February 23, 2024

With summer right around the corner comes the unavoidable pressure swimsuit season can bring for women of all ages.

Right about now, blogs all over the internet and social media outlets are promoting various ways to get that perfect summer body and look great in a bikini. Often times, women are taught to think they need to look like the swimsuit models who dominate the covers of magazines.

Kaitlyn Chadwick, freshman mathematics major, said this pressure can create a negative impact on women’s self-confidence.

“Girls are pushed to look more like the people society deems as pretty, beautiful and acceptable. So, it can lead them into feeling like they can’t do certain things or maybe not want to go out as much over the summer,” Chadwick said.

Chadwick said she encourages other women to be less concerned with the opinion of others.

“Be comfortable with who you are and as long as you’re happy it doesn’t matter what other people think,” Chadwick said.

Jessica Berkley, sophomore pre-nursing major, said faith and happiness are key in finding true confidence amid the view of one’s reflection.

“God made each and every one of us in his image. With that, I hope girls can find comfort in the fact that God loves us for who we are and still finds us beautiful,” Berkley said.

Nadia De Leon, associate marriage and family therapist at CBU’s Counseling Center, said women often compare themselves to Instagram models or other peers if they do not feel confident in their own appearance.

“It really comes down to how confident they are about themselves, not just about their weight but in the overall aspects of life. It’s not always about physical appearance if you have true self-confidence,” De Leon said.

De Leon advises students who experience low self-esteem to really think about where that lack of confidence stems from and learn to find acceptance from there.

“Just try to find that peace — the core belief in what your insecurity is — tackle it and try to build confidence that way,” De Leon said.

De Leon said the pressure on younger generations to look a certain way  or maintain the perfect body image is always increasing and the concern for self-esteem among women is now more prevalent than ever.

With swimsuit season approaching, now is the time to uplift one another and spread encouragement for body positivity.

Acquiring self-confidence can be an ongoing journey, but tackling those insecurities head on and learning to value self-acceptance over the approval of others can be a good place to start.

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