Girls just wanna have sun: an ode to all summer bodies

The myth of the “bikini body” hangs heavy in the air. Like humidity in the summer, it’s invisible, oppressive, and makes you want to stay inside. It becomes hard for us to enjoy the beach and to let loose, which is a shame, because the Philippines has over 7,000 beautiful islands, and everywhere’s a beach.

Because of the body positivity movement, popular conceptions of what it means to have a “summer bod” are changing. Girls everywhere are encouraged to be healthy, active, and strong, instead of starving themselves to look like Calvin Klein models. You know what they say: “As long as you have a body, then you have a bikini body.”

Meet Isai, JD, Trina, and Pat — self-confessed beach lovers and amateur surfers. Read on to see how their time under the sun helped them gain their confidence, overcome their insecurities, and find their strength.

Isai Martinez, 26, freelance creative director

I go to the beach often. I went every week for three to four years before moving to Jakarta where I worked for nine months last year as a creative director in an international advertising agency.

I didn’t really have much confidence growing up. Now? Wala na akong pake. I always felt like I was the chubby girl. I never really liked going to the beach. I’d wear shorts over my swimsuit. I found my confidence when I started surfing.

When you get into any sport, you get fitter, stronger, and that’s the most important part for me. I’ve been surfing for four or five years now. I wanted to get stronger so I can paddle harder, so I can ride the bigger waves and go further to a spot that my friends can reach but I can’t yet.

Just do you — that’s the most important thing. Be true. Be strong. That’s how I overcome my insecurities. Even if I’m insecure about my body, at least I’m strong. What you don’t know is that my core can ride that wave na kasing taas ko.

Don’t let what other people say get to you. Because everyone has a different body type. Everyone has insecurities, even skinny girls and “normal”-sized girls. No one’s perfect.

JD Doctolero, 24, freelance graphic designer

Going to the beach and surfing helped me in the process of healing and acceptance. I used to have depression, but the pills didn’t work for me. I needed more balance, a more holistic treatment. With surfing you have this complete awareness with your body and your surroundings, you’re a part of the flow of the world.

I grew up in California where there are lots of beaches, but I never wore swimwear. I would just go to the beach for a walk in normal clothes. When I was young, I was a chubby girl.

Caring too much about what people think is very toxic. It feels like trapping yourself. You have to understand that people are not against you, people are not judging you 100% of the time. People who do that are not after you, they’re thinking of themselves.

You have to be strong for yourself so you can seek the right people who like you for who you are. These days I think, “If you don’t like what I am or who I am, then I’m fine.” As long as you’re happy with who you are, the right people will always be attracted to you.

Pat Wijangco, 23, media relations officer

My motto in life is “I’m just working for my next beach trip.” Last year I’d go every weekend without fail. My job is very fast-paced, so going to the beach helps me relax. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job. But going to the beach is what provides me balance. It’s my life outside of work.

What comes with loving the beach is wanting to protect it. I’m happy that at least people are becoming more environmentally-conscious. I really think it goes a long way, even if it seems like you’re just one person.

I’ve learned to love my body over time. It helps that people are more accepting these days. Before, people were more balot, or wearing rashguards all the time, or thinking you have to be skinny to wear a bikini. It’s good we’re embracing other standards of beauty — skinny, average, athletic, fat — it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re confident with yourself. It shows.

This quote gives me confidence: “As long as you have a body, you have a bikini body.” Everyone’s at the beach for the same reason, and we’re all made in different sizes. You don’t have to worry about comparing yourself to the model next to you, because even models have imperfections. You’ll have a lot more fun at the beach if you’re not thinking about your body.

Trina Rivilla, 25, money broker, model, entrepreneur

As soon as I walk to the beach I feel so at peace. I’ve loved the beach ever since I was a kid. These days I go to the beach around once or twice a month.

If you take care of yourself, it means you love yourself. You have to start with yourself, you can’t get it from anyone else. I started overcoming my insecurities when I started working out around four years ago. I started eating better, less junk. It’s all about being mindful of your lifestyle and the changes that you want to happen. Self-love.

Love yourself, that’s really it! Accept yourself for the way you are, for what you have. My insecurities have lessened over the years. Accept yourself and commit to the lifestyle and the change that you want for yourself. Follow through for you.

Caring for the environment became a lifestyle for me. My boyfriend and I are environmentalists. From steel straws to no straws to changing our soaps and shampoos to bars to using menstrual cups… We really wanted to start with ourselves, kasi that’s the only way, diba?

 

Swimwear from Float Swimwear, Sandy Cheeks, and Aguariva PH
Photos by Andrea Beldua
Production design by Mags Ocampo
Produced and styled by Ina Jacobe
Sittings by Gaby Gloria
Tags:
#self #style #travel

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