‘How to get beach body ready’, ‘Bikini body workouts’ and ‘Get rid of cellulite and stretch marks!’ We get these headlines thrown at us like crazy during the sunny time of the year. On Instagram you can find a lot of comments on photos from #fitgirls such as: ‘Bodygoals!’ and ‘Wow, your body is perfect!’. And the awful thing is… I look at those pictures and phrases like the above pop up into my head too.
‘I thought I had a killer body.’
I will be completely honest. At times I think I have a killer body, haha. I often receive compliments about my body and I have no problem with parading through my apartment in my birthday suit. I am quite satisfied with my body, but like everyone, I also have my insecurities…
During my honeymoon in Denmark I was inspired by the beautiful landscapes. ‘Kelv (husbands nickname), nature is so beautiful here, we should do a photos hoot!’ Well, it was easier said than done. First, a small jungle had to be cut down on my legs, armpits had to be shaved and make-up had to be applied.
Fortunately, there were no other people around, so Kelvin and I were able to take photos without disaster tourists. After Kelvin had taken a few snapshots, I asked if I could see them.
‘I was shocked.’
I saw thick thighs, my “second buttocks” (as I call the piece of meat under my butt), cellulite, small breasts and acne. The perfectionist in me saw all the imperfections. My ‘killer body’, or rather the idea of it, went up in flames. There were all kinds of thoughts going through my head: ‘After the honeymoon, I am going to work really to get that ‘killer body’. I have to eat healthier and … Maybe I should not put these photos online.’ I thought of all the #fitgirls on Instagram. About how great they looked and I did not.
Still, I wanted to continue taking photos. Why? Because I want to show that I am not perfect but I don’t have to hide my insecurities, and you don’t have to do that either. I want to rise above my insecurities and be happy with my body. What’s the use of comparing myself with others? It won’t make me happy.
‘A flower does not think of competing to
the flower next to it. It just blooms.’
I can think of a million things that I don’t like about myself, but there are also a lot of things that I do like. I am happy with my long locks, full eyebrows, eyelashes, freckles, narrow waist and so on. Yet it is sometimes difficult to focus on the things you like instead of insecurities. Especially if the media tells you that you shouldn’t walk around in a bikini or swimsuit when you don’t have a ‘summer body’.
We no longer look at how special our body really is nowadays. How wonderful it is that everything works. That our hearts beat, we can taste delicious food, we can breathe, smell, touch. No, we must always be clean-shaven, our body should be hairless except for our heads. We should be thin, but have the breast and butt size of someone like Kim Kardashian. Stretch marks, acne and scars are not allowed, and… well this list could go on and on.
But do you know what the truth is? You don’t need a tight stomach, nor a tan or a perky butt.
‘All you need is a bikini and a body.
And you have a bikini body.’
That’s just how it is. Simple as that. Why are we comparing ourselves with others? You can do your very best to look like someone else, to pursue the ideal beauty image of today, but that does not really make you happy. We can better change our negative thought pattern about ourselves and love who we are, with imperfections and all. There is only one you, you are allowed to be seen and loved, regardless of skin color, body type, acne or that large birthmark on your left leg. So, enjoy those rays of sunlight, you’ve got that perfect imperfect beach body. And that’s great!