Ah, the beach. It can be an oasis of sunshine, sandy shores and ocean views – but, in reality, it’ll no doubt be packed fuller than the Bullring at Christmas.
No worries, just wade through to find a spot, pull out a towel and get slathering on the sun cream right? Pay no mind to the toned, tanned size eight blonde sat two rows over, or the young Cindy Crawford-lookalike who just sailed past with enough grace to put a swan to shame.
We can’t all be slender 20-year-olds with perfectly rounded bottoms right?
Perhaps it started when packing the suitcase – there was a pang of anxiety while pulling out that bikini from last year and getting ready to face the sea of young beach bods. Or perhaps you got a knot-in-your-stomach while slipping into your cossie at the hotel.
Embracing what you’ve got isn’t always a simple task, but it’s a fact we all have to face – we start aging the minute we enter this world, nobody can stay young and beautiful forever.
In fact, the more crows-feet and creases, the more we can appreciate life, instead of wasting time worrying what we look like. Accepting your imperfections makes you beautiful – people are far more attractive when they are confident in their bodies and comfortable in their maturity.
When speaking to mothers, fathers and grandparents, what do you think their memories of the beach are?
I once remember my mum talking about her youth. She didn’t mention what clothes she wore or how she looked. Instead she recalled a rare trip her family took to Clacton-on-Sea, eating ice cream on the shorefront and the way the sand got stuck between her toes. She’s not able to visit the beach much these days, but, a few years ago, when we went together, she closed her eyes – almost like taking a snapshot – to soak it all up.
There will always be the Barbie and Kens of the beach body world, unfortunately you have to suck it up and let them strut their stuff in the sun. But remember there’s so much more to the experience than wishing you had their thigh gap or six pack. Not everyone does get to see the sea, and for many it’s not often.
Whether you are going for a family holiday, a week of cocktails with the girls or simply for some time in the sun, it’s your time to enjoy and make memories – do you really want them to be tainted with fears over if your stretch marks were showing on the sun lounger or waste the week rotting with envy, sneaking glances at anyone younger or slimmer than you?
In real life faces have wrinkles, bodies have cellulite and everyone has insecurities – even beauties like Scarlett Johansson and Cameron Diaz have pointed out what they consider flaws.
Some of the most beautiful women in the world are those who smile, captivate and appear happy at any age. We should all stop fretting and start flaunting – you know which parts of your body you love most, so start showing those bits off and stop focusing on what other people have. It’s your beach holiday after all and you deserve to have the best time.