Dr. B's Weekly Roundup: All bodies are beach bodies!

Jacqueline Raposo
Jacqueline Raposo
Jul 8
A white person's arm reaches out into a body of turquoise blue water, holding a sea shell.

Welcome to the Dr. B Weekly Roundup, a curated weekly overview that cuts through the noise to deliver vetted reads on Covid-19 and beyond. In The Art of Power, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhất Hạnh reminds us that, “To be beautiful means to be yourself.” We hope you keep this phrase close to heart throughout the summer. Along those lines, we’ve got resources to help you feel calm + confident in the skin you’re in. What’s on deck?

  • The Checkup: how to shed tech and trauma + health insurance drama
  • Beach Bodies: reframe body shame + empowering beach reads
  • Covid-19: Elmo got vaccinated! + troubling new variants

The Check-Up: 

All bodies are beach bodies!

A photograph of a beach at sunrise, with two white woman holding surf boards walking to the water.

Human bodies come in a dazzling variety. And all bodies deserve to take up space on this earth. But a complex history of segregating bodies by size, shape, ability, skin, hair and age has led to many of us accidentally believing in a hierarchy of beauty. Plus a debunked assumption that beauty = a greater chance of success. So we get body shamed when we don't look like the trending “ideal.”

We get told to put on some makeup before a date. Maybe a family member implies we’re too old for the outfit we’re wearing. We get pitied by someone just because we use a wheelchair. Or believe that if we weighed less, we’d get the better job.

Body shame puts us at higher risk for depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and eating disorders. And it’s especially rampant during bathing suit season. In one illuminating study, women who tried on a swimsuit reported feeling worse about their bodies than those who tried on a sweater. (This difference was not reported amongst men.) Online brands may use our shame to their benefit. If we see their images and feel inferior, we're more likely to impulse-buy a product to quick-fix our “problem.” 

But the good news? We can retrain our brain...

Flood your feed with information + inspiration

A photograph of a Black woman wearing a crown of big, bright flowers smiles and stands against a yellow wall.

Even brief exposure to body-positive social media posts can improve our mood and help us feel more satisfied in our skin! And there are plenty of people to turn to for information and inspiration. 

When not only the sand sizzles

A photograph of a white woman laying on beach sand with a basket/purse nearby, reading a book.

Ah, the magic of flipping through a paperback while having nowhere to be. For your next beach read, reach for one that’s as empowering as it is flirty and fun. Written by Own Voices authors who’ve lived the marginalized experiences of their characters, you’ll fall in love with their stories as you sink into the sand!

  1. A Man Worth Shaving For by Michelle Pennington. Tessa runs HR for a body-positive lingerie company and struggles to forget a goodnight kiss with a man who should go away… but won’t.
  2. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. Fun, frothy and full of mystery, this tantalizing page turner celebrates the power of love and female friendships.
  3. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado. Smart, artistic, funny and fat, Charlie learns how to use her voice in this sensitive and witty coming-of-age story.
  4. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibber. After chronically-ill computer geek Chloe Brown almost dies, she goes on a romping and relatable quest to “get a life.”
  5. If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy. From the author of Dumplin’, plus-sized shoe designer Cindy becomes her own she-ro in this modern reimagining of Cinderella.
  6. The Change by Kirsten Miller. Women “of a certain age” pack this suspenseful fantasy with witchy, witty and righteous rage.
  7. True Biz by Sara Novic. This spellbinding story is set during a perilous period for deaf characters and culture and we watch as words and worlds collide.

The latest: pandemic

“A little pinch, but it was OK.” Elmo gets vaccinated against COVID-19 (Time): Last week, Elmo got his Covid-19 vaccine! Produced by Sesame Street as an official PSA, watch the video to assure your little ones that if Elmo can do it, they can too. Then join Elmo’s father in asking questions about vaccine safety and efficacy at GetVaccineAnswers.org.

FDA panel recommends redesigned Covid booster shots for the fall (NBC):  Over 50% of current Covid-19 infections in the U.S. are from 2 new omicron subvariants. But vaccination boosters address the original coronavirus. And so in a 19-2 vote, an FDA panel favored updating booster shots in time to deter a fall surge. The problem? We still don’t understand how this virus evolves.

WHO: Covid cases rising nearly everywhere in the world (AP): Worldwide coronavirus are up 18%. As fewer than half of the 2.1 billion vaccines promised to poorer countries by larger economies have been delivered, vulnerable communities still face high death rates while new subvariants emerge. Here’s how you can help.

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