The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! And apparently with it something called "soft body season." Yep, I mean thank heavens! Since the temperature is dropping here in the Midwest, the world would like us to know that they now approve of our soft bodies. Well actually, it approves of us softening the bodies that we had previously hardened and toned on-demand for the bygone "bikini body season" — but nonetheless, let's all say hooray for soft body season!
*insert Record Stop Sound .mp3 here*
My body is not a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or a Valencia skinny-whatever refresher. It's not a seasonal menu item, crafted to fit the world's ever changing, ever-critical and ever-bored tastes.
My body does not (necessarily) harden and soften based on the temperatures outside and the clothes on the department store rack. Bodies harden and soften with life. Sometimes those changes happens over seasons but it also can happen over every hour, every week, or, for some folks, hardly ever. My body softens when I sit and it firms when I work. Regardless of when or how shifts in our bodies appearance and feel come about, regardless of how subtle or profound those changes amy be, a so-called health magazine deeming a certain time of the year as "soft body season" or "bikini body season" doesn't make it any more or less okay.
For some bodies, soft body season might be every season. It might be the season after your pregnancy, or the season of your new job, or the season of your new relationship, or the season of your new health requirements. The changing of months and weather and fashion trends does not demand a change in your body — it certainly doesn't dictate the worthiness of it either.
When we overgeneralize and oversimplify our bodies with unmoving terms like "soft" or "bikini ready," we are no longer considering them a living, dynamic piece of ourselves. We are speaking of them the same way the world has positioned them — as an object. An object that is subject to supply and demand. An object that's value depreciates with time. An object that, when deemed "out of style," gets thrown away. Your body is not a commodity. What's worse is when we let our bodies be treated as such, everything in our life follows suit. The activities we make time for and the food we eat are subject to the same never-good-enough standards. If soft body season means cookies and macaroni and bikini body season means salads and chicken, then this must be there only seasons. This must be when they're good. If soft body season means watching movies and cuddling and bikini body season means hot yoga and running, then this must be when those activities are right. Your entire lifestyle becomes dependent upon what it is on trend.
Well I'm over it. I'm over the trends.
I refuse to fear food because of a season, I refuse to overindulge because of a season — or because someone told me that I'm allowed to do those things this season. I'm done letting other people tell me what is and is not allowed for my body. No one who can tell us exactly what is right and wrong and good and bad for our bodies based on the weather outside, or the temperature, or the items on a clothing rack. Your body, and its "okayness", is not dependent on a trend and you do not have to change with the seasons if you don't want to. Our bodies are not a Pumpkin Spice Latte (though they may be full of a few).