It’s summer here in the US! Have you girls been soaking up the sun or taking a vacation or holiday? I hope you’re enjoying whatever you’re up! Remember sunscreen, k?
So speaking of summer, I wondered if you’d heard of the phrases “hot girl summer” or “glow up” or “swimsuit ready” or “bikini/beach/summer body”?
I can’t stand any of those phrases. Even if they originally intended to be empowering, I think they’re way more harmful than they are helpful.
The main issue I have with them is they focus on appearance. Their message is that you should look a certain way to qualify to participate in summer or an activity/event – your face, hair, skin, features, body, size, weight, shape, clothes, etc.
That message continues – if you don’t look like “her” – the perfect standard that girls are being measured against (which btw is impossible to reach) – then you should sit out, stay home, and change yourself until you do look like that. And then you can be part of the fun, feel included and welcome, like you belong, finally.
That message is completely false. There is nothing about you that need to hide, that you should change, or that you ought to feel shame about. Because how you look is not a problem that needs to be fixed before you are worthy enough to participate in summer or an activity or your own life! Your worth is infinite already. I say this a lot because I want you to remember it – YOU ARE ENOUGH. Right now. And anyone/brand that tries to tell you otherwise, says you need to change first, is a bully and probably wants to sell you something.
Hype Girl Summer
So instead of those phrases, let’s do Hype Girl Summer! What’s that about? I’m glad you asked. Hype Girl Summer is about hyping up yourself and others so you all can fully enjoy and experience all this season – life, really – has to offer.
Hype Girl Yourself
First, Hype Girl yourself! Let’s say you want to do an activity you like or try something new, or you get invited somewhere, or you’re going on vacation or to a camp. So in any of these scenarios, what if you start doubting whether you should go, start feeling self-conscious about yourself or anxious about other people who will be there. Comparison, envy, and criticism creep in, narrated by your inner mean girl. She’s a difficult one to quiet down, but you don’t have to listen to her.
Start by showing yourself Compassion. Mindfully acknowledge and name your feelings without judgement, identifying why you feel that way. Recognize that other people feel anxious and self-conscious too. Treat yourself with kindness. This self-compassion practice can help you reset so you can then challenge the negative self talk – is it really true, can you reframe it? Or ideally, you can channel your inner-Elsa and, “Let it go!” or at least not let your inner mean girl control the steering wheel; you’re the driver in your life.
I’ve heard this idea from multiple sources but I’ll quote Lauren Busby from @LiftPeriod, “How you look is the least interesting thing about you.” Now that doesn’t mean I think you look plain; there’s much more to who you are, how you think, and what you can do that’s way more interesting and incredible beyond your appearance. In other words, specifically the words of Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite @beautyredefined, authors of More Than A Body, “You are capable of more than looking hot.”
Now it’s time to assert yourself. Write down some Affirmations – positive statements about who you are. They can be as simple as, “I am _____.” and describe yourself using adjectives about your strengths and abilities. Or they can recognize your effort, “I am learning/getting better at _____.” Then stick your affirmations on your mirror and say them while looking yourself in the eye. Your voice may start out quiet, but keep repeating your affirmations til you hear yourself saying them with certainty and confidence. If you want to know more about this, listen to episode 10, Self Love. Affirmations are a powerful way to show yourself love and acceptance. They help you embrace all about who you are right now.
Back to your fun summer plans – all you need to have a swimsuit body is to have a swimsuit and a body, so you’re set! Or whatever the plans are, GO! DO IT! WEAR IT! ENJOY IT! EXPERIENCE IT! Do you hear me Hype Girling you?! I want you to do that for yourself! Give yourself an epic halftime peptalk. Cheer yourself on! Repeat this process as needed and go live it up!
Hype Girl Other Girls
The other part to Hype Girl Summer is Hype Girl other girls. Sometimes our inner mean girl talks about other girls using comparison, envy, and criticism. She thinks it’ll make her feel better, but it never does. Have you heard a saying like, “Dimming someone else’s light won’t make yours shine brighter.” It means bringing someone else down – whether to their face, behind their back, or in your head – that won’t put you above them. It doesn’t have to be a competition.
And if you’re literally in a competition for sports, a performance, tournament, etc., instead of comparing or criticizing your opponent, I think you’ll have a healthier mindset and be able to focus better on what you’re doing if you can respect your opponent and their abilities.
Aside from that scenario, you don’t have to be in competition with other girls, and vice versa. You’re neither above or beneath each other. You’re both enough. You’re both worthy. You can both shine individually. And remember, how they look is the least interesting thing about them because they are capable of more than looking hot, as Lauren and the Drs. Kite said. So Hype Girl other girls. Cheer each other on! Invite them to join you, include them in activities, support them when they’re struggling, encourage them when they’re trying, and celebrate each other’s successes!
As Robert Ingersoll said, “We rise by lifting others.” Hype Girl Summer by hyping up yourself and others so you all can fully enjoy and experience life together.
Download: Hype Girl Summer Poster
To help you remember all of this, I created a “Hype Girl Summer” poster for you to print out and post on your wall where you’ll see it, remember it, practice it, and believe it — that’s the important part.
More on body positivity and neutrality:
You may also want to check out:
Her Body Can, by Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke
Love Your Body, by Jessica Sanders
More than a Body, by Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite
Reclaim the Rebel, by Lizzy Cangro
If you have favorites to add to this list, or have a topic suggestion, I’d love to hear from you! Send an email (tweens get the OK from your parents) to [email protected] .
And if you have social media already, follow me on Insta or tiktok @empowerfulgirls. I’m not encouraging or endorsing social media, but I’m on there to offer an unfiltered, uplifting alternative to what’s in your feed. Remember to get on the email list for the newsletter!
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