5 Things To Seek More Than A Bikini Body

5 Things To Seek More Than A Bikini Body

The "perfect body" isn't bad, but a beautiful soul is better.

It's finally summer! And guess what that means? Watermelon, beach days and sleeping late. But it also means something that many dread: swimsuit season.

The world puts two pressures women during swimsuit season. The first pressure urges girls to attain an unhealthy, impossible ideal of "beauty" as displayed by magazines and catalogs. The second pressure urges them not to care at all about what they look like but make up for it with confidence and "real beauty."

I don't believe in either.

I believe that pursuing a healthy and fit body is good and rewarding, but it is only skin deep. More than a bikini body, I want a beautiful soul. I want to take the focus that the world urges me to spend on either attaining or rebuking the "perfect body" and refocus it on building loveliness in my heart.

Because "real beauty" doesn't look like a fruit basket of figures confidently wearing bikinis. "Real beauty" is beauty of the soul, independent of the body. It is found in the beauty of the God who created all of humanity. It isn't avoiding looking nice, but it is rather seeking something more important than the outward appearance, and if looking nice can happen too, great!

But how can you achieve such a balance?

1. Count moments more than calories.

Here's the thing about counting calories, the people that do this always think about their calorie intake. It's a rhythm that ingrains itself into their daily lives. But what if you counted your moments like people count calories? What if you regularly stopped to enjoy life and appreciate the opportunities given to you? Write down the little things that make up your day. Let them add up and overflow to create a beautiful soul. Pour out thanksgiving to God, the giver of all good things (James 1:17).

2. Build friendships more than a six-pack.

I've wanted a six-pack for the longest time, but let me tell you something: that takes work! Just so, friendships take work, but they are far more worthy than a six-pack. Friendships last lifetimes, bring joy and challenge you in ways you could never image. A six-pack just gives your pride a pat on the back. So maybe instead of hitting the gym time and time again, go out to coffee with a friend. Better yet, bring your friend with you to the gym. Double tasking.

3. Focus on your passions more than your weight.

I struggle with my thoughts on my weight. It easily becomes something that defines me, but do I want to be defined by something so shallow and so easily destroyed by a dozen donuts? No! I want to be defined by Jesus Christ. I want to be defined by the personality and passions that He has given me.

Rather than thinking about your weight and letting it define you, what if you focused on the passions that God gave you? Instead of going one more lap, next time you might just sit down and write something, create music or learn something new. Don't let a number define you, let Jesus define you.

4. Have glowing smiles more than glowing legs.

No, I am not suggesting that you invest in teeth-whitening strips more than self-tanner. I just remember one summer when I visited a long-distance friend at the beach. We hardly ever saw each other during the year, and I looked forward to talking and laughing with her for hours. She, on the other hand, just wanted to quietly work on her tan all afternoon. Those tan skins cells left her body quickly, but that potentially laughter-filled conversation could have lasted in our memories forever.

5. Get rid of selfishness more than fat.

When you look down to the root of your desires for a bikini body, you often meet something ugly: selfishness. This drive for a slim, fit, tan look doesn't benefit others unless they just want to feast their eyes on your body, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to give that person anything. This selfishness deteriorates your soul so that you miss out on the moments, the friendships, the passions and the laughter. You miss out on growing in the beauty of Christ. This selfishness takes something good, a fit, healthy body and turns it into something that you worship.

Let me tell you, beauty makes an ugly god.

So instead either worshipping a bikini body or avoiding it like the plague, pursue a beautiful soul. Change your focus off of selfishness and insecurity and you will see more clearly that the most important things in life can't be seen.

Take Audrey Hepburn's words to heart:

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

For we are never alone. God, the Creator of beauty, is with us.

Cover Image Credit: Artsfon

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13 Pieces Of Advice For Every College Student Using Tinder

Even if things don't work out romantically, you either have a new friend or a funny story to tell people!

After my recent break-up, I decided to make a Tinder account. So I picked my best six pictures, including a picture of my turtles just to keep things interesting, wrote out a simple bio, and began my journey on Tinder.

So far, I've had a pretty great and funny experience. I've met a lot of people around campus that I would have never known existed without the help of this app, and for that I'm grateful. Even if things don't work out romantically, you either have a new friend or a funny story to tell people, which are both great in their own ways.

Still, you have to be careful. This is the Internet, and I'm sure you have seen the show "Catfish." I really don't want any of you to have to experience that or get yourself in a situation that proves difficult to maneuver yourself through. So I came up with 13 pieces of personal advice for anyone using Tinder or any other dating app.

1. Use Common Sense

If you are going to be on Tinder, you have to use your head. If you have a feeling that something is off with McDreamy who seems too perfect to be true, unmatch and move on.

If the vibe isn't there, don't continue to lead people on. If everything seems great and you want to meet in real life, suggest a group outing or at least a place with people. You really don't want to end up in a trunk because you met up with some stranger in a sketchy place. Which is why you should definitely follow my second piece of advice

2. Meet in a public place

Until you really know your match, you should at least meet up in a place where people are easily accessible. Make sure your roommates are home, asks your friends to go out as a group or go out to eat at a restaurant.

