Along with the anticipation of long days at the beach and cosy summer nights lies the anxiety of body exposure. There’s no escaping it. The #beach2016 promotions are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you have a smoking hot body, society will have you question it.

I would be lying if I said that the days of skinny are gone. Most of us aspire a slim body. But lately, we’ve added something to it. Something that apparently makes it less of threat. This is where the strong is the new skinny comes in.

I’m all for healthy body ideals but changing skinny into strong doesn’t change the facts. We still want to improve our bodies. Striving for skinny or strong means striving for labels. Labels that society associate with happiness and self-love.

Implying that strong is the new skinny suggests that skinny was a previous goal whereas strong is the current one. Stating this also reveals a pretty scary truth. Skinny and strong are both “body-trends”. They are guidelines of how to look if you want to be happy.Having a toned body is the recipe for happiness, right?

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” ― Kahlil Gibran:

Putting on a bikini and heading towards the beach should be as simple as that. But since you apparently can’t be happy and confident without having a picture perfect body, swimsuit season becomes a nightmare.

The majority of women are anxious about strutting around in a bikini. Meaning that the majority of women are anxious about exposing their legs that enable walking, their beautiful bellies that enable life (to grow inside of them), their sexy butts that enable sitting comfortable and holding your pants up.

You do not have to earn the right to feel beautiful. You should not have to build up the courage to go to the beach. But it is hard. How are we supposed to be confident in a world that’s so judgmental and superficial?

I am to fighting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I can’t say that I have the cure to self-love but some of these tricks actually work.

1.Make the Most of Life

single the bachelor love life

Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, you are living right now. Try to make the most out of every day, and by that, I do not mean counting calories or working out half of the day. Eat a fresh salad, yes! Talk a jog in the park, yes! But don’t let that be your life! 

2. It’s All About Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. But whom do you want to look good for? Everything you do to yourself should be for yourself. 

3. Do What You Want.

disney hit simba smack in the face what you do vs what you want to do

Debating whether to chose the chocolate cake or the non-fat, sugar-free muffin should not take more than a few seconds. Pick the one you want and NOT the one society’s trying to force you to take.

4. The Beach is For Everyone.

The beach belongs to everyone who wants to be there. No matter what you look like or how many miles you’ve run or how much ice cream you’ve had. You too can be a Baywatch babe!

So no more hiding!!

Article by Hanna Hettman.