As temperatures are set to rise across Europe and airport check-ins commence across social media, now is the perfect time for us all to learn one very important lesson before heading off on our holliers: You don't owe the world - or your Instagram feed - a flat stomach.
Before you order any 'aspirational' dresses or skinny teas or bikinis that make you want to cry, you need to know that rock hard abs, thigh gaps, flat stomachs, and perky boobs are not an essential part of summer.
If you have them, that's wonderful.
If you don't, that's wonderful.
Even in the era of body-positivity and self-empowerment, it can be hard not to look at our bodies and think, 'ugh' as we take in the inevitable - and completely natural - cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls.
Scrolling through Instagram, we mindlessly compare ourselves to the perfectly curated and filtered accounts of celebrities who make a profit from both their looks and our need to conform to them.
With this in mind, and while listening to Lizzo on repeat, we decided it was time to post a reminder of the transformative power that body-positivity can bring to your life.
Thankfully, just such a reminder landed in our laps earlier this week when Sarah Nicole Landry - the woman behind The Bird Papaya podcast and blog - posted the above picture to Instagram encouraging people of every shape and size to show up and enjoy summer, just as they are. She wrote:
"You don't owe the world a two piece bikini. You don’t owe them perky boobs and a flat stomach, either. You don’t need to apologize for your bloat that day, or explain why you’ve gained those extra 15lbs.
But, it’s also ok if you do. It’s ok to wear a two piece. It’s ok to have perky boobs and a flat stomach. It’s ok to share why you’re bloated. It’s ok to talk about those 15lbs, perhaps even normalizing a flux in weight.
In the realm of body confidence, many feel pushed to get there. There’s a pull between wanting to be accepted, wanting to be as confident as somebody else is, and also just wanting to feel comfortable, too.
Let this be the final message...
Just show up.
However you are today.
If you wear full jeans in the summer because you’re not ready for shorts, thanks for being here.
If you rock a two piece and own your cellulite and stretch marks, thanks for being here.
If you’re bloated and PMSing or holding extra weight but came anyway, thanks for being here.
If you’ve got perky boobs and a flat stomach, naturally or not, thanks for being here.
The point is not (and never will be!) HOW you show up. The point will always be just that you DID.
Just happy you came.
Thanks for being here. "
Happy holidays, folks.