'Summer Body' Trends Are Rearing Their Ugly Heads Again — Why You Shouldn't Pay Attention

It's that time of year again — everyone's posting their summer body online. From facing intimate summer concerns head-on to understanding the hard truths about tanning, preparation for summer is no easy task. Whether you're scrolling on Instagram or people-watching on the beach, it's inevitable to see a publicly-deemed-ideal body and question the value of your own. It may not be easy, but there are ways to navigate summer body trends. We've got your back.


First and foremost, we want to address what's important: people's bodies are constantly being picked apart, ridiculed, and over-examined, and a lot of that is rooted in diet culture. Despite the rise of a progressive movement for body neutrality, femme-presenting people and women continue to be told that their bodies must be thin, narrow, and suitable for what the public desires. Most of the trends we see online are not sustainable or even healthy for us to internalize, and subscribing to these ideas will not last long, even for those who may fit into that body type.

While it's not easy to unlearn everything we know about diet culture and body types, there are ways to be mindful of what we see and hear. If you're trying to achieve the ultimate body-positive summer, we've got your back. If you're just looking to ease some of the summer body burdens, you've come to the right place. Let's get started.


Diet and weight are entirely different

For those of us who've spent our lives believing a healthy diet equals a skinny body, it can be hard to turn our heads away from toxic summer body trends. According to licensed psychologist David Tzall, "Healthy eating may result in not achieving the 'perfect body,' as there is no such thing," he explained to Parents. "It is an unreachable height that is put in place as a way to shame others when they have not met it." Essentially, summer body trends are a way to isolate those who don't fit in the box. And while there is no way to avoid the complicated feelings that come with that, putting things into perspective can help relieve some of the tension.


More importantly, trying to achieve a perfect summer body places aesthetic value ahead of health. What's more sustainable than trying to get that perfect summer body is nourishing your body with the right fruits, vegetables, and proteins — it's much more important to feel good than it is to achieve someone else's idea of looking good. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy through diet and exercise. The problem, however, occurs when these things are chased with the desire to look a certain way because they're often tied to feelings of inadequacy.

Understand that half the battle is online messaging

Oftentimes, our desires can feel like elusive dreams because we tend to subconsciously want whatever we see online. Regardless of whether we can achieve it, these desires grow because of online messaging and the emphasis on having a fit body (whatever that means). It might be best to reduce your screen time on days when you're going to the pool or spending time with friends so that you're not distracted by pictures and ads that are likely edited, toned, and perfected. To be even more frank, the idea of a 'summer body' has grown popular almost entirely because of social media's rise. By staying off the apps, you're doing yourself a favor.


Social media is a fiend for our deepest insecurities, most of which are so common that they're easy to fall for. There is a never-ending trend to fix oneself — often referred to as 'glow ups' — which plague all the apps where people can put their perfectly curated bodies on display. However, falling for these tricks places you, dear reader, in an endless cycle of wanting to be someone else. Trust us: you are enough just as you are.

Nothing is more sustainable than positive self-talk

Body positivity is here to stay, and one way to accomplish positive self-talk is by doing it consistently. For example, standing in the mirror in a swimming suit, crop top, or any other vulnerable clothing and repeating to yourself 'I am enough.' This simple act alone can help you view your body through more forgiving eyes, which can help build your armor against toxic social media messaging and summer body trends. Make sure you keep at it, though — most of the habits we sustain are through time and effort.


Besides a daily routine to help keep you afloat, turning off your phone as much as you can will be helpful in the long run. It's easy to criticize social media from afar, but actually stepping away from it can be more helpful than imagined. You can do this with a friend or family member who also struggles with body image, having someone else to hold you accountable and be less impressionable on social media. Although it sounds corny, the reality is true that every body is a summer body. Yours looks perfect.