It’s here – summertime. And with it comes all things related to fun in the sun like pool days, BBQs and getaway road trips. But, summertime also comes with the unrealistic expectations of the “summer bod”. Unhealthy body standards that frequent this season can make the summertime feel overwhelming for women who may be struggling with body image issues and eating disorders.
Unrealistic body standards for summer months have a negative impact on our society. It makes people think that the bodies they have may not be good enough to enjoy in the summer fun. And, for those living with eating disorders, these unrealistic standards can lead to self-harming behaviors and lifestyles. Fortunately, there are a few things individuals can keep in mind during the summertime. This way, they can keep away from the negative effects of summertime body standards.
The Problem With Unrealistic Body Standards in the Summertime
The idea that one needs a “summer bod” for summer is dangerous. It suggests that we shouldn’t feel comfortable with our bodies unless they are Instagram-model worthy. This simply is not the case, as one does not have to have a “bikini body” to be worthy of self-love or acceptance. Plus, in most cases, these “summer bodies” are completely unrealistic, and it would be unhealthy for many people to strive to maintain a body that fits within the realm of these unrealistic standards.
Confronting Summer Clothing and Styles
One reason why summer can be a trigger for many recovering from eating disorders is due to the summertime wardrobe pushed by social media and retail establishments during this time of year. Crop tops, bikinis, and other revealing clothing may lead to negative self-image and body standards for oneself. And, offer outside pressure to people who may not feel comfortable in these styles of clothing.
The Hazards of Unrealistic Body Standards for Summertime
When people succumb to unrealistic standards for bodies that society pushes during the summer months, a number of dangerous things can happen. Especially, for individuals living with eating disorders and who may have issues with body image. For example, people may overexercise, undereat, or start unhealthy diets. These changes can lead to malnutrition and a host of other biological complications.
Sadly, all too often, unrealistic body standards are what stimulates the development of eating disorders. This is due to the fact that individuals may begin to attempt to change their bodies as a result of summertime body expectations. The result is a higher number of people being affected by disordered eating in the summer months.
What to do About These Unrealistic Standards
If you or a loved one has developed eating disorder behaviors due to the overwhelming pressure to maintain a “summer bod”, there are a few things you can do to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Some of these things include:
Find a New Hobby: Distracting yourself from the part of society that may be telling you that you aren’t good enough can help you reprioritize what’s really important in your life. So, find new hobbies that interest you. Along with distraction, finding new hobbies can help to increase self-confidence. Thus, giving yourself a reason to love you for who you are!
Don’t Let Social Media Get to You: Social media continually perpetuates unhealthy and unrealistic beauty and body standards. If you find yourself scrolling through Instagram and being triggered by certain people or posts, simply unfollow these accounts. Protecting yourself from unnecessary triggers can help you to remember that you are worthy of love – from yourself and others.
Get Help: If you find yourself overwhelmed with unrealistic body image standards set in the summer months, there is help available to you. Eating disorder treatment helps people living with disordered eating behaviors develop new healthy thinking patterns, coping skills, nutritional education, and more.
Get Help Today from Willow Place for Women
Struggling with body image or eating disorders? Willow Place for Women offers outpatient treatment for women living with eating disorders, trauma, and substance abuse. To learn more about how we’re here for you, contact us today right on our website or call 1-888-651-4212.