I Don't Care About Your Idealized 'Spring Break Bod,' And Neither Should You

I Don't Care About Your Idealized 'Spring Break Bod,' And Neither Should You

Your body is made for more than fulfilling a certain aesthetic.
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Spring Break is on the horizon, and with it comes the exodus of college students from their cinder-block dorm rooms to bright and sunny Cancun, parties that go on for days until they all blend together in one drunken blur, and, of course, the awakening of the ever-present demon that returns once a year to feast on vulnerable college girls: the Spring Break Bod.

I would be lying if I told you that I have never fallen victim to the alluring clutches of the Spring Break Bod: an intricately defined, curved-in-all-the-right-places, shrunken-in-all-the-wrong-ones, glowing and bronzed body, all in exchange for just a short period of physical and emotional torture. It's certainly compelling...but why? To rock that new bathing suit in a few Instas and Snaps, only to return to that cycle of self-loathing once your tan starts to fade and your body starts to sink and curve back in all of its old places?

That cycle is the problem of the Spring Break Bod. It's not that you want to look and feel your best in that new bathing suit, but that every year there seems to be an alarm going off in every college girl's head signaling that it's time to distort your body to fit into an unnatural mold so that you may participate in the tradition of Spring Break. The goals of the Spring Break Bod are never long-term — that's why its regime consists of crash-dieting, fasting, and overexercising. It's short-sighted and unsustainable; its very name indicates a starting point and an expiration date. I mean, after all, we don't call it the "Year-Long Bod."

So, no, I don't care about your obsession with the Spring Break Bod, because you clearly don't understand how detrimental it is to your body and the bodies of people around you. I don't care for the way people who are already conventionally thin find humor in captioning photos of them on the beach "going for the 'beached whale look' this year," because those jokes come at the expense of every single person who is heavier than they are. Stop masking your insecurities by reinforcing the existence of ideas like the Spring Break Bod, and start doing something to dismantle the expectations they have come to represent.

Own the skin you're in and don't change it for anyone or for any internalized idea of what beauty is supposed to be. If you want to make healthy lifestyle changes, go for it. But do it because you want to feel better; if you do it for any other reason, you are never going to be satisfied and you're going to torture yourself trying to fit into a mold you are not made to fill.

Be kind to your body and honor the ways it carries you around in the world. Punishing it for not being "in shape" for Spring Break is an insult to all the other ways it has served you, so stop being complicit in the notion that the only function of your body is to fulfill a certain aesthetic.

Self-love and body positivity are lifelong journeys that require constant work. Residing to the idea that you have somehow failed because your body doesn't look a certain way for Spring Break means giving in to the social systems that want you to punish your body. Don't let those unrealistic ideals win — love and respect your body unapologetically, because contrary to what the Spring Break Bod myth tells you, your weight does not define your worthiness to enjoy that beach in Cancun.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty / Instagram

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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