Body-Positive Instagram accounts to make your social media “you” friendly (Part 2)

Hey guys!

 

So, as my last list was SO popular, I have decided to do another one with some wonderful accounts I didn’t put in last time. Obviously, I could keep doing these until the end of time because there are so many great people out there. I have had the pleasure of being able to connect with some amazing people due to this community, and I want you all to have a range of bopo accounts on your Instagram. So without further ado, here are some more accounts that I love and I think could be helpful to you all:

 

selfloveclubb & positivitypoppa

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Okay so you probably have heard of these guys so far and I’m just very into the fact that a couple is on a body positive journey together.

One of my favourite things that Milly talks about is her body confidence post-baby. Despite not having a child myself, I think it is very important that mothers reclaim their confidence in a society that is trying to force you to be a certain way.

Rishi was one of the first male bopo accounts I found and I was really happy to have stumbled across his positive space. He puts himself out there to the max on so many levels. To all my male followers: FOLLOW HIM.

 

kittyunderhillx

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Kitty is a fellow “inbetweenie” model, who I love (not just because she is generally an awesome human) but because she shows that models don’t have to fit into a tiny little box to be beautiful and successful.

 

amberinred

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Amber is the curvy, nerdy fashionista we all need in our lives, and I highly recommend her account for super down to earth bopo outfits J

 

sonnyturner__

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You have probably heard of Sonny by now, but she is honestly such a queen. She doesn’t shy away from talking about shitty skin days or shitty body image days, and it just feels so raw and genuine.

 

amalielee

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Amalie is an outspoken activist and I find her so inspiring. She just calls out all the bullshit in the industry, and has no fear when it comes to talking about about what she believes is right.

 

dothehotpants

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Dana is open, brave and a feminist hero. She is really honest about her body image struggles, and challenges herself so much, inspiring me to challenge my own internalised body images issues.

 

mentalmovement

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Mental Movement is a fantastic online magazine that really aims to explore mental illnesses. The founders are absolute sweethearts who are always honest about their own mental health struggles. Also, the mag itself is so fresh and vibrant.

 

khrystyana

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I love that Khrystyana puts an artistic style to her body positivity: she writes poetry and takes photos that are both beautiful and challenging.

 

bodypositivememes

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My girl Michelle (scarrednotscared) has a second account where she fixes bullshit diet culture/body shaming memes. Honestly, so many of them have me saying “yaaaass” at my phone.

 

bopo.boy

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A shoutout to another male bopo account! It is really nice to see a rise in male accounts and Stevie is super supportive of the community. He talks about a multitude of extremely important issues that affect men when it comes to body image, so so go and check him out!

 

the_feeding_of_the_fox

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Imogen is the coolest person ever, and she has been on such a journey. I had the pleasure of meeting her not long ago on a bopo meetup, and I genuinely felt like we connected through both having debilitating illnesses. She could tell when my energy was lagging, and just understands the relationship between disability and body positivity.

 

theunedit

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The unedit is a fantastic site that really pushes the boat out when it comes to body positive, feminist writing. I am genuinely always drawn to read the articles on there, and Terri has done an amazing job at making the website meaningful to our community.

 

thevagaggle

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Jolie’s posts honestly have me laughing so hard one moment, then tearing up in the next. They are on point every time. She mixes humour with raw honesty, and also puts up really thoughtful socio-political posts. I am also a big fan of how she challenges diet culture, her posts always resonate with me.

 

If there are any bopo accounts I haven’t mentioned that you LOVE, let me know on my latest post and I will check them out.

 

All my love,

Essie

xxx

A high street pirate’s life for me

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I was going on a date night and decided I would experiment with my new corset belt. I’m planning on buying a few more once I get the chance because there is little they don’t go with, and I like a fitted waist on me. Don’t be put off if you have a different shape to me, however: you can find different thicknesses and you can wear it higher up or lower down than me. Also, don’t feel like you have to wear it crazy tight like a Kardashian: you get to see the detail of the laces when it is loose. I never wore real corsets because I don’t like feeling restricted. I remember when I was a younger I constantly wore spanks with EVERYTHING. It’s honestly not worth it: allow yourself to be free with your clothing choices. I honestly don’t think corset belts are only to accentuate the waist: I think the detail is cute and will look lovely on anybody. The layering adds variety and it definitely makes me feel like a swashbuckling pirate queen.

