Its summertime, my favorite time of year! August is also my birthday month, so it is extra special to me, a good reminder to celebrate just being alive and the evolution of my disability a little more. I love everything about Summer Vibes, the fashionable summer dresses, sun-kissed skin, lay back poolside days and dreamy summer nights.
With all the wonderful vibes summer brings it can also bring on negative feelings about body image more than any other time of year. I catch myself over analyzing and being extremely critical about my disability when I wear a bathing suit or expose my legs in short summer dresses or shorts. Self- love pep talks and words of encouragement constantly replay in my mind to live shamelessly and comfortable in my skin.
Sometimes it is challenging because I do not feel “Summer body” ready and memories of how my body once was before my spinal cord injury come to the surface. I begin to compare my now disabled body with the able -body girls in bikinis which at times kills my confidence and dims my summer vibes. But I must remind myself about all the obstacles I overcome living with a disability daily, it is something to celebrate and be proud of during the ease of this season. Not to be so self-conscious about my body and let go of the illusion of a perfect “summer body”.
This summer take on the challenge to set your mind free and melt away your body insecurities. Accept to LOVE your “differently-abled” body as it is. Find comfort in your skin and embrace imperfections. There’s POWER in OWNING who YOU ARE. Feel the FIRE that burns inside you, show the world what REAL beauty is and feels like. The time is now to proudly represent our disabled community and celebrate our summer bodies! Wear those bathing suits without self-judgments or fear of being different.
There is no such thing as a perfect body, we all have anxieties and are unhappy about some part of our bodies we wish could change or wish could be better, disabled or not. But what makes us different is what makes us unique, find the Beauty in that. Love who you are, let go of the illusion of perfection. Once you do, self-acceptance and confidence will get stronger with every summer that passes by.
“You don’t need to be beautiful like them. BE BEAUTIFUL like YOU.”
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