Listen up: You really don’t need to lose any weight by June 21st

You can still have a hot girl summer without losing any weight

Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown, of which the main highlights are we can probably legally have sex again from May 17th, and nightclubs may be reopening from June 21st. Of course, the whole country is buzzing and there have been so many memes about the end of lockdown and finally being able to go out again. But amongst the tweets about how messy that first night out is going to be, and how we’ll all have no stamina and probably be in bed by 1am, are some far more sinister ‘jokes’.

People are talking about how they now have four months to lose X amount of weight, ready for a summer of fun. They’re making memes out of how much they’re going to exercise, how little they plan on eating, and making fun of how ‘bad’ they look right now.

We already had influencers like Zara McDermott posting “transformation” pics on Instagram and Amber Gill trying to get us to buy her workout plan, but now there’s an end to lockdown in sight this kind of content is only going to ramp up.

I dealt with disordered eating on and off for the best part of a decade. If there’s a disordered pattern or behaviour around food you can imagine, I’ve probably done it. I’ve spent time in the depths of pro-anorexia content, and let me tell you: These memes about losing weight for June 21st are pretty much exactly the same as ones posted by pro-eating disorder accounts.

Whether they’re purely jokes or not, people are talking about going to extreme measures to get “hot girl” ready for the 21st June, and it’s downright dangerous. We have to stop comparing ourselves to what we looked like pre-corona, because it can lead to dark places.

Look, I’m not saying being healthy is a bad thing – it’s obviously not, but this isn’t linked to our weight in any way, shape or form. These memes act like losing weight is the only way you can be happy and successful, but it’s damaging and incredibly fatphobic.

Honestly, if you’ve gained weight during the pandemic – who cares? You’ve been legally trapped indoors for months, unable to see those you love and it’s been a stressful time for us all.

Going through all this has saved countless lives, possibly even your own, and that’s all that matters.

Hot girl summer is a mindset, not a weight. It’s about having fun and all around living your best life – which should be easy, as come June we’ll finally be unleashed from our houses properly for the first time in over a year.

I personally can’t wait to become besties with drunk girls in queues for the toilets, wear nice tops and dance in grotty clubs, go on dates and drink too many cocktails, make stupid mistakes with my best mates, go to Pride.

Not a single one of those things depends on the weight of myself, or anyone I do it with. Be thankful you’re finally allowed to do it, no matter what you look like.

You don’t need to try and “glow up”, change your weight, or any other part of your appearance, by June.

I promise you: When you hug, dance and laugh with your mates for the first time in over a year, they are not going to be thinking about whether you’ve lost or gained weight over lockdown.

If you or someone you know has been affected by issues discussed in this article, Beat Eating Disorders is a charity who offer support services including a helpline and web-chat service. You can access these services here, or call their helpline on 0808 801 0677. You matter. 

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• Zara McDermott has responded to the huge backlash over her weight loss post