Summer Skin

S

ummer!! It's finally here, y’all. Sunshine on your shoulders, making your garden grow, weekends at the beach and big-girl drinks on the back porch. As northerners, we wait all winter for this. While I adore winter, part of me always thinks that if I can just make it through that tough, cold, gray month of February, I'll be that much closer to feeling the warm sun on my skin. 

But with summer, there's so much more skin to show-off to the world. Shorts and sundresses and once June hits, I refuse to wear sleeves until October. All that extra skin is lots more upkeep, work, and sometimes, apprehension. 

Recently, a picture popped up on social media. The photo was of a woman, a mother, and her belly full of stretch marks. The caption was directed towards men, and asked them what they thought about this belly full of, what I like to call, tiger stripes. To be honest, I braced myself for the worst. 

Thankfully, the men of my Twitter feed, 90% of them southern Saints-loving gentlemen, didn't disappoint me. The consensus? They didn't care at all. And I mean, AT ALL. 

This got me thinking about how much we as women are our own worst critics. I have a few tiger stripes of my own, but I earned them! Instead of being embarrassed or self conscious, we should be embracing our bodies and appreciating them more. (I now know that men sure do!)

Here's my thought: love yourself. That's it.! You want to work hard and eat your veggies and go to yoga class?  Do that. You'd rather eat whatever you feel like it for booty fuel and work those beautiful curves of yours?  Please, please, do that. Are you one of those lucky ones that can eat whatever and still be a string bean? Then strut your stuff. 

Whatever your shape, throw on the swimsuit and own it, work it, love it. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes. Be proud!  You'll be an inspiration not only to young girls, but to the rest of us and most importantly, to yourself.