If you really want to meet this person, meet them in a place where it's going to be difficult for a bad situation to present itself without the potential aide of others. Just be smart, careful, and responsible. Go with your gut. If you get a feeling that this could lead to a loss of control, don't agree with being alone.

3. Don't be afraid to swipe right!

So you see someone that you think is way out of your league and you feel nervous about swiping right, do it anyways! There is literally nothing that could go wrong by simply swiping right. This person will literally never know that you liked them unless they swiped right on you too.

Well, that is unless you super like them, which I caution to use sparingly. Once my mom accidentally super liked this guy that graduated high school with me, and now I know that I will never be able to look this man in the eyes again. But, who cares. Shoot your shot! What's the point of Tinder if you don't swipe right!

4. But don't feel bad when you un-match with someone

Not every person that you match with on Tinder is going to vibe with you. Whether they turn out to be completely different than you thought or the feelings just aren't there, don't feel bad to un-match. You do not owe these strangers an explanation, but if you've been talking for a long time, hung out, and started a friendship at the very least, don't "ghost" them. That's just rude.

5. Know your worth

No matter what, when it comes to Tinder, always know your worth! You are beautiful. Don't think that you have to settle or waste your time because you're not getting the matches that you wanted.

Also, don't let people speak inappropriately to you! Stand up for yourself and then un-match because you are too good to be dealing with those people. It's totally OK to put yourself first!

6. If the first thing they say is gross, stop there

I literally can't say this enough! Don't let weirdos slide into your DMs and be nasty. A joke here and there is fine depending on your level of comfort, but if they are bluntly dirty, tell them to hit the road. You don't need that in your life.

Also, do not meet up with them! They've already told you what their desire is so having a peaceful coffee with them seems unlikely. No matter how hot they are, just move on! It's not worth it.

7. Don't get too attached too easily

If you are like me, you seem to get infatuated very easily. You start crushing on anyone who really gives you attention, but you really shouldn't do that with Tinder. I've learned to keep my options open because you can't really be sure if half the people you are talking to are actually that into you.

Also, just because they give you attention doesn't mean that they are like head over heels for you. Just try to be realistic about the kinds of people who are on Tinder and what they are actually looking for.

8. Be patient

You aren't going to meet the love of your life on the first swipe. Don't try to hold on to every match and pretend that they are Mr. or Ms. Perfect. Every person can't be the one.

It might take some time to meet someone who is really worth your while, so don't rush things just to get to that point. In the end, if you rush the wrong person, you will hurt not only yourself and your expectations but also the other person. So just breathe and trust that everything will take place if you are supposed to find Mr. or Ms. Right on Tinder.

9. Tell your friends where you are going if you are going to meet a match

Turn your location on, take your Bitmoji out of ghost mode, and let your friends know exactly where you are, just in case. I mean if the date starts to go downhill, you can always tell the guy that you're feeling sick or playing for the other team and sneak out of the bathroom window. So your friends need to know exactly where you are so they can pull up and assist in your escape.

10. Be open-minded but it's OK to be picky

Don't be afraid to swipe left if you aren't feeling it. You know what you like and what you are looking for. So if this person has pictures of them vaping with their Juul and holding two Natty Lites, don't swipe right if you are not into that. No matter how hot they may be, you already have a problem with their actions, and that most likely will not change. Know yourself and keep your standards.

11. Be honest about what you're looking for

If you meet someone who you can really feel a connection with, ask them about what they are looking for, and be honest when they ask you the same question. If you are looking for a serious relationship and they are are just looking for an average hookup, do not lie and say that you want that as well.

It will only hurt you in the long run, especially if you are prone to catching feels. They probably will not change their mind, leaving you hurt and wishing that you had never got involved with someone who never wanted more.

12. Don't overthink

If that person you matched with last night never responds to your text, don't worry about it. It's not because you aren't great or a catch! It's most likely because they don't get on Tinder a lot. And if it's just because they didn't want to talk to you, whatever. It's really not a big deal

They are a stranger who does not know anything about you other than what you look like and what your profile says about you. And if you do meet someone and kick it off then they just leave, whatever. It may hurt for a minute, but again, it's not a big deal. You know your worth, so keep doing you and don't worry so much about what other people are doing.

13. Remember, it's just an app

If it seems like your life gets even more complicated after you download Tinder, remember, it's just an app. It's not a necessary part of your life. It is merely an aide, a mediocre one at that. You can still find the love of your life outside of the app.

Actually, you will probably have more luck finding the right person interacting with people in the real world. But I know you aren't going to delete the app because swiping right on cute people is just too much fun.

So continue to have fun and be safe, but don't forget that Tinder is only one way to meet people.

Cover Image Credit: Alyssa Cameron Price

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