Summertime is here and almost automatically your focus and emphasis is always on your body. Now, since I was born in the Caribbean, I can boast about the fact that we have summer all year round... this also makes the pressure on your appearances even harder. Although currently the plus size revolution is expanding rapidly, by becoming just as trendy as the traditional sizes, this "beach body" topic is one that will continue to be debated.
Let us move from the typical stigma of being an "average" size, and let us focus on being a size HEALTHY. The smallest I have ever been in my life was at the age of 17 and that was a resound size 12! Fast forward to now being a size 16/18 and a few pounds heavier, this beach body question always resurfaces. Even after years of myself acceptance journey, it was not until the most recent years that the terminology of a beach body stopped bothering or having a psychological impact on me.
Not sure who gave society or the human race on the whole the right to determine what is the ideal "summer beach body". There are so many disorders related to obtaining the perfect figure to prove to the world that I am worthy of showing off/flaunting my almost 200 pounds frame.
Shouldn't your "beach body" be about your value as a person and not your added pounds? Shouldn't it be about how you rose through your difficulties and became a better person that is now confidently walking down that same beach because she beat all the odds? Should I be defined by the size swimsuit that I wear? Where do we as humans draw the line that words and stereotypes will always have an adverse effect on one's emotional well being.
Experiencing being plus size from different angles is the tricky part. I can tell you that I have had discussions with women that have never even felt worthy of wearing shorts, much less a swimsuit. Luckily as we become bolder, we are also open to being more daring when it comes to embracing our curves and making a fashion statement and accepting that we are NOT a size, but most importantly that we are OK with that.
Innovative concepts like "Plus Size Pool Party" have gone viral since 2016 and emphasize the importance of body image and of first loving yourself. This idea set the tone for other cities besides New York to come on board and have their plus size ladies represent and slay in every type, colour and form of bathing suit that came out that summer. Social media of course was flooded with beautiful ladies that were not afraid nor ashamed to be part of this amazing event. However, you still had groups that showed and gave their disapproval... as if my body has anything to do with THEM!
This alone can tell you that although the existing pressure of "beach summer body" is there, that overall perception is shifting to a more positive, accepting and engaging forum for plus size women and women of ALL sizes. In my opinion, regardless of your swimsuit size, you have owned the rights to wake up, get up and show up! Be memorable and influential... I want to be that woman that is remembered by many as being confident and in sync with her every curve and pound.
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