The Body Beautiful: Summer Edition
We know the truth about our bodies. We know deep down that perfectionism is a farce and what really matters is appreciating the strong, resilient body we were given. At Everviolet, we believe that beauty exists in kindness and radical self-love, that our radiance shines from the inside out as a reflection of our character and life experiences. Loving our body can be challenging, especially following illness, struggles and change. But we also know that “having an ideal body” starts with saying “Hell No” to the status quo and leaning into our own strengths and uniqueness. So, in the spirit of reclaiming summer on our terms, following are some tips for feeling our best and most confident on the beach, or anywhere.
Celebrate Our Body and All Its Accomplishments
As we grow older, we come to accept that our body is perfectly imperfect. Every scar tells a story, accomplishment and triumph of our unwillingness to surrender. In her 2021 New York Times Best Selling book, The Body is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor shares her message of radical self-acceptance. After spending the majority of her life feeling ashamed of her body and its various imperfections, she came to the realization that she had been apologizing for her very existence. As a self-described recovering self-perfectionist, she explains, “Life is a gift, but it isn’t an innocuous one. Even the careful get cut. Even the cautious fall.” Learning to love her scars gave her the freedom to love herself in a way she never thought possible. Whether it is our body’s ability to bring new life into the world, resulting in stretch marks, or our relentless fight against disease leaving us bruised in countless ways, our bodies are truly remarkable. Holding onto inner shame doesn’t make sense when we learn to be thankful for everything our body has been through. Instead, let’s be confident that the skin we’re in has brought us this far.
Practice Small, Little Acts of Joy
It’s unrealistic to be unaffected by the beauty standards we’ve been surrounded by our entire lives. We’re all products of the giant media machine that can make us feel “less than” and lacking. So, let’s begin by practicing small acts of kindness towards ourselves. When we act from a place of joy, and not from societal expectations, it may feel a little uncomfortable. Many of us spend the majority of any so-called “free time” serving others. It can seem almost selfish to take a moment of our day to indulge in our own feelings or needs for self-care. But what if we carved out time every day to give to ourselves? A walk in nature? Buying ourselves fresh flowers? A soothing facial or bath before bed? Practicing small acts of self-love are a daily reminder that we deserve to be happy, right now. We are already worthy. We do not need to attain any level of perfection in order to show up and show off.
Be Who We Needed As an Adult
Pool season is triggering for many of us. Even though we already know that our social media feed of airbrushed celebrities posing perfectly at the beach sets unrealistic beauty standards, these images can get under our skin and in our head. Ditching the magazines and filtering our feeds is a good first step, but we need to learn to have more compassion for ourselves. Without compassion, we will always seek validation from external sources. Even if we shut off our devices and surround ourselves with friends and family, if we only learn to love ourselves based on external likes, comments and the approval of others, our self-worth will suffer. Internal validation begins by deciding who we are and what we stand for. It takes work (so don’t expect it to happen overnight). It requires us to become a part of our own support system. We may have to show up—both literally and figuratively—as the parent we needed when we were little. Were we bullied as children? Do we simply need to tell a younger version of ourselves that we already are enough? Be bold and be brave in this love.
Take Up Space — A Revolution!
Women have been taught that thinness is the epitome of beauty. That smaller is preferred. The less space we take up, the better. Ironically, in the animal kingdom, hipbones and visible ribs are not an indication of health. It’s perhaps ironic (or nefarious) that keeping women small in fashion has been the long con. It’s even worse for people of color. The writer behind Scary Mommy, A. Rochaun writes, “I’ve spent much of my life trying to be seen and not heard. I didn’t want to make waves because I was afraid of the consequences. Deep down, I knew that some of that was taught to me in an attempt to keep me safe – there aren’t many safe spaces for Black women.” We’re not doing that anymore. It’s time to take up space and celebrate. Buy a swimsuit that feels good. We are wearing bright colors that make us feel powerful.
The last step in our quest to feel the most confident this summer is this: Wear what makes you comfortable and fell YOU. That’s it.
Pieces We Love
Here are a few Everviolet pieces we love to wear – ones that bring us joy and make us feel beautiful and feminine.
Vela Wireless Bra – Our most beautiful post-surgery bra offers pockets for pads and prosthetics. The delicate, scalloped lace neckline is full-coverage and designed to avoid pain points after lumpectomy. Available in various colors.
Astrid Jersey Bralette with Lace – Soft and supportive, Astrid was voted “Best Bra with a Combination of Beauty and Comfort for All Surgery Types" by Business Insider! By far, our most versatile style.
“Denying people access to value is an incredibly insidious form of emotional violence, one that our culture wields aggressively and liberally to keep marginalized groups small and quiet.” – Lindy West