Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Summer Body Image Concerns

Body image is a struggle for countless Americans—including men and women, boys and girls, people from all age groups, ethnicities, and walks of life. Of course, body image struggles can be especially intense and harmful for those who have an eating disorder. The summer months—bathing suit season, that is—can pose the greatest challenges of all. What makes body image such a big problem? A big part of it is media saturation. As our summer body image infographic shows, an overwhelming number of magazines and blogs regularly publish articles devoted to weight loss. “Summer body” articles are some of the most common, and some of the most problematic, as they often promote a body weight that is unhealthy, or else an obsession with weight that is dangerous. In short, summer magazines tell women that they need to drop some pounds so they fit into the next bathing suit size down; for men, the message may be to bulk up. Not only are these messages false, but they can be damaging—leading to low self-esteem and sometimes fanning the flames of eating disorder. The question is, how can you combat this media saturation? Here are a few tips:
  • Surround yourself with positive people, people who will offer you unconditional love.
  • Celebrate other people—and yourself—by promoting positive body image acceptance.
  • Protect yourself! Avoid the publications that promote these unhealthy body standards.
  • If you do feel yourself struggling with body image and are concerned that you have an eating disorder, seek treatment as soon as possible!
In a way, the “summer body/swimsuit season/lose weight now!” articles hurt all of us, because they create an environment in which it’s difficult to feel good about ourselves and to appreciate what we have—which is why the answer for most of us is to simply stop paying those articles any mind. So get out there and soak up the sun this summer! What do you do to preserve your healthy body image? Let us know!