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How living with chronic illness affected how I felt about my body.

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I’m sure anyone with a chronic illness has heard the phrase “you are always ill” spouted at you as though you’re doing it on purpose or perhaps, “you should do something about that,” as though you don’t already. I think it is hard for people who don’t have one to understand sometimes and in turn I understand why. The concept of feeling ill most of the time doesn’t quite compute if you don’t live with it. I’ve been called boring more times than I can count because I have to conserve energy for the most important things in my life. I’ll go home early from nights out just because I don’t have the energy to waste if I’m not 100% enjoying it. I’d rather keep that energy for a seminar the next day.

 

However, when I first started university, those people who can dance all night made me jealous. I hated that I couldn’t do that, I hated that I was told to “just try a little harder” as though that would work. My body just can’t handle it, and those kinds of negative thoughts filtered into a whole new realm of body hate. Jealousy was the main emotion I had to fight. I remember I couldn’t do P.E at school without embarrassingly collapsing so I ended up not doing it. I wanted to scream at those people who skipped it because they didn’t like it. I wanted to tell them they were ungrateful because they had bodies that worked and mine didn’t. I didn’t. I knew it wasn’t fair of me to feel that way.

 

I had body image issues from a young age and not being able to exercise took a serious toll. I wanted to be fit and I wanted to be healthy but I felt trapped in a hole of illness that I couldn’t escape. It was easy to hate my body. I wanted to lose weight but I couldn’t because I was too ill. That is how eating became my main form of control; the only thing I could control. The scariest thing for me to come to terms with was the fact that my illness is ultimately uncontrollable. As a control freak, that has always been a source of stress to me. I wake up in the morning and just settle into seeing how my body is feeling because I will never know the night before. I just pray I’m feeling well enough to go about my daily life.

 

My biggest fear was that I would one day end up completely alone. I feared that friends could only cope with me missing things for so long until they moved on or thought I was being difficult. I feared that partners could only take so much until they wanted to be with the fun girl who could do all the things I couldn’t. Those were some of the darkest parts of my thoughts, which I tried to dispel. I never judged anyone else for having an illness, and yet I judged myself harsher than anybody could.

 

The toughest part was simply that I wanted to like my body. I would often try to remind myself that my brain, my personality, my talents all come from my body as well. It is a scientific way to look at it but it helped. It helped me not to have a separate body and soul. To me, I simply am my body and it is everything I have. I love my hands so I can draw, my vocal chords so I can sing, my eyes so I can see. I now remind myself that I like who I am and that I don’t want to be someone else. That everyone has issues even if you don’t see them or hear about them. My favourite Stephen Hawking quote sums up my mantra perfectly: “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope.”

 

Essie

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Outfit inspo of the week

I love doing an outfit of the week because it reminds me of when I never used to wear the clothes I wanted because of my body shape. It is very cathartic for me to now have a place to enjoy fashion like I always wanted to. I did a grungey look today with my new fishnets because fishnets were a piece of clothing I always wanted to wear but didn’t have the guts to.

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How to cope with uni mid/post Eating Disorder

In 2013, the ED charity BEAT surveyed 200 students and found that 53% had been diagnosed with an eating disorder before going to uni/were still suffering. So, first of all, I considered myself recovered when I started uni but I had spoken with a therapist who told me that change is often one of the hardest things for someone suffering from an ED. For me, letting go of my ED was letting go of the obsessively controlling part of myself. The part of myself that felt out of control if I wasn’t restricting my intake. This is why I think it is important for me to do a little blog post for you guys as I know many of you are either at uni or hope to start. This is advice from me based on my own experience so I understand it may not apply to you all exactly but I am simply speaking from experience

 

Firstly, it is very important to check out your uni’s wellbeing/mental health team ASAP. You need to make sure that you don’t slip through the cracks in a new place and the whole part of starting adult life is taking responsibility for your health. Book an appointment just to talk to someone and let them know what stage you are at with your ED. Often if they think there is a real problem and you are struggling they will communicate with your doctor for you. I do find that extremely helpful as it takes a weight off your shoulders. Also, take the chance to call the Samaritans if you feel you are not coping. They are genuinely one of the best charities out there when it comes to mental health and they are there available 24/7.

