Live Your Best Life. Secure the Bag. You're Poppin'

Fr. Natavious Lewis embraces the body that he is in BYRON MASON II

Spring is here, summer is approaching, as is the end of cuffing season. You know what that means. The dreaded (depending on who you are) swimsuit season. We spend all of the fall and winter months eating whatever we want in the comfort of our sweatshirts and hoodies, but all of a sudden, the warmer months roll in and the layers start coming off. Then it’s as if there’s this rush to get fit or we won’t be accepted by our peers.

Even if you don’t rush to go to the gym, there’s a thought in the back of your head that’s whispering: “Aye yo! We gotta get all this together to look good in that two piece or those swim trunks.” Some of us listen to this voice while others will proceed to stuff our faces with Portillos and Five Guys, or there’s always the alternative of going to the beach with a t-shirt on.

But those with those voices in their head, why do you feel as if you suddenly have to get in shape? I’m sure a lot of you are reading and are thinking, “you just answered the question a sentence ago.” But I am serious. Really, why?

I think that the answer is mainly rooted in our media. Since our birth, we’ve been taught that there is a desirability that is associated with thinness while there is a perpetual degradation linked to heavier set individuals. And as much as we can deny it, we’ve internalized these messages.

It’s why athletes are idolized on and off the court. It’s why movie stars are movie stars. And it’s especially why Instagram models get over one thousand likes on their photos (also if you’re one of those people that gets upset if you don’t reach certain number of likes, I hope Mark Zuckerberg releases all of your dms).

With that said, I have a similar message as my column from two weeks ago. Just as you should feel confident with the color of your skin, you should not only feel comfortable with how you look, but embrace how you look. I know it sounds cheesy and I sound like I’m coming straight out of a children’s show, but it doesn’t matter if you’re thin, heavy, short or tall. Take yourself as you are and run with it.

Ladies, don't shy away from that crop top because you think that it won’t compliment your frame. Cop those high waisted jeans if you’re feeling them. Nothing’s wrong with some muffin toppage.

Fellas, bust a fit in that muscle tee even if you don’t have muscles (see what I did there). Wear what you want, just don’t be a douchebag about it. You know what I’m talking about. No jerseys of players you don’t know and backwards baseball caps.

And most importantly, don't let your likes on social media determine how you feel about yourself. I guarantee you, whatever size you are, you’re popping.