Warm weather is upon us, and you know what that means: Every single magazine suddenly starts running headlines about getting that “summer body” or becoming “bathing suit ready.” But what does that even mean? We reached out to our favorite Raging Feminists to get their take on the best ways to prepare for summer.
How do you get your “summer body” ready?
“I get my summer body by going to lots of picnics, drinking micheladas on rooftops, eating fish tacos at Rockaway Taco and watching Amy Schumer episodes on repeat in my air-conditioned apartment while eating coconut ice cream.” — Dakota Kim
“How do I get a summer body? Well, basically I take the body I use for fall, winter and spring, and I use that.” — Mayim Bialik
“I wait for it to turn to summer. Then I look at my body, and that’s my summer body.” — Claire Linic
“I plan to take my body outside a lot this summer, hence it being a summer body. I hope it runs a lot, climbs a lot and gets good sleep. Here’s my summer body with a little person I made with my body. His name is Liam. Here we are running and hiking at Hat Rock State Park.” — Shaindel Beers
“Wait for summer and walk outside.” — Danielle Corcione
“Oh the Summer Body! So different from the Winter Body! I get an entirely new set of limbs, and this year I ordered my Summer Stomach early, in time for Spring Festival Season.
“But really, the Summer Body is on the same calendar as Holiday Inspired Muffin Top and Freshman Fifteen — the diet and fashion industry employs the calendar, with its threat of hot temperatures and long, languid beach dates, as a tool to make us think our year-round bodies aren’t good enough to be let out into the summer breeze without some kind of therapy, some fix, some high-cost remedy.
“If you love the sun, if you love to swim, if you enjoy letting your body spring forth from your downy parka, don’t waste a moment wondering if you’ve got an acceptable Summer Body — you do! Your body is All Season and beautiful. We don’t need permission to exist in the summer months.” — Lyndsay Kirkham
“How to get a summer body:
1) Have a body.
2) Do summer-related things with your body. Go to the beach, run in the waves, laze in the sand, wear the swimsuit of your choice and eat and drink whatever refreshing thing you want.
3) Don’t forget to slap some sunscreen on that gorgeous summer body of yours.
4) You’re welcome.” — Awanthi Vardaraj
“I try not to have an out-of-body experience, and I wait for summer. I’ve found that usually works. There used to be a time when I worried about the size and shape of my body, when I bought swimsuits that were cut and contoured to show off what I thought were my more acceptable features.
“Nowadays, I don’t even bother doing my bikini line. So it’s koala ears or boy short swimsuits.” — Asha Rajan
“You transition from a winter body into a spring body and then a summer body by progressively wearing fewer clothes. That’s if you live in Ohio. Also, add some poison ivy, mosquito bites, bruises from lifting concrete blocks and bags of rocks for landscaping projects and what we call a ‘farmer’s tan.'” — Meg Galipault
“Advertising headline promises “Summer Thighs in 7 Days.” Um, that’s easy: Wait until one week before summer. Seven days later, voilà. Your thighs will exist then too. Your body is fine in every season.” — Jennifer Pozner
“I see both the media-made ‘beach body’ tropes, and the hard-feminist ‘all bodies are good bodies’ kind of stuff, and I feel like I’m somewhere between them, for myself. It’s not that I think I need to meet some absurd standard for my body that could only be met with some kind of real-time Photoshopping of me from every angle, for every observer, forever. But it’s also not that I don’t have a personal beauty aesthetic that I aspire to and work toward, because I do. I’ve never, ever liked my body hair, and once I realized I’d been a girl my whole life, that made more sense to me, because it’s something that I, personally, for me, assign to femininity. It’s a way for me to express that part of who I am, so part of having a ‘summer body,’ for me, is showing off smooth, hairless legs in comfy skirts or a bikini bottom or whatever.
“So, aside from being more vigilant about publicly visible body hair, my ‘summer body’ tips are the same as my ‘winter body’ tips: Be healthy, be joyful, be in a body you’d want to be around.” — Seranine Elliot
“Lots of exfoliation so I can cover myself with temporary tattoos and take bicep-flexing beach selfies with my friends while we down arepas and beers.” — Kait Burrier
“First: Check the calendar. Is it summer? Congrats, you are halfway there! Take a deep breath, you are doing great.
“Second: Do you have a body? (Note: Ghosts, demons and other ethereal beings must be currently occupying a body to answer ‘yes.’)
“You are on a roll!
“Last: Check yourself out — you have a summer body! Get out there, and show it off. Or don’t and don’t, IT’S YOUR BODY!” — Alex Blank Millard
“Gosh I’ve barely had time to think about that since I’ve been spending the last six months improving my vocal patterns due to an inordinate amount of emails from complete strangers with unsolicited notes about my voice after listening to my podcasts. Once I achieve this, I will start on that bikini body!
“But first I’m working on my: vocal fry, NY accent, interdental lateral lisp, tone, volume, pitch, Minnesota accent, pace, Irish lilt, shrillness, laryngeal papillomatosis, upspeak, puberphonia and downspeak.
“I will then expunge ‘weak’ words and phrases from my vocabulary, including ‘like,’ ‘um,’ ‘well,’ ‘so you know,’ ‘sorry,’ ‘I feel’ and ‘ah.’
“Finally, I’ll tackle those pesky ‘fillers’ and verbal placeholders I tend to use whilst confabulating from my lady-mouth-hole, such as: such as, ‘ahhh,’ ‘I mean,’ ‘like I said,’ ‘please don’t talk over me,’ ‘why are you raising your voice,’ ‘no I’m not being too sensitive,’ ‘seriously is it so hard to pay me what I’m worth’ and ‘uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.’
“After that’s taken care of, I’m looking forward to shedding those pounds and hopefully finish the seemingly lifelong project of decorating and molding all aspects of my personhood to please men!” — Katharine Heller