Guess what. You're valid!
It's inevitable. It's summertime. It's the time of year when we see beaches full of beautiful people flaunting everything they have and perfectly staged Instagram posts meant to commemorate the amazingness of summer.
I'm sure you have seen so many inspirational messages preaching body positivity and loving yourself no matter what you look like. And although I adore and support all the love behind these messages, I always feel like those messages are missing something important.
Let's take a step back for a moment.
Accepting yourself the way you are is easier said than done. There have been numerous times when I wanted to change something about the way I looked. It is so important that everyone knows that if you are not at the point where you love and feel completely confident in your body, that is OK.
Self-love is oftentimes a difficult and nonlinear journey that jerks around in so many unexpected directions. There are days when I feel so beautiful and other days when I don't. That is OK.
You can preach body positivity and self-love all you want—and don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe that everybody and every body is beautiful — but let's not forget that there is still yet to be a significant and consistent representation of all body types in the media and elsewhere. And even if there was, it would simply be an attempt, because let's also not forget that every single body is different.
I feel as though I speak for a lot of people when I say that even though body positivity is becoming more and more present, it is still so difficult to not compare ourselves to others. The idea of the "perfect body" has become so instilled in us that I am worried the damage is beyond repair.
I am very petite, which we have been trained to think is conventionally attractive, but I still do not love how my body looks most of the time. One of my legs is a lot longer than the other and so one of my hips juts out noticeably more than the other. I don't wear a lot of tight clothing for this reason.
People tell me all the time that I shouldn't feel insecure about the way I look, but in my eyes, being reasonably insecure is natural and no one should be afraid to acknowledge that. However, let's not use that as an excuse to bask in self-pity this summer.
Yes, it is OK to not love everything about our bodies, but remember this:
You are beautiful. Every little piece of you. Every single day.
On the days when you have all the confidence in the world and on the days when you have none.
You're allowed to have insecurities no matter who you are, what you have, or what you look like. But regardless of what it may be, it will never detract from your beauty.
Have an amazing summer!