Memorial Day. The beginning of the summer season. The beach. Barbeques. Vacation. Ah, the good life!
The summer is time to kick back and hang out. There’s nothing like a hazy, lazy day at the beach. The sun. The sand. The blue ocean. Or maybe the pool. Uh oh, wait a minute. The beach? That means a swimsuit. Hmmm, let’s look in the mirror. What’s pale and quivering? Hey, wait a minute. That’s me.
And so it begins. The bikini blues. For many of us, who wouldn’t dare slip into something as revealing as a bikini, call it the bathing suit blues. Call it summer-skin-showing-phobia. Call it fear of flab. Call it anything you want. Whatever you call it, it can be a downer.
Reading stories about the prevalence of overweight and obesity in our society, makes it seem many of us would do well going on a reasonable diet and exercise program. That is, of course, after consulting a physician. Yet, I suspect there are plenty of people of normal weight who just don’t feel comfortable enough with their bodies to put on some skimpy swimwear and hit the shore or the cement pond.
We live in an age of image. The airwaves, cable television and the Internet are filled with images. Many of the images we are exposed to show us celebrities. Many, though not all, of these celebrities look to be in perfect physical condition. And we think to ourselves, “How on earth can I compete with that?”
Maybe, we would feel better about the way we look if we analyzed, at least just a bit, why many celebrities look as good as they do. If we understand how they get to look picture perfect, maybe we’ll realize that lots of what we look at are unrealistic images, images of beauty we should not be measuring ourselves against.
Here is a brief list of some things celebs have going for them in the image department:
1.) Lots of celebrities have won a kind of genetic lottery. In many cases they’ve been born good looking and with a tendency to be thin. They have Mother Nature on their side. Okay, this might make us envious.
2.) With some celebs, we only see the good pictures. There are some stars who always look good in certain settings. Then, once in a while, we see paparazzi photos of them and they look like different people. Are the photos we normally see of them enhanced somehow? Are they airbrushed or worked on with the help of computer programs?
3.) Celebs are used to working in the spotlight. They know what clothing makes them look thin, what clothes and colors are more flattering to them and what angles are best when the have their photographs taken. Ever hear about stars who will only be photographed on one side of their face?
4.) Some celebrities have had “work” done. They’ve availed themselves of the plastic surgeon’s scalpel. Is it worth it? Getting surgery done that is not health related is not for me. But everyone is different. At least at this stage, I’d rather live with my physical flaws.
5.) Some celebrities have access to personal trainers and nutritionists to help them stay in shape. Oh and they have stylists to help them look their best.
6.) I believe, there are those stars who stay out of the public eye unless they are in camera shape.
7.) If all your money came from your image, you might be more motivated to stay in shape all year long.
I remember some of those plastic surgery shows from a while back. Let’s see, there was Extreme Makeover, The Swan and Doctor 90210. It was always interesting to see how the participants in those shows seemed more confident and positive after their surgeries.
I wonder if the being confident, in and of itself, is the critical difference in looking better. Sure, there are ways that we can physically improve how we look. But think of it this way. If we go to the beach or pool and strut our imperfect stuff proudly, will we be perceived differently than if we go slumping along? I think confidence makes a big difference.
Good swimsuit selection – picking something right for our body type – can go a long way to making us look and feel good this summer. Yet, again, maybe the secret weapon to wowing people waterside this year is confidence and a good attitude. After all, lots of what we see online are unrealistic images of beauty. Just go ask Photoshop.
Can we compete with how celebs look? I think, just maybe, that it is an irrelevant question.
But, here is what we need to keep in mind:
1.) Pick swimwear and clothing that is flattering to us.
2.) Be confident and positive about who we are and how we look, no matter how imperfect. Remember, confidence is sexy!
3.) Remember lots photos of celebrities online and in other media may not be good representations of how they really look.
4.) Don’t compete, looks-wise, with anyone but yourself. Our personal imperfections make us perfect in our own way.
5.) Wear big t-shirts at the beach or pool. (Reserve this for when all else fails.)
You can read more about fashion consulting from our Chris Yandek’s recent interview with Glenn O’Brien here.
Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.