Summer is basically the season that everyone spends all of winter and fall counting down to. People look forward to spending day after day in their swimsuits and enjoying the outdoors, but for girls, the thought of summertime is sometimes dreaded. There is too much pressure on girls to have "perfect" bodies and summer is extra hard on those girls who feel that pressure, because it's the time of the year when they are the most physically and emotionally exposed.
Girls face so much criticism when it comes to their bodies. They're either too skinny or too fat, too curvy or lacking "real women" curves. Women are expected not have any stretch marks in addition to having boobs that aren't too big or too small. In the media, girls with long legs are idolized, but also told that guys love short girls and don't want their significant other to be taller than them. Girls are expected to be perfect, but when everyone's definition of perfect is different, it makes it seem impossible.
When the media portrays "beautiful" women with "perfect" bodies, they usually show you a 5'9" blond with long legs. For little girls with red hair and freckles, how do you think that makes them feel? They see what is stereotypically beautiful, and then they are sad because they are not stereotypically beautiful and they do not have the stereotypical perfect body. It's heartbreaking to think that if I have a niece or a daughter, she might not like her body because it doesn't match up with the media's definition of beautiful.
Girls at all ages face too much pressure to have perfect bodies. I never want a little girl to not want to play outside or go swimming because she's ashamed of her body. Boys have almost no pressure to have perfect bodies whatsoever, and now even having a "dad bod" is considered attractive. Ever notice there is no such thing as a "mom bod" in contradiction to the "dad bod"? And if someone ever told a girl in college that she had a "mom bod," it would be beyond offensive, but college guys having a "dad bod" with a beer gut is completely okay.
Some clothing companies, such as Aerie have started programs where their clothing models are not all one size and vary in body types. Aerie is a company that is finally making a progressive step in helping the way women view their bodies and helping break the stereotype of the perfect body as it's been in recent years.
There are so many other pressures in life, let's take the pressure off of girls to have the perfect body and spend more time putting an emphasis on who they are as a person.