Feeling insecure about our bodies is a natural feeling we all experience at some point in our lives and particularly for women, this goes hand in hand with comparing ourselves to others. At no time is this truer than summer, when there is no escaping from pictures of slim and stunning swimwear models everywhere and diet adverts telling you how to get the perfect beach body. Trying on a bikini can actually be torture (especially when you are closer to resembling a beached whale than you are Rosie Huntington Whitely.). No one wants to begin their summer holiday regretting everything they’ve ever eaten, including that entire yard of Jaffa cakes you demolished during Christmas 2009. Here are some tips on how not to let your insecurities get the better of you this summer.
1) If you want to lose weight, set yourself attainable goals
There comes a time in every yo-yo dieters life when we must admit to ourselves that every women who is skinnier than us can’t simply just have a fast metabolism and that a healthy diet and exercise must contribute in some way to her fantastic shape. If you do decide to shape up this summer, be realistic and set attainable goals. Shaping up is a long term process that, as I have unfortunately discovered, requires more than going three days without eating chocolate and accepting that you cannot count the fruit in your glass of Pimms as one of your five a day. Aspire to get fit, not thin, and measure your success by how confident and comfortable you feel in your body, not by comparing yourself to, or measuring your size against others.
2) Think about the lifestyle model-slim girls must lead to look the way they do.
If you are the sort of person who gets body envy easily, why not compare your lifestyle to other girls rather than your figure. That girl who looks amazing at the beach is also that girl who spends hours at the gym each week, who never eats carbs, who counts a celery stick and a spoonful of low fat cottage cheese as an acceptable afternoon snack, and who must surely be too aware of the calories in alcohol to get as royally and truly pissed as the rest of us on a night out. If you are the sort of person who looks at model-slim girls and longs to be one of them, ask yourself if the sacrifices they make to look good are really worth it. Kate Moss once so infamously said that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, but I for one prefer being pissed than hungry, so I don’t really give a shit that one glass of wine has the same amount of calories as half a burger in it. I literally must have the equivalent of 20 burgers every time I drink (19 in the form of wine and 1 in the form of actual burger when it’s time to hit Mcdonalds at the end of the night.) but at least I have fun. Let’s face it, the only time it’s enjoyable to be hungry is right before you’re about to eat a ginormous meal, but when you can’t satisfy that hunger, it’s just painful and makes you a cranky basic bitch. This is something I have to remind myself when scrolling through Instagram and seeing pictures of Victoria Secret Models that make me wish I could chop my thighs in half and stick the excess fat to my boobs. Sometimes it’s necessary to admit to yourself that the reason you are not at your desired shape is less to do with genetics and more to do with your love for Dominos two for Tuesday, but beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, so if you’re having fun eating and drinking and not spending hours a week exercising, then why give a fuck about the size you are?
3) Disguise your flaws
People say if you’ve got it, flaunt it, but I think this applies to very specific things like big boobs, stick thin legs and a peachy ass. It does not apply to things like cellulite and fat rolls despite most women having them. Whether it’s finding the perfect swimwear to flatter your figure or applying fake tan to cover your lumps and bumps, there are always cosmetic solutions that will allow you to tackle your insecurities head on. This is something all feminists on a rampage against society’s beauty standards will hate me saying; they would have you flaunt your flaws and do whatever the fuck you want with your body, which of course you can, no one should feel the need to hide anything if they don’t want to. I’m just saying that becoming confident in your body is not as easy as following Tess Munster on Instagram whilst listening to a shite Meghan Traynor song and having the sudden realisation that boys do in fact like a little more booty to hold at night. There’s nothing wrong with finding the right fashion and beauty products to suit you if it stops you from wanting to leave the house in a burqa. Confidence is beautiful. Cellulite is not.
Remember ladies that you are your biggest critic. No one is as focused on your flaws as you are. All those girls whose figures you envy will be insecure about something too, even if you can’t understand what on earth they have to be insecure about. And for every girl you think that about, someone will be thinking that about you.