 

Now, when I got to uni I was in catered halls, meaning I had meals cooked for me. This was helpful for me personally because it meant I didn’t have to really think about food at all. I could turn up to a place, choose food, eat it and then carry on with my day. Meals were also at the same time every day so I had a routine, which was very important for me. Remember I am talking about my life post recovery therefore, if you are still recovering I understand that other people making your food could be tough for you. The reason I recommend catered halls is because starting adult life is tough. Most of you will not have cooked for yourselves, you may not be used to how long food lasts or how much it costs. It is very easy to stop eating properly in self-catered halls. Halls can often also be extremely unclean. I lived in self-catered halls for a month or so before moving, and I found that the way the kitchen was left made me less inclined to make food.

 

Do not get wasted constantly. I actually went tee total in my second year of uni because of how badly it affected me. We all know how badly alcohol affects our bodies, but if you are trying to stay in a healthy after an eating disorder, it is vital that you do not binge drink excessively. I know that drinking affects us all differently, but especially if you are mid-recovery you need to make sure you don’t drink too much and you are not drinking on an empty stomach. Here in the UK we live in a booze dominant social culture but you you have to accept that your body may be different to the people around you mid/post-recovery.

 

You don’t have to be social every day all day. I know that at uni there is always something going on, but often intense business can mean your food intake suffers. It is also very tough because ED’s are often coupled with anxiety/depression and that can mean the amount of social events can become overwhelming. Let yourself have time alone to regroup and never feel badly about it. Part of growing up is often deciding to do things for yourself and not letting yourself feel pressured. I was always a bit of a stubborn person so it wasn’t always too hard for me to say no.

 

Most of all, create a support system for yourself. You may come from a supportive environment of family and friends who understand your condition, and it may be tough to leave that. Confide in those around you, that is after all, how friendships are made. The people you meet at uni could be your friends for life. I now openly talk about how I used to have an eating disorder and that means my partner and friends will always know if things become tough for me. Communication is vital. You do not have to be ashamed of what you are going/went through. Uni is supposed to be the best time of your life and you should not let it be marred by your ED.

 

Stay safe, be happy.

Essie xxx

 

Body-Positive Instagram accounts to make your social media “you” friendly

Hey guys! So I decided I would do a lovely compiled list of all the women I find SO damn inspiring to follow. I have found that making my social media more positive for me and my body image changes the way I feel about everything. Sometimes you just don’t want to wake up absolutely bombarded with overly photoshopped supermodels. I’ve put these accounts into sections depending on how I feel they help me the most. I also want to quickly give you a heads up about @iamleyahshanks because she the founder of The Body Confidence Revolution that I am a part of, and many of the IG accounts on here are part of that group! That being said, here are some accounts that I want to recommend, (I’m sure you know some already):

 

Accounts that remind me we can all overcome eating disorders (and live happily ever after!)

 

@bodyposipanda

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The inspiring Megan who similarly overcame an eating disorder to become wonderfully prosperous and positive.

 

@nourishandeat

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I love Gina’s account because she always keeps it real and sticks to her guns. She addresses disordered eating so well and often her posts keep me on track.

 

@bodypositivepear

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Sarah has not only recovered but posts the yummiest food. It is so inspiring to know that she enjoys her food so much post-recovery.

 

@my_life_without_ana

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I find Connie so uplifting because of her bravery and willingness to be so open. It just oozes out of her.

 

@gggabatha

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Gabby is another person who has overcome so much to be in the place she is now. I find it lovely to watch her grow and help others with her positive attitude.

 

Accounts that remind me fashion is for everybody, and we should wear what makes us happy.

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@hcupchronicles

 

Niamh is the lingerie queen and I personally find it really lovely to see that passion she has for it. It is also great to see someone with a beautiful, unretouched body modelling lingerie.

 

@lottielamour

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I love Lottie’s account because she just proves that you can enjoy fashion regardless of your weight. It isn’t just about advocating how you feel without clothes on but with clothes on aswell.

 

@jenny_leeeee

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My little Instagram bestie from across the pond: I did a blog post on her a while ago but I never wrote about just how sassy her style is. I love it!

