While an increasing number of humans dramatically fear for their lives these days, some obviously deem it fitting to post memes showing baby girls with puppy fat in bathers at the beach titling „this is my beach body after 1 month of quarantine“.
I don’t think this is funny and here is why:
First, because those baby girls have perfectly normal and incredibly cute bodies. All parents and grandparents will probably agree that kissing and cuddling the soft skin of a baby is amongst the best feelings in the world. Thus, we should not misuse those innocent bodies to depict „imperfection“ or to symbolise the potential result of „letting oneself go“. Those girls will probably face enough appearance pressures as they get older (girls aged 5 worry about their body image, did you know?), so please let them grow up in peace. They are perfect the way they are and nobody should suggest them otherwise. By the way, never in their lives do humans learn as much as during early infancy. This is far from „letting oneself go“. Quite the opposite in fact.
Second, these memes demonstrate the incredible fear of our society to put on weight during quarantine… just because people are supposed to be at home rather than exercising at the gym? Surely, self-isolation can be a difficult thing and probably something that none of us have experienced yet; it is thus surprising how few people address the mental health issues that may come with this.
Where people are, day in, day out, confronted with themselves, they may of course face difficulties – but instead of adding insult to the injury, we should look for solutions to take away those fears. We are not alone in this! We are facing this together! Thus, take care of each other and ask for help if you need to. Asking for support is strength, not weakness.
Also, yes, it might be difficult to stay at home and maybe food feels like the perfect partner in crime to get through this; but hey, this world has far serious problems than weight gain, right? In these unsettling days, we should CARE for ourselves and most importantly for our health! Worrying about your body weight and shape may not contribute positively to that at all. So instead, try and add some self-loving elements into your everyday routine. Feed your body with things that make it feel happy and balanced – eat food that makes you feel good and gives you energy, move your body out of joy and not because you are – temporarily – forced to skip gym (switch on your favourite music and DANCE, join some of those great Youtube initiatives such as free Yoga classes, etc.); insert the most positive and inspiring thoughts you could possibly allow entering your body and discard those that make you feel negatively about yourself and life; get enough sleep, drink enough water, and RELAX. Above all, don’t forget, this is NOT FOREVER.
It is possible to care for yourself during self-isolation because self-care does not equal dieting and excessive exercising. Yes, some of us may gain a little bit of weight during this time – but seriously, who cares? Maybe that bit of extra weight is exactly what your body needs to get you through this time – healthy! And getting through this healthy and alive is all that matters, right? Note, weight gain is NOT a sign of letting yourself go, of lacking self-control or discipline. This is only what our modern society has assigned to it over the past decades.
Last, #beachbodyready – what does that mean anyway? Every-body deserves to spend time at the beach, everybody is welcome to enjoy the beauty of nature, to go for a swim, enjoy the sunshine, relax and feel good; in brief, everybody is beach body ready!
Instead of worrying about certain aesthetic requirements we may feel we must fulfil in order to be legitimated to expose our body at the beach, we should look forward to that wonderful, wonderful moment when we are finally allowed again to go out and meet our friends at the beach! Whoever hesitates then because of the way they look, is – forgive me for being so clear – a fool.
Thus, lovely people, do not waste your precious time worrying about your body weight or shape during this global pandemic. Check on your health – do much of what makes you feel strong, powerful, loved, energetic, resilient – ALIVE! Use this time in which the world has slowed down to reflect upon what really matters in life.
And whenever this tiny voice in your head starts dragging down your body again and makes you feel guilty and bad, just remember all those poor people in the hospitals fearing for their lives right now and think of all those who love them and cannot be with them – do you think only one of them will spend a second to worry about their body?
Stay healthy, lovely people, every life matters. Hope you and your beloved ones are well xx
Interested to read more about the beach body?
See this blog post of our working group and check out my research profile.