Justin Hubbell's Body Positive Comic Shows How To Celebrate Summer Free From Body Shaming
"It's bathing suit season!" Around this time of year, people are probably starting to hear this phrase in exercise classes, ads, and magazines. But this attitude toward summer can lead to a lot of shame and self-loathing. This body-positive, summer-themed comic by Justin Hubbell, on the other hand, shows a different way to prepare for warm weather: by embracing whatever body parts will be showing exactly as they already are.
Hubbell tells Bustle via Twitter that they began the project in response to a personal experience with body shame:
I was looking at my tummy and thinking... "I gotta work out." But then I kind of internally unraveled that whole process and realized there was nothing I was gaining from being mean to myself. So I created the comic with the hope that it would serve as a "preemptive strike" against folks obsessing over "summer bodies."
The comic features drawings of people with all different body types enjoying the summer, accompanied by clever rhymes describing them. The idea to create rhymes occurred to Hubbell when they and their partner were sitting down for dessert and she said, "Pies out, thighs out!" This made them realize "how a simple rhyme like that could be used to deliver all sorts of positive messages for people worrying about various body shaming issues."
Instead of fretting about showing extra pounds or features deemed "unattractive" during summer, the comic encourages everyone to feel good about whatever may show as they wear (or choose not to wear!) lighter clothing.
Hubbell said they hope these illustrations and mantras remind people to be forgiving with themselves about the way they look. "You ever notice how forgiving we are when it comes to personality 'flaws'?" they pointed out. "We always have a dozen excuses lined up like 'Oh, she's just really opinionated' or 'Sorry, I'm just brutally honest' or 'They have a lot of passion.' But the second someone has some kind of physical variation from whatever Pop Culture is selling us — it's like someone committed a crime."
"I think we can change that!" Hubbell added. "It's definitely going to take a while... and it's NOT going to be easy." But regardless of someone's physical or personality characteristics, they said, "self-love is just infinitely better than self-hate. I hope my comic inspires that feeling, even if just for a moment!" And with adorable scenes like this, how couldn't it?
Images: Courtesy of Justin Hubbell