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Summer time Body Dysmorphia By: Hana B

Summertime is typically a time of relaxation and vacation for many, but also a time of increased body dysmorphia for others. Body dysmorphia refers to the obsession with one's physical “flaws”, typically occurring during warmer seasons due to increased outdoor social activity. Frequently, these “flaws” are small unnoticeable things to others. Many attempt cosmetic fixes that temporarily ease themselves, but often that will lead the individual to hyper-fixate on another “flaw” they have. 

As the weather warms, individuals who suffer from body dysmorphia become more sensitive due to less clothing being worn. During winter, it is easy to hide beneath layers and baggy clothing. However, as many begin to ease their way out of these layers, hiding insecurities and one's body becomes difficult. Many begin to feel anxious about things such as their chest size or their cellulite. In addition, those who suffer from self-harming are no longer able to hide their scars which may further their depression due to it being visible.

Additionally, social media may negatively contribute to body dysmorphia by romanticizing a “summer bod”, typically referring to a thinner physique. Individuals who don’t fit into that “summer bod” label may begin to feel anxious about wearing clothing such as crop tops or swimwear in public or online in fear of others' perception of them. Social media also may negatively contribute to the increase of body dysmorphia from negative comments under videos or images of individuals who may not be as conventionally “attractive” as portrayed in social media. 

Maintaining a positive relationship with yourself year-round may be difficult, especially during the summer. However, incorporating positive habits in your daily life may greatly change your life. This may be lowering screen time, unfollowing negative influencers or individuals who don’t give out encouraging energy, spending less time looking in the mirror, and surrounding yourself with inspiring individuals. Remember that everyone is unique, and physical imperfections yourself do not define you. Enjoy this summer, and remember all bods are summer bods. 


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