Few things scream Summer quite as loudly as gingham does, an evergreen classic that comes back every June. Its sacred status quo partially originates from a simple idea: the fabric is supposed to work for just about anyone. At least, that’s what I thought when I saw these shorts in Zara last Summer.
This tale starts like any fashionista love story — a girl who falls for an item of clothing in a heartbeat and reaches for the cash desk. But love is not all wine and roses, is it? Once I arrived home, I tried the trousers immediately (I only trust the natural light in my bedroom), and was nothing but disheartened. Those shorts totally cheated on me!
Horrified, I double-checked myself in the mirror: every flaw and insecurity, showing in every inch of exposed skin. I must admit I felt so bad, I didn’t even dare to return the trousers to the shop and simply threw them in the deepest part of the closet, banished forever. Then, I forgot about their existence.
Like any other women, I frequently feel self-conscious about my appearance and Summer turns into a cyclic challenge. No matter how resilient you are most of the time, the warm season with its demands of body confidence can take its toll. I lost track of how many times my husband repeated every woman has cellulite, or freckles, or small depigmentation patches because the truth is, the only voice you can hear in such junctures, is the one in your head. And guys, that’s not a nice voice.
Over the last half a year I was in a bad place, mentally. Work stress, hormonal changes, and some insecurities related to our next destination made me feel overwhelmed at times. And I had to work my ass off to leave that dark place. Because if there is one thing I can say about myself without hesitation, it’s I am a stubborn fighter who will not give up.
So, I started thinking, what can I do to feel better? And eventually, I started applying these thoughts to my body image too. I am not going to lie — it took work and will, and I am still fighting every day. But overall? It was worth it.
So, these are my 100% honest tips on how to boost your self-esteem this Summer.
1. Distance yourself from your body-conflict one second and analyze actual biologic factors
Is your monthly cycle affecting your body shape or perception? Are you stressed or dieting? When your hormones are out of order, this affects your mood. The reason can be found on the imbalance between Oestrogen and Serotonin. Likewise, if you’re currently dieting, there’s also a chance that your brain is in starvation mode. At that point, it conserves resources for survival which can leave you less capacity to think in a flexible and objective way about the way you look.
2. Focus on your strengths
None of us is made of flaws only. Think about your best physical qualities. Are your arms firm? Have you got a glowy skin? What about your eyes or your hair? We all have some charms and they are there, waiting for you to discover them.
3. Feed to nourish
Look, we have all been there, even the skinny type ladies: emotional eating is a fact. Instead of obsessing over the perfection of all those fitness model-like influencers out there, try not to compare yourself with them. Be generous and instead of restricting calories or food groups, try to nourish. You might know already that brain-friendly foods include coconut oil, oily fish, nuts, dark leafy greens, etc. And as I previously mentioned, most of our body-image issues are related to brain starvation mode.
4. If you need professional help, ask for it
We would never judge anyone for going to the dentist, so why to judge those going to therapy? This is certainly a taboo we need to kill. If you feel a therapist might be the solution to your problem, do not hesitate to make an appointment. Mostly everyone needs professional help at some point and that’s fine.
Just to finish the story, while cleaning my wardrobe last Spring, I found those infamous gingham shorts and decided to give them another shot. The patches, freckles, and cellulite were still there, but my mind was in a better place now.
And you know what? Life is too short to care.
Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana (old model, alternative here)