How to overcome swimsuit shyness
How to overcome swimsuit shyness
In the run up to summer, the beauty and diet industry launch one of their greatest assaults on women. Articles and adverts abound begging the question – are you ready for swim suit season? Their aim is to convince you that your body isn’t good enough – that you won’t be acceptable on the beach or by the pool without some help. Their products promise the perfect toned body, skin that glows with health, and cellulite free thighs.
According to psychologist Leslie Heinberg, false advertising and social media can trigger feelings of ‘swimsuit shyness’, a type of self consciousness that results in the avoidance of swim wear. In a recent poll in the USA, it was revealed that a shocking 30% of Americans have not worn a bathing suit in public for more than 5 years due to body dislike.
Photo-shopped imagery creates false, unattainable ideas of what a body should look like in a swimsuit. The supposedly ‘aspirational’ means used to promote diets and beauty products only serve to lower a woman’s body image, self esteem and bank balance.
When faced with a constant barrage of media bent on you toning up, slimming down and buffing up, how do you remain body confident in your swim wear?
Body confidence is about embracing your body as it is, not wishing it was different. It’s the only body you’ll ever have, so it’s up to you to embrace it. But how do you overcome swimsuit shyness? Here are my strategies to enjoy wearing a swim suit this summer:
Go on a media ‘diet’
Don’t let what you see in the media put you off wearing a swim suit until you’ve ‘toned up’ or ‘lost a few pounds’. Remember, you are being sold an unattainable ideal to deliberately make you feel inadequate. Try taking a break from magazines and any other media that trigger feelings of body dissatisfaction in you.
Focus on how you feel
Focus on the physical sensations that you experience being on the beach or by the pool rather than what your body looks like. For example, the feel of the sand between your toes, the sun and water on your skin. Imagine what you’d miss out on if you let your body concerns stop you from experiencing the beach, the pool or whatever other activities you enjoy doing in the summer.
Stop focussing on how others look in their swim wear, and make sure you aren’t just comparing yourself to that one person at the beach who happens to have a good figure. Take a proper look around you – you’ll see people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
If you’re reluctant to put on your swimmers, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen if you wear your swim suit? What if you accept your body and go to the beach or a pool? How good would that feel? When you put off doing things because of how your body looks, you send yourself the message that you aren’t acceptable, which ultimately leads to even lower body image and self esteem.
Make health your priority
Instead of focussing on your body’s appearance this summer, focus on its health – make it as strong and healthy as it can be with exercise and nutritious food.
Don’t put off experiencing all the wonderful things summer has to offer because of body concerns. Life is short, it’s for living and it’s happening NOW.