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How to overcome poor Body Image for Summer

Updated: Jun 12

Summer body positivity

Summer is a season that many eagerly anticipate, a time for vacations, beach outings, and a wardrobe filled with swimsuits, shorts, and sundresses. However, for a significant number of people, summer can also bring heightened anxiety and distress about body image. The pervasive culture of “bikini bodies” and the constant exposure to idealized images of beauty in media can amplify feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness. Here, we explore the nuances of body image distress during the summer and offer strategies to manage and overcome these challenges.

Understanding Body Image Distress

Body image distress refers to the negative thoughts and feelings one has about their body’s appearance. This distress can be exacerbated during the summer for several reasons:

  1. Increased Exposure: Warmer weather means less clothing and more skin exposure. For those who are already self-conscious, this can be a daunting prospect.

  2. Social Media Pressure: Social media platforms are often flooded with images of people enjoying summer activities, many of which emphasize bodies. These images can create unrealistic standards and foster comparison.

  3. Diet Culture: The pressure to attain a “summer body” leads many to engage in crash diets or extreme fitness regimens. This can result in both physical and mental health issues, further exacerbating body image distress.

Strategies to Manage Body Image Distress

1. Cultivate Self-Compassion: Understanding that body dissatisfaction is a common experience can help alleviate some of the distress. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a friend. Self-compassion involves recognizing that perfection is unattainable and embracing your body as it is.

2. Limit Social Media Consumption: Curate your social media feed to include body-positive and diverse accounts. Limit the time spent on platforms that trigger negative feelings about your body. Remember, social media often portrays an edited and curated version of reality.

3. Wear What Makes You Comfortable: Choose clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to summer fashion. Whether it’s a bikini, one-piece swimsuit, or shorts and a t-shirt, wear what makes you feel good.

4. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can help you stay grounded and present, reducing anxiety about your body.

5. Seek Support: If body image distress is significantly impacting your well-being, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore these feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Embracing Body Positivity

The body positivity movement encourages the acceptance of all body types and challenges societal standards of beauty. Embracing body positivity means recognizing that every body is a summer body. It’s about celebrating diversity and understanding that beauty is not limited to a specific size, shape, or appearance.

Final Thoughts

Summer should be a time of joy, relaxation, and fun, not a season of dread due to body image concerns. By practicing self-compassion, curating a positive social media environment, and focusing on the functional aspects of your body, you can reduce body image distress and enjoy the season to its fullest. Remember, the best summer body is the one you already have—unique, capable, and deserving of love and respect.

If you or someone you know is struggling this summer, please reach out! We are here to help and you are worthy of it.

About our New York EMDR Therapist Stephanie Polizzi

Stephanie Polizzi is a licensed psychotherapist (LMHC) and eating disorder specialist in Scarsdale, NY at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, serving clients living in NY, NJ and FL.


Stephanie specializes in working with children, teens and adults struggling with anxiety, eating disorders, behavioral challenges, life transitions and trauma. 


Stephanie uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)and EMDR Therapy in her work with clients.


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