Though we should keep them in mind all year round, I would argue that inspiring body positive quotes are needed most in the summertime. Every year, as the first day of summer opens its warm, lithe, tanned arms and welcomes us into its sweaty sun-cream-scented embrace, I'm embarrassed to say that my first thoughts aren't how to plan the best beer-garden-gathering or which beaches to frequent first. Instead, my brain is baulking in apprehension at the pressures of bearing summer-ready skin. As I don my first brightly-printed sundress of the season, I'm studying the fuzzy covering of hair on my arms, the one-too-many-doughnut thighs, the milk-bottle-colored skin perfectly primed to blind my nearest and dearest.
What I find most disheartening is not simply the disappointingly sheer audacity of my body to possess commonplace human flaws, it's my disappointment at my disappointment; a frustration at the way societal conventions and the mainstream media (I'm looking at you, Protein World ad) have brainwashed my mind into categorizing my bodily imperfections as "flaws" when in fact they're just distinguishing features. And sadly, I know that, chances are, many of you have similar bodily insecurities, and the domino effect of "if only..." mental bodily bargainings that hold you back from carefree summer lovin'.
But while we sit bound by our own insecurities, summer in all its glorious water-fighting, beach-frequenting, drunk-barbecuing potential is slyly passing us by. So I'm making a stand: Screw confidence-eroding thought patterns, and screw the contempt I feel at my body's failure at flawlessness. When I'm reminiscing about the summer of '15 I want to be smiling at its sun-soaked beer garden memories, daydreaming fondly about the friends I spent them with, and shocking my grandchildren with cringe-inducing over-shares of my resultant drunken escapades. None of that will happen if I'm too scared to go outside.
But even clad in my newly-reinforced body positivity armour, I know there'll be some days I'll just have to fake-it-til-I-make-it. So below are thirteen self-esteem-soaring quotes to help us boot our fears of skin-showing up the bum once and for all!
1. "Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing any have it count for something. The lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on the beach and study the clouds. " — Regina Brett
2. "What I have to say is far more important than how long my eyelashes are. " — Alanis Morrisette
3. "Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive,' 'jealous,' 'shallow,' 'vain,' 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me." — J.K. Rowling
4. "Your self-esteem won't come from body parts. You need to step away from the mirror every once in a while and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people who love and admire you. " — Stacy London
5. "If you're not the hero of your own story, then you're missing the point of your own humanity." — Dr Steve Maraboli
6. "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." — Oscar Wilde
7. "Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends." — Aberjhani
8. "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." — Marilyn Monroe
9. "There is nothing wrong with your body. But there is a lot wrong with the messages which try to convince you otherwise." — Rae Smith
10. "Stop wasting so much energy hating your body; it makes you weaker. Everything good in your life begins from the moment you begin accepting, understanding, respecting and loving your true self". — Harry Papas
11. "To all the girls that think you're fat because you're not a size zero: you're the beautiful one. It's society who's ugly." — Marilyn Monroe
12. "If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty. Which is: who cares?!" — Tina Fey
13. "You are a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from stardust. What do you have to be scared of?" — @Porkbeard
Images: jackfrog/Fotolia; Getty Images; Giphy