Everybody has a summer body

During summer everyone has a body, no matter what it may look like and we must focus more on functionality than appearance. This is where body neutrality comes into play.


As the summer approaches, more of our bodies are being exposed and many people become self-conscious about their looks. In order to stop the negativity around body types, we must shift our perspective and work towards body neutrality.

As the 2022-2023 school year comes to an end, one thing is on every student’s mind: summer. A few months out of the year that should be filled with sunshine, fun and laughs is something every student needs right now. As the summer heat starts to approach, many people are heading to the beach, pool or lake. These circumstances cause our wardrobe to change from sweatshirts and pants to tank tops, shorts and bathing suits. As we welcome this season into our lives, we must become aware of the insecurities specified around body types that become present around this time of the year. 

Every body is perfect, and there are many movements that preach this. One movement you may be familiar with is the body positivity movement. This movement is defined as a foundation for body acceptance and positive thoughts towards our bodies. This movement dates back to the 1960s, but gained most of its popularity around 2012. 

Even with body positivity movements, there is still not complete body inclusion in our society. When thinking about body positivity, most of the time females who are above the average weight are considered examples for this movement. Society has made us believe that if you are skinny, you don’t necessarily fit into the “body positivity” category because you already have the “perfect body.” In addition, the National Library of Medicine explains how average-weighted girls also feel discluded; they feel as if they are too thin to be classified as plus size, but not thin enough where they are happy with their body image. 

As these thoughts become more prevalent as the summer season approaches, body neutrality becomes more important than ever. Body neutrality emphasizes the fact that we as people are more important than how our bodies look. This movement draws attention to not only being respectful to the bodies we have, but becoming more aware and grateful for all that our bodies do for us.

As our society continues to change, evolve and adapt we need to make sure no matter how one appears to the outside world, everyone is accepted and valued as a whole, not just because of the size of their bodies.

Body positivity and body neutrality have many similarities, but contrast in many ways as well. Body positivity primarily focuses on changing your mindset to make you love your body the way it is no matter what it looks like. The only problem is, some people can not accept their bodies, and this can negatively affect them. When someone does not feel happy, but is influenced by their surroundings to act that way, it can cause their true feelings to become hidden. While changing our perspective, we need to start at the source: our own mind. Many times I catch myself becoming my biggest critic, but by staying neutral, it can help us all stray away from our inner bully and get rid of overwhelming negative feelings caused from our surroundings.

I believe we need to shift the stigma. As our society continues to change, evolve and adapt we need to make sure no matter how one appears to the outside world, everyone is accepted and valued as a whole, not just because of the size of their bodies. Body neutrality is defined by The New York Times as, the ability to accept and respect your body even if it isn’t the way you’d prefer it to be. In order to change the body stigmas in our world today, we must focus more on functionality than appearance, and become aware of all that our bodies do for us. Our bodies support us every day and allow us to carry out essential life functions. We need to start pinpointing our attention to what’s underneath the surface, not just the way it is perceived. By changing our mindset to body neutrality, we are indicating the statement that there is no love or hate relationships, but instead a naturalistic bond between self and body.

All in all, our bodies do not define us. Instead of caring so much about what it looks like, we need to focus on what our bodies need to function properly and stay healthy so we can live our best lives. The way your body looks is not the focal point, but instead, it is the way you decide to live your life every day that matters the most.