 

Accounts that remind me to stay strong in the face of adversity

 

@mindsetforlifeltd

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Michelle is the creator of the hashtag scarrednotscared and she, like me, has an invisible illness. I love waking up to a little quote post from her in the mornings to lift my spirits.

 

@omgkenzieee

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What can I say? Kenzie is a super courageous and beautiful woman. Her posts have definitely picked me up on some days when I was feeling down.

 

@un.apologetically.me

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I love this lady because she is often open about her own doubts and fears. I think it is really important that we still share with you guys that we also have down days so we can pick one another up again.

 

@scandinaviandreamgurl

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Amalie is a survivor of sexual assault and an all-around badass feminist. She makes me feel like I have the power to stand up to anyone and achieve anything.

 

Accounts that remind me beauty comes in so many different forms

 

@jess_megan_

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My gal Jess posts some really beautiful modelling photos. I love it when we show that women can have rolls and cellulite and still create lovely photographs.

 

@charlihoward

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The same goes for Charlie! She also doesn’t have the typical “acceptable” thin body which I think is great. I like that fact that she is a straight sized model fighting with the bopo movement because it is for everyone.

 

@franhayden

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Fran is such a positive light in the bopo world! Her blog posts are definitely worth a read as she often talks about things I think we all grapple with.

 

Accounts that make me feel empowered af

 

@fitfatandallthat

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This lovely chick reminds me that I do not have to be ripped as hell to be fit. Health looks different on everyone and I like that she promotes fitness for the inner you.

 

@thestrutbymic

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This account honestly has some of the best bopo material on it. There are quotes interspersed with reposts from body positive accounts, and it always makes me feel so positive.

 

@gcenedella

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Grace always keeps it real and has this beautiful cool vibe about her. Everything she posts just feels honest and raw.

 

@candace_reels (femalecollective)

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My final lady is dearest Candace, the founder of the Female Collective. This is less bopo more female empowerment but it is all interconnected. Her t-shirts make me feel like I am 100% girl boss.

 

I hope this little list was helpful to you guys. This is by no means completely comprehensive and there are many other wonderful members of the bopo tribe out there who I’m sure I will put on another list. This is just my personal list of those who inspire me on a daily basis. Much love to you guys on this lovely Friday night! (Don’t forget to have a shot of tequila and a drunken pizza for me.)

 

Essie xxx

 

 

 

 

Why fitness classes changed how I feel about exercise.

So, I have a bit of background for you all (which will be very familiar to those of you who battle/battled eating disorders). When I was suffering, I spent a lot of my time over exercising. I would probably spend two hours a day doing cardio at least. It would be late at night normally and I would have eaten roughly 1000 calories. Obviously exercise was not enjoyable for me, rather, it was a kind of punishment. I pushed my body to a place is most certainly couldn’t handle and due to my minuscule food intake, it nearly always made me dizzy and sick.

 

Therefore, it took me a while to get back into exercise after my recovery. I had a weird relationship with it after over exercising for so long, so the only exercise I did for a long time was very gentle yoga. I started to get back into exercise properly last September and I am so glad I did it the way I did. Exercise used to be a very solitary event and that was what I wanted to avoid when I started again. As much as I once loved running alone, I knew that when I started exercising again I needed to do something different. So I trudged to our student gym on the top of the massive hill our university sits upon and signed up to 3 different fitness classes. I resolved to go to one a week to start and I eventually built up how often I went.

 

I tried out different classes even though it made me a little nervous to start so many new things at once. I knew I had to just conquer that anxiety of not being good enough to find what I loved. I never knew just how different it is to go to a class rather than to the gym alone. I didn’t have that nagging feeling in my head of “am I burning enough calories? Am I doing enough? How much longer should I go for?” I put my health in the hands of someone who knew how to exercise and told me it was okay that I couldn’t do a full push up or a full plank. It took away any stresses I had about getting back into exercise because I trusted the instructor.

 

There is also a great comradery in fitness classes. My favourite class is all female and we all like to jump about and have a giggle. I forget about any of that language that surrounds exercise in the media i.e “Burn fat fast etc”, and I just have fun. This is why I always recommend classes to people when they want to get stronger or fitter, because they can be so much more enjoyable that running on a treadmill alone for god knows how long. These classes really helped me focus my energy on enjoying myself and I stopped feeling like it was a punishment.

