Summer is only a few months away. After staying inside for winter, we are ready to tan on the beach and run in the sun! Does that mean hitting the gym every single day? Or going on a diet to achieve the “summer body”? It should not matter how you look - just be confident.
The idea of a summer body was introduced in 1961, but did not become popular until the late 1980s. It was regarded as the bikini body - “high firm bust - hand span waist - trim, firm hips - slender graceful legs,” according to this Slate article. The talk of summer body usually begins around April and May. People begin to go on crazy diets and workout plans to achieve the look they want. They begin to cut out sugar and eat an extremely low amount of calories to maintain a flat stomach. Is this healthy or safe?
Freshman government and politics major and economics major Mahi Pandya, says the summer body trend is toxic. If individuals are working out, it should be done to “release energy and for their own mental being.” She adds that she works out as a stress reliever. Pandya disagrees with the idea of working out for an aesthetic purpose as it can lead to mental health issues. She would rather have a strong and healthy body year round.
Pandya agrees, saying that she goes to the gym because she feels more energized after. “It gets my blood moving and I am able to focus better throughout the day.” Especially after running, she has lots of energy for the day.
More students agree that the summer body trend is toxic. Unnathi Konduru, a freshman operational management and accounting major, says “people should feel comfortable in their body regardless.”
Similarly to Pandya, freshman environmental law and policy major Caroline Mackin says there are long term effects both physically and mentally when individuals participate in these types of diets. Mackin states we should be healthy in general.
“It causes people to participate in crash diets” Mackin replies, “and hurts the body. You exert your body for three months extensively and then stop which causes harm to the physical body. Instead you should try to work out 365 days, and have the body you want year round and be happy.”
Lili Reinhart, an American actress most notably on Riverdale and Hustlers, gave a heartfelt message on the topic of self-image. Reinhart writes that the summer body trend is toxic and you do not need to have a “flat or perfectly toned stomach to wear a crop top.” Reinhart encourages body positivity and assures that your body is ready for summer no matter what.