Why You Shouldn't Worry About Getting Your 'Summer Body'

As the weather gets warmer, it seems impossible to turn on the TV or get online without being bombarded with ads or social media posts about getting your body thinner for the upcoming season. But this mindset of needing to go on a diet or amp up your workout routine just because summer is coming is unnecessary and even dangerous.

Labeling a body as a 'summer body' gives the message that only a certain type of body, namely a skinny one, is appropriate for bikinis, shorts, and tank tops. According to HuffPost, almost 7 in 10 women and girls have felt self-conscious or anxious about their shape because of the media's obsession with praising smaller body types.

The idea that you need to lose weight before summer also excludes the majority of women in America from feeling comfortable in their size during this season. The average woman's size in the U.S. is size 16 to 18, which is much larger than what is typically portrayed as the ideal 'summer body.'

Gianluca Russo, the co-founder of The Power of Plus, a size-inclusive digital community, said the advertisers who use the term 'summer body' don't understand how it can negatively impact people who live in a larger body. "For some people, using these phrases means nothing. But for other people, these words hold a lot of trauma because these terms are essentially telling you that when summer comes around, you need to look a certain way in order to wear these garments," Russo told HuffPost.

Get ready for summer by being kind to yourself

There's no reason to go on a diet or change your exercise habits in order to prepare for summer. Your 'summer body' is the body you exist in year-round. "Drown out all of the noise and really remember that everybody's body is different and that there's nothing wrong with your body," Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW, a certified eating disorder specialist, told PopSugar. "There's nothing you need to fix, there's nothing you need to change, there's nothing you need to do differently to get ready for Summer."

If you want to eat healthier or begin an exercise program to become a stronger, healthier version of yourself, that's a great goal. Just make sure there isn't any external pressure making you change yourself out of guilt. This will ultimately lead to poor body image and low self-esteem. Talk to your doctor and a registered dietician to work on creating healthier habits in your life that you can comfortably follow all year. Then put on a bikini and head to the beach!