Written by: Dr. Charlotte Markey

Summer has always been my favorite season.  I’ve always loved the warm weather, longer days, and time outside swimming or just hanging out.  But summer brings a special brand of angst for many of us.  Higher temperatures and time in the water means wearing shorts and bathing suits.  You’re not alone if the thought of wearing a bathing suit in public isn’t appealing.  Here are a few tips to help you stay body positive this summer.

  • Fake it until you make it

You may feel that you are the only one concerned with how you look in summer attire, but you absolutely are not!  Most of us have some reservations about showing off more of our bodies than we do when it’s cooler out.  Confidence can be extremely attractive, however.  There is also nothing wrong with pretending to be confident even if you aren’t.  Sometimes faking it can help us actually become more body confident.

  • Consider what it is you value

How do you want to remember your summer?  Hopefully, your summer provides you with time with your friends and family doing fun activities and relaxing more than you’re probably able to during the school year.  Focus on the things that you want to do this summer, whether it be learning to waterski or hanging out at your local pool with friends.  Don’t let self-consciousness keep you from the activities that you value.

  • Be grateful

Our bodies allow us to live our lives.  Some research suggests that when you focus on being grateful for all that your body does for you, you’re less likely to be dissatisfied with your body.  The media messages we see all the time suggest that our bodies can and should be changed or fixed in a variety of ways.  When we reconsider our bodies as acceptable as they are and something we should be grateful for – regardless of any imperfections we may perceive –  it’s a lot easier to maintain a positive body image.

  • Make smart purchases

Body positivity comes from the inside and is all about how we feel psychologically; it actually isn’t all that related to how we look physically.  This doesn’t mean that some smart purchases may not help a bit.  Whether it be finding a comfortable bathing suit that you like the look of or some sundresses that you find flattering, sometimes it’s worth investing in summer attire that offers both an ego boost and comfort.

  • Care less

It’s completely normal to care about what others think of you.  Most of us want to be viewed favorably by our peers, friends, family and even strangers.  However, we can make an effort to care less about the opinions of others, especially when those opinions don’t align with our values.  People who really care about us don’t care about our appearance as much as who we are, regardless of the season.


This article was adapted from The Body Image Book for Girls:  Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless by Dr. Charlotte Markey.  For more information, go to the book’s webpage:  www.TheBodyImageBookforGirls.com