Be body confident this summer

You don't need to be a size zero to look good on the beach via (Creative commons)
You don’t need to be a size zero to look good on the beach via (Creative commons)

The arrival of summer ought to be a time of joy, but for many people, the thought of wearing skimpy summer clothing or going on the beach fills them with dread.  With magazines screaming that it’s time to prepare that perfect bikini body, it’s difficult for those who are unlikely to achieve that shape to feel confident at all.  But why shouldn’t they?  Why do only a few select people have the right to feel good about themselves?  There’s much more to beauty than being a size 6, and in the end, nothing is more appealing than confidence itself.

Why do so many people hate their bodies?

Feeling insecure about one’s appearance isn’t a gender problem (men often worry about being overweight, under muscled or too short) but because society generally pays more attention to women’s bodies, it’s something that hits women harder.  Women are affected by what they see in the media and also by what they talk about with friends, often feeling worse about their bodies when they discuss beauty regimes or diets.  Recently, a study showed that women also seem predisposed to overestimate their own waist size.  An important step for many women is modifying their internal dialogues so they no longer blame themselves for every perceived failing but instead think positively about what their bodies can do and learn to focus on the body parts they like instead of those they do not.

The truth about attraction

Although many beauty guides focus on slimming, toning muscle, making features more even and trying to make the bust or buttocks just the ‘right’ size, research into what people actually find attractive reveals that in fact rives to achieve only one of many ways to look desirable.  Erotica featuring larger women, for instance, is incredibly popular.  Just as women are encouraged to look slim, men face social pressure to say they want slim wives or girlfriends, but their secret habits tell us most of them are not that particular.  Similarly, things like scarring and disability are not deal breakers for most.  What straight men consistently say they want is confident, happy women—and women who won’t be too critical of their own appearances!

Learning to love your body

Many people are negative about their own bodies in ways they would never dream of being about other people’s.  They forget to show themselves the same respect and kindness that they show to others.  Learning to love one’s body starts with being willing to forgive a few shortcomings and celebrate what’s great about it.  Whether you get a new haircut that will make waves at the office or check out the plus size lingerie at with a view to doing something fun in private, there’s always a way to start feeling better, building confidence and putting the zing back in life.

Building confidence

Looking good is only the first step in building confidence, but it’s a big one.  Learning to be good at something physical, whether it’s a sport, a type of dancing or a manual skill like painting, can also help.  Most important of all is learning to enjoy the way your body feels and to take pleasure in all the opportunities it provides just the way it is.