Let’s talk about our bodies. For the first time since the ninth grade, I purchased a bikini. Now I’m not talking about something high-waisted. I’m talking Victoria’s Secret, end of the season, cheeky, itty bitty, bikinis. And the best part? I didn’t cry once when putting it on! I hated going to pool parties or beach days. I would even end up in tears before events that required me to dress up like Prom and Homecoming because I looked bigger than I envisioned myself looking. But, swimsuits particularly have always been grueling, and I usually find myself in my cover-up the whole time. I remember seeing myself in photos in high school after purchasing my first bikini, and I was scarred ever since. It disgusted me to know that that was what I actually looked like versus how I imagined it. But over time, that fear has subsided a bit. Now, this isn’t to say I’ve finally learned to love my body. I’ll be honest. I’m not entirely sure if this is considered body positivity because it took me changing to be happy rather than loving myself for what it was. I lost a bit of weight, and I find myself even more paranoid now than ever that I’ll gain back each pound one by one, and that’s terrifying to me. But I have learned to be a bit more compassionate with myself. It’s okay to enjoy that bag of chips or to indulge in dessert. It’s fine if I don’t have time to work out. Most of the time, it’s because I’m out making memories with my friends anyway, and I think that’s a much more enjoyable use of my time. With that being said, I wanted to make this post about the pressures that women face to fit a certain look. In a world of plastic surgery and Instagram likes, women are expected to look a certain way. As we’re learning to accept all body types, there are still external pressures that negate that and make us feel as though maybe there is still an ideal. One of those external forces is the entertainment industry. Not just seeing different celebrities with their bodies that have been altered and Photoshopped, but also how we talk about women and their bodies in music. In Hip-Hop, songs idolize women with small waists and fat asses. With enough repetition, it’s become the universal standard. But not everyone is built like that. So, how does that impact girls who don’t fit that image?