Advice for Awkward People

Dear Ruth,

Spring Break is only one week away!

My closest friends and I booked an incredible trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. There are going to be clear skies, sunny beaches, and a lot of rum! But, there are also going to be a lot of hot people in bikinis. Like a lot. But here’s the problem. I’ve lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle for a year or so (see: every decision I’ve ever made). I consume entire bags of Hot Cheetos on a pretty regular basis. And let’s not even get into the downward spirals
that are my countless trips to Au Bon Pain.

One of my friends is a dancer, and her bod is top notch. Another friend has been on crew for a bazillion years, so she’s been in shape since, like, birth, I think. Another friend eats as many Hot Cheetos as me, so that gives me hope — but, unfortunately for me, her booty will still look good
in anything.

I, on the other hand, definitely don’t feel bikinibody-ready. I don’t want to resort to unhealthy crash dieting and there are only so many sit ups a girl can do in one week! ONE WEEK! What do I do?


Feeling Unprepared. Need Your Unmatched Nutritional Savvy


I want this to be an easy question to answer. Because the step-by-step process of getting a bikini body is actually pretty simple: step one, acquire a body (any body, although your own is preferred), and step two, put a bikini on it. Bam, bikini body. Just like that.

But it’s never that easy, is it? It’s one thing to have some stranger tell you that your body is beautiful — and it is, trust me. Every body is beautiful and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something entrenched in societal beauty standards. But it’s another thing entirely to actually put a bikini on your body and go out in public when you’re not comfortable doing that. We all have insecurities about our bodies, and I’m not going to sit here a tell you that a simple change of attitude is all you need to fix your anxieties.

That’d be insulting and naive.

So here’s some actual, practical advice. First, make sure your bikini actually fits your body.

Trying to squeeze into too-tight bottoms or pad out a too-loose top is just going to make you more uncomfortable than you already are. Second, bring along some kind of cover-up.You don’t have to wear it the entire time — you don’t have to wear it at all if you don’t feel like it — but it does give you a back up to boost your comfort. You have every right to wear a bikini, but you also have every right to wear something else.

Third, remember those friends you mentioned? They’re your friends for a reason: they like you. And that means they still will like you in whatever you want to wear. (And if they don’t like you in whatever you wear, well, that’s a different advice topic.) You’re all going on vacation together because you want to relax and have fun with each other. So have fun, and do your best to not worry about your body.

(And if you’re worried about other people’s opinions? They can go f*** themselves. You have the right to inhabit your body in whatever way you want. Your body deserves to exist, and you deserve the respect that existence affords.)

Party hard,