We all love spring. The sun comes out, flowers bloom, and chocolate goes on sale after Easter (and no matter what religion you are, everyone loves a discounted chocolate bunny!). For the first time, you can throw your windows open while wearing a t-shirt, don your dusty sunglasses, and walk around in your flip-flops... for about ten minutes before realizing, shoot, it is still March and absolutely freezing in sandals. Of course the arduous spring cleaning is only brightened a little bit by the weather, but the one part of spring nobody seems to ever talk about is how one's body confidence can plummet after spending a whole winter in warm clothes that are very flattering--and show little to no skin.
A personal struggle for myself has always been coming out of winter and needing to start dressing for spring again. While I am a huge fan of dressed and flowing tank-tops that make me feel like a princess, I am not a fan of feeling like everyone can see the parts of myself I am most insecure about, i.e. my legs and my arms. Sure, everyone loves warm weather, but when you do not look like someone with the typically attractive body type, it can be a little scarier than just changing up your wardrobe.
The best way I personally combat this is through eating more fruits and vegetables as well as exercising more, but I am not going to tell you to do either of those things. Sure, they help me, but I am sure you and I aren't the same person. You see, I like exercising because I have exercised all my life and therefore for some strange reason enjoy it (also because of science). I eat vegetables and fruits because they taste great and are finally available fresh from a local farm my family uses. However, I realize both of these pieces of advice are widely promulgated by society in an effort to make girls and women conform to societal norms regarding their body. This of course applies to men as well, however I do not have much experience with that as I do with this subject regarding women.
Exercise is never market to women the same way it is marketed to men. Women should exercise not because it is fun they have with their friends playing sports, or because they have real goals for weightlifting or distance running--no, apparently women should only exercise so that they can be attractive. Hold up, though, because if you exercise too much you might become unattractive, for example Serena Williams being regarded as "ugly" because, oh no, you could see her muscles--can you believe it, she has muscles--in a ball gown. What, like a tennis player doesn't have muscles? Like she cannot show off her hard work through her amazing physique, just because it doesn't conform to societal norms?
So this is my advice to you on the eve of springtime across the northern hemisphere. Do whatever you want with your body. Eat good food, whether that's all veggies or soul food. Exercise when you want, where you want, and how you want. Do not be scared or intimidated by what others tell you. Love yourself. There is nobody more important in decisions regarding your own body than yourself. If you take control of your body and your life and reject everything said around you, then you can live your best life, because there will always be criticism no matter how you look. Too fat, too skinny, too weak, too muscular, too tall, too short, funky legs, funky hair, you don't shave enough, you shave too much, whatever. There is no perfect, so what try to attain what everyone else wants? Start with what you want, and work from there.
Happy spring, y'all!