With all the expectation of having a “summer body,” the season can be a particularly challenging time to love ourselves and the skin we’re in.
But in this stream, intimacy and relationship coach Micki Allen touts the importance of body positivity, especially during the summer.
We are constantly being shown (by the media, in particular) what a summer body looks like. Most of us don’t fit those narrow standards of beauty, and end up resenting ourselves and feeling ashamed of our bodies. But the faster we learn those standards are unattainable, the better. Because every body is a summer body. So, before talking smack to yourself about your body, think about how you’d talk to a friend of loved one about their body. Now, apply that same kindness toward yourself. Think about all the amazing things your body can do, and appreciate it’s most sensual asset — your brain.
Allen suggest writing down 10 affirmations about your body and then saying them to yourself in the mirror. “I love that my body allows me to see”, “I love that my body allows me to touch and feel”, “I love how silky and smooth my hair feels”, etc. Think about the parts of the body that bring you pleasure, and appreciate those zones. Don’t be afraid to touch your waistline, for example, and love what your body is capable of feeling. When you look in the mirror, see your whole self, not just the zones. Each body part serves a different, beautiful purpose and is deserving of appreciation. Together, they make up you.
When it comes to size, one camp tells us to throw out our “numbers” — our dress and pant size, weight, etc. — because the numbers don’t define us. Allen, however, suggests owning and embracing our numbers. She says we should wear them like a badge of honor because our bodies are amazing at any size. If we know our numbers, we don’t have to hide behind mumus or large sweaters. Instead, we can understand our size and dress for the body type we have. We can get the clothes that accentuate our favorite assets and show the world we are proud.
Our favorite assets can change from day to day, which is why it’s important to support, listen, and talk to your body. Perhaps you’re having a good hair day, so emphasize that feature. Maybe you’re having a terrible hair day, but your cleavage looks amazing in a new dress. Focus on that instead of your hair. Allen says “invest in your best” and don’t be afraid to splurge on the things that make you love your body — whether it’s that dress that’s making your cleavage look amazing, those new shoes you love, or a shampoo that makes your hair smell good. Dress up for yourself, and others will notice, too.
“When you look good, when you feel good, that gives you a little bit more power to protect yourself from [...] someone [who] may be trying to throw shade at you,” says Allen. “The only shade I want in summer are my sunglasses.”