Summer always brings around body and self-esteem issues. It’s that time of year when celebrities are on holiday, posting pictures of their ever-so-flat stomachs and thigh gaps. It is a time of year when, usually, our insecurities are most prominent. There’s no baggy jumpers to hide in and suddenly your arms are out and everyone can see them, or your stretch marks, or whatever it is that makes you insecure.

Summer is a time when beauty is an issue we should talk about.

So many people don’t find themselves to be ‘beautiful’. But what is meant by that word? It is a word that many people carry around with them as a burden or a trophy. It can cause you all kinds of problems or give you all kinds of opportunities. The thing is, though, beauty is entirely subjective.

‘Beauty’ is not just thin, tall, blonde and blue-eyed. It’s not just curvy, short, brunette and green-eyed, either. Nor is it just tall, a six pack and a good jawline. There is so much associated with the word ‘beauty’ that it is basically irrelevant. Beauty is so many things to so many people and those who don’t feel beautiful are often judging themselves by the standard of beauty we’re force-fed by the media.

Perhaps we should start looking at beauty differently. Rather than beauty being something physical that you can identify with multiple people, why not think about it properly. Isn’t beauty supposed to be about being extraordinary? There’s nothing extraordinary about everyone looking the same. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

If we’re going to look at true physical beauty, then we have to look at people. And not even models look like models in real life. Physical beauty, then, should be much more about individuality than feature-spotting. Someone’s unique eye colour, freckles, skin, shape, size, etcetera, etcetera, is what makes them physically beautiful because they are so different to everyone else.

But there’s more to true beauty than someone’s physical quirks. True beauty is in who people are. I won’t lie, I’ve never in my life seen one ‘ugly’ kind person. That’s because beauty, to me, at least, is about what is on the inside. Like Roald Dahl said: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.”

We should reevaluate what we perceive as beautiful and be real about it. We all know it deep down, but sometimes we don’t realise it.

If we do this, we can completely re-think our self-esteem and literally not care about how we look. It takes time, effort and lots of energy but it’s possible. And, most importantly, it is realistic. We can get to the place where the physical doesn’t even come into it. As in: the things we can’t change about ourselves aren’t how we judge ourselves and others anymore.

Let’s start (finally) thinking about beauty for ourselves rather than lapping up the image we’re shown year after year by Vogue.