Bikini Body Truths to Remember This Summer

Summer is the season of risk-taking. And as we gear up for swimsuit season and start contemplating all the ways we can pull off more revealing clothing, we are often reminded of all those things about our bodies we want to fix.

Instead of celebrating the chance to show off our bodies, we start to feel self-conscious. But what do women really have to worry about at this time of year? Well, the first thing to know about body image is that you are not alone. Practically everyone — no matter what their shape or size — feels insecure from time to time.

Body image has been a controversial issue for years, and it is something people of every age and from all cultures, ethnic groups and economic backgrounds struggle with.

A new beauty poll from Nivea has revealed that half of women dread summertime bikini exposure and will avoid wearing one if possible. According to the poll, even when we finally do get the courage to slip on that two or one-piece suit, nearly three quarters of us will be left feeling anxious about it. This happens to remain an issue even if we’re simply hanging out with our friends and family.

Only six percent of women will actually feel confident in a bikini this summer.

So, what’s the body part causing all this summer stress? Our stomachs and our thighs tend to be high up there on the list, but 16 percent of women are constantly worrying about every aspect of their body.

This amazingly beautiful season of summer should not be taken over by the insane notion that you have to look a certain way in order to have fun.

Here are a few bikini body truths to remember as you prepare to bare it all:

Cellulite and Stretch Marks Are Not Body Flaws
These things are actually normal. People of all shapes and sizes get stretch marks and cellulite from a number of human experiences, including growth spurts, weight loss and gain or being pregnant. You didn’t do anything wrong. Learn to love those lines on your thighs and those dimples on your butt. We all have them, so we might as well learn to love them.

Every Body Is a Bikini Body
You don’t have to look like Miranda Kerr or Halle Berry to put on a two-piece swimsuit. As far as we’re concerned, there isn’t a law that prohibits women from flaunting what they’ve got. So, even if you haven’t reached your summer weight goal or feel prepared enough to get into a bikini, or even if you’ve actually gained some weight, wear what makes you feel good.

Never Disown Your Body
Whether you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, gained weight, had a few babies or recently experienced a terrible injury or are battling an illness, you are beautiful just the way you are. Your body is YOURS and shouldn’t have to be compared to what you see in tabloids or on television.

Welcome ALL Shapes and Sizes
Everyone knows that there is a lack of body diversity in the media, but that doesn’t mean we should shame people for being thin. This is just as harmful as fat-shaming those who don’t look like Kate Moss. A “real woman” is every woman. You don’t need to pass some subjective body test in order to feel worthy.

Don’t Let Your Swimsuit Define Your Summer
The truth is: Your swimsuit isn’t the thing that is going to make or break your summer — it’s you. Getting that perfect bikini bod you’ve always dreamed about isn’t the only thing that matters about summer. Summertime is meant for getting out in the world and embracing each and every moment under the sun. It doesn’t matter what you decide to wear or what you feel comfortable in while you are enjoying life.

You know what matters more than hitting the gym threes time a day to get a flat tummy? Traveling and experiencing the unknown, long days and endless nights, spending time with family and loved ones, random, spur of the moment road trips, weekend adventures, backyard BBQs, the feeling of sand between your toes, playing frisbee, outdoor concerts, eating popsicles in the hot heat and letting it drip down onto your fingertips, making s’mores on the beach, riding waves, laughing, feeling the sun on your skin, riding bikes through the park, baseball games and lazy days.

All of these things can be done whether or not you’re in a bikini. And you know what? It doesn’t matter either way. Flat stomach or not, everyone deserves to make this summer the best summer, ever.