In case it hasn’t been made clear, everybody’s body is ready for the beach and for summer.
I think most people would agree life would be better if we spent a little more time outside and a little less time worrying about how we look. People tend to be more active outside and nature also helps to decrease stress and improve people’s mood. Unfortunately while this is a good collection of advertising that illustrates that summer and swimsuits are for everyone, there’s an exponentially bigger collection of advertisements which illustrate that summer fun should be restricted to the extremely muscular and slim. The body standards for beach and swimsuit shoots are so high and specific that they are unrealistic for most people. Even Olympic swimmers have been told to drop weight or slim down for swimsuit photo shoots.
While the health and fitness industry may use more reasonable models, it sadly continues to be one of the worst offenders of perpetuating the notion that a specific beach, summer or bikini body exist. Spring brings specialized programs like bikini boot camps, summer shape ups, beach body workouts and bathing suit cleanses, all of which go towards reinforcing the notion that a person’s current body isn’t good enough to freely dress how they want in the summer. Even if there isn’t marketing or classes geared towards specifically getting a summer body, trainers and instructors at studios and gyms will constantly reference how great your body will look on the beach after you do certain exercises.
The fitness industry has been marketing a more attractive summer body for decades and while it definitely has its place for people who want to do fitness modeling or modeling, it shouldn’t be the only message that’s out there. While the fitness industry is slowly starting to place more importance on the functionality and mental health benefits of exercise, right now is the time to bring it to the forefront. Focus on helping people achieve new limits instead of new bodies. Prepare people’s bodies to better swim, run, hike, row, golf, climb or do one of the plethora of fun summer activities so that they can enjoy summer to the fullest.
If you aren’t part of the fitness industry you’re still part of the solution. Do your best to ignore the focus on a stereotypical summer body and encourage others do the same. Plan an awesome and active summer and dress and feel good in whatever the f*ck you want.
P.S. if you enjoy not covering up in the summer please make sure to check out our article on sunscreen.