’s perfectly okay to post pictures which are revealing and accentuate your best features - we should celebrate what gives us confidence! It only becomes a problem if you start to compare yourself to other people and feel that your own self worth is diminished if your waist has extra inches than another person or if you don’t have a thigh gap like the ‘Victoria’s Secret Angels’. Every body type is special no matter what shape, colour or size; uniqueness and individual flaws are what allow something to be perceived as beautiful. Not every person will have the same preference in appearance, so variety is a positive thing. You should love everything about yourself, when you do, you and the people around you will notice, making you will feel so much better about the dreaded swimwear season.
Another factor which may affect the way you view yourself is your associations. Friends are there to boost and support you through hard times, not belittle and mock you. These friendships are toxic and the fastest way to begin your path to self-acceptance is to cut them out. It may be hard to find the courage to do so, but it will be better in the long run and may play a role in seeking out new friends who will make you feel valued and loved, anyone else is not a real friend. In situations where your self esteem seems to dither, turn to the people around you who want to help - a burden shared is a burden halved.
Furthermore, clothing is a key part of who you are. It acts as a visual representation of you as an individual. If you don’t like your aesthetic appearance, it can cast a shadow of negativity and self-consciousness on the rest of your day. My advice is that you choose clothes which reflect the way you would want others to see you, and how you want to see yourself. Don’t buy clothes that you wished looked good on you with the mentality of “maybe one day I can wear this” - buy clothes which look good now! This will be a big leap for ensuring that you feel comfortable and confident so that you can focus on living the best life you can, rather than constantly being paranoid about what others are thinking.
These are just a few steps you can take to feel more confident in summer (and all year round). Contrary to the social standards we are made to believe, ANY body is a ‘bikini beach body’ if it is on the beach - so go enjoy the sun!
Thank you for reading,