 

I think the bopo movement sometimes gets a bad rep for devaluing exercise but honestly that is not the case. The bopo community want people to be happy in themselves and want people to know that they deserve respect regardless of what they eat or if they exercise. I couldn’t have begun doing any kind of workout without having a great support network. Your health, mental and physical, is not some cut and dry thing. Sure, I was exercising more when I was anorexic, but that was extraordinarily unhealthy for me to do. I went through a couple of years of pretty much no exercise and that was because I was on a journey to finally get to this point in my life. It was important that I worked on my mental health and getting back into healthy eating before I began working out. This is why I think it is unacceptable to comment on how a person lives their life in regards to health because you may not know what someone is going through.

I wanted to encourage you guys to check out fitness classes if you were thinking of getting into exercising because I personally find them more fun and positive that exercising alone. I’m sure some classes aren’t as fun as others, but if you take a leap of faith then I am sure you can find one that suits you.

 

Essie xxx

 

The Body Confidence Influencers: Niamh. H Cup Chronicles

It is another Friday! However, after the events on Tuesday I have sensed an understandable sad lull amoungst us. Therefore I have another fantatstic interview for you all, and I am super excited. Niamh is a body positive blogger with a passion for beautiful lingerie. I am very much enjoying seeing how different people have overcome their demons, and strive to lead a positive life. Find Niamh’s blog H Cup Chronicles and find her on Instagram as hcupchronicles. Here is what she had to say about her journey:

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  1. At what age did you start becoming aware of your body and a pressure to look a certain way?

 

I’m pretty sure it was at a very young age. I remember feeling like I looked different from everyone else in primary school, because I was bullied and the bullies usually talked about my appearance. I was told I was fat, which I wasn’t. I think because I started developing earlier than everyone else and had my first bra at 10 years old, they thought I was weird. I started comfort eating around the same time because at such a young age I didn’t know how else to deal with it.

 

  1. Do you recall any defining moments in your past that negatively affected your body image?

 

One of the girls who bullied me in primary school made some really horrible comments about me and how fat I was, so for a long time I believed I was much bigger and heavier than I actually was. It became a vicious cycle of thinking I was fat and that that was bad, comfort eating, inevitably putting on weight and comfort eating more to deal with that. I never actually became “overweight” until my early twenties though. My mum was also always a really negative impact. She has her own body issues and projects that onto me and my sister. So many times stand out in my memory of her berating me for needing to go up a size in jeans (which is normal for a growing teenager), saying a girl my age shouldn’t have to wear THAT dress size, and that men wouldn’t want to go out with me because I was so fat.

 

  1. What has been the biggest struggle for you to overcome on your journey to self-acceptance?

 

Weight, and how it looks on my body. I’m naturally curvy and will never be thin with a flat stomach. My weight has fluctuated a lot over the years, and while I am lighter now than I was at my heaviest, I didn’t lose weight because I thought it would fix anything. I realised that certain foods were causing health issues and that exercise actually made me happy, so weight loss was just a natural result. The hardest thing I think has been having to listen to people’s compliments. At my lightest, people would constantly say how well I’d done to lose all the weight and I looked so much better. Did they think I looked awful before? I don’t like people to see me as an after, and even though I know it doesn’t matter what weight I am, it still got into my head that I was “better” at a certain dress size. So when I started to gain weight again earlier this year, I found it really hard to deal with because it’s so tied in with mental health. I don’t weigh myself because I find it extremely triggering, but I could see my body looked very different and my bras were not fitting. I started to hear those negative voices in my head again telling me I was worthless and ugly and that my girlfriend would stop being attracted to me. I had to learn to overcome that again. I know that it is an ongoing journey and I will probably have to go through this again, but at least now I think it’ll be a little easier each time I deal with changes in my body.

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  1. What prompted you to start promoting body confidence on social media?

 

I’ve been so passionate about lingerie for a few years, since finding my true bra size and working as a bra fitter. I decided to start a lingerie blog and it seemed natural to post photos of myself in my lingerie. My body type is not typically represented, even in brands that make lingerie for larger cup sizes, so I thought it might help some women to see someone similar to them