Last week, a co-worker told me she wanted to wear sleeveless dresses but was worried everyone would think her arms were too fat. Instead she’s been sweating it out and covering her cute summer clothes with cardigans and jackets. We live in the south and it’s damn hot. Our office temperature goes from Frozen to the pits of hell in a matter of minutes. So we had a come to Jesus moment: I let her know that what other people thought about her arms was not her problem.
There are a lot of things that cross my mind on any given day. Making it through 8 hours of work. What I’m going to cook for dinner. Blog post ideas. How I can make more money. Applying for new jobs. Eating healthy. Working out. Paying bills. Getting my oil changed. Cleaning the house. Spending more time with my family and J. Making time for friends. Texting people back. UK Basketball. If I have wine. What time I’ll go to bed. What my niece is doing. So there is no time in my day for fretting over what Linda in HR thinks about my arms. I’m too busy trying to stay alive to give a shit.
We are not one-size-fits-all, even as children. Some of us have flabby arms. Some of us have big butts. Some have big bellies. Some have long, skinny legs. Some have short legs. Some have narrow hips. Some have wide shoulders. Some people eat junk and don’t work out and wear a size 2. Some eat healthy and work out daily and wear a size 20. Some of us have to try a little harder, push ourselves a little more. It’s not always fair. But it’s life.
Summer is a glorious time of year. The days are longer. Flowers are blooming and the margaritas are flowing. There are fireflies and freshly-mowed yards and kids running through sprinklers and fireworks and drive-in movies and bare feet and Miller 64 and ice cream trucks and vacation and giant flamingo floats and I want to soak it all in. I don’t want to spend those few short months sitting inside or covered up and sweating because someone is not comfortable with my body. I won’t do it. And I think that if a person is truly happy they won’t have time to focus on whether or not you should be wearing a tank top and shorts.
I’ve spent too much time wearing pants and long sleeves in the summer and I refuse to do it again. I’m not where I want to be weight-wise, but the only thing I care about right now is staying cool and enjoying myself. I choose not to dwell on what someone will think about my butt, or my arms, or my legs. I just go. If you’re not happy about it, that’s on you. It’s your problem. Not mine.
You have to give a shit about a lot of things, but how to cover your perceived “flaws” should not be one of them. Rock your flabby arms and cellulite and cankles and wide shoulders and narrow hips and flat butt and whatever else you’re working with. Life is far too short to wear a t-shirt in the pool. You know how hot that is? And at the end of your life, you’ll be more upset over not letting go than whether or not you should have worn that bikini. So run through those sprinklers, girl. Wear shorts. Rock a crop top. Go sleeveless. Ditch the bra. Do whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable and YOU and allows you to take back your summer. I promise the rest of the world will go on.
Do you struggle with insecurities this time of year? How do you get past them?