Here are 21 reasons I don't care.
It's summertime, which means swimsuit season. If you're like me, these words traditionally invoke a mixture of excitement and sinking dread.
As the warmer season draws nigh, women worldwide gravitate towards gyms and begin the annual ritual of systematically restricting food intake to achieve the ideal form as depicted in cinema, television, and magazines alike so that we might appear desirous to the male gaze. This ritual dieting and its tireless pursuit is a sacred and serious task, which, if its objective is not achieved, results in dire consequences of panic, horror, self-loathing, and the complete inability to enjoy any activity all summer.
Usually, I manage this. But somehow, this year, it just didn't happen.
Here are 21 reasons I don't care.
1. Forget the patriarchy and its really creepy standards.
2. Being hot is not a contest, and hotness is not a scarce commodity.
3. I don't have to slave away at the gym every day. I get a regular, healthy amount of exercise that's natural for me.
4. I can eat what I want, and I don't feel bad about it. Life is short. Why should I?
5. Nobody notices, despite what you think. People around you are enjoying their summer and having fun. The only one analyzing your body is you.
6. Being happy with your body is a totally feminist act. You gained weight for feminism, man. Yeah. That's obviously the only reason.
7. Every time you genuinely enjoy a french fry without thinking about calories, the advertising industry dies a little.
8. You are Cosmo magazine's worst nightmare.
9. One sexist man perhaps will see you, and look away in disgust at the fact that you've failed to satisfy your duty as a picture-perfect object of decoration according to society's standards.
You will have deprived him of this. Good.
10. Catcallers always tell curvy girls to lose weight. To spite them, you have done the opposite.
11. Your friends look skinnier next to you in bikini photos, so you're doing them a favor, really. You were just being nice. For feminism.
12. Eating pasta and enjoying it is like, the most independent act. Forget them and their standards.
13. Different weights are natural for different people. Your sexiness has literally nothing to do with a number on a scale. Sexiness is yours, and it's an attitude you radiate -- it can't be taken away from you by society or anyone.
14. You're happy with yourself, and you live a healthy, balanced life.
15. You're less self-absorbed. Focusing on dieting was making you kind of a buzzkill, to be honest. You're way more fun, unafraid to be yourself, and you focus on the things you love now, not the things you hate.
16. When you stop judging yourself, you stop judging other people.
17. Society and its patriarchal standards told you that you needed to get rid of all belly fat, so obviously, you did the opposite. Just to spite them.
18. You do not exist for public decoration.
19. If you're happy with your body, then that's the only thing that matters.
20. Your body is yours, and no one else's.
21. You deserve to feel good about yourself and damn anyone who tells you otherwise.
So eat your favorite food; put on your favorite swimsuit. Look in the mirror, and rather than analyzing your body like it's a piece of meat, enjoy it. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, "Damn, I look good." When you believe that, it radiates, and your confidence is contagious. Nothing is sexier than that.
Do you diet in the summertime? What helps you feel confident? Share your thoughts in the comments.
This article was originally written for Our Community Now at Maryland by Alice Minium.