By: Samuel Smith, Columnist
The sun is out and the temperature is up, which, for most of us, means bringing out the tee shirts, shorts, and swimsuits. However, some of us struggle more than others with the summer season. Some people aren’t the happiest in their bodies, aren’t the most comfortable in their skin. But, if that’s you, I challenge you this summer to be radically body positive.
What do I mean by that? I mean love and accept every inch of yourself, even the bits that society (or your own critical opinion) deems “unworthy.”The aesthetic is arbitrary, and the idea that only white, cisgender, skinny, abeled bodies are attractive, or even deemed worthy of being seen during the summer months is absolute horse hockey! Fat folks, darker folks, disabled folks, scarred folks, transgender folks, and all other folks deemed “not attractive” by the society as a whole do not disappear for the summer months! We are still here, and we still deserve to take up as much space as anyone else during the summer, in whatever condition our bodies are in!
If you’re insecure about your looks, I challenge you to push your boundaries of what you think you are capable of looking good in. If that means wearing a bikini to the beach for the first time, work that! If that means lounging around in cargo shorts and a tee shirt at home, that’s awesome! If that means wearing brighter or pastel colors, you go rock those candy-colored clothes! Push your boundaries, and society’s boundaries, in a way that makes you comfortable and that is safe.
And if you see someone heeding my advice (or someone else’s similar advice), or they’re just wearing what they want to wear, and you think their body isn’t “right” for it, or you think they’d look better in something else, here’s a tip: keep it to yourself. Maybe that’s harsh, but the harsher reality is that people deserve to wear whatever makes them confident. See a guy with scars on his arms wearing a tee shirt? Don’t ask where he got the scars. See someone with a stoma or other medical devices, and you have questions? Rule of thumb: Google is free, utilize it, we’re not here to educate you, we’re here to get an education. And see someone wearing what you think is too “conservative” of clothing for summers, such as religious clothing like a burka or hijab, or even just a pair of jeans and a hoodie? Keep walking, they know why they picked that outfit out, and if you see a woman wearing a religious covering, her relationship to God and her religion is not up for someone with a white savior complex to debate or question.
Enjoy the warmer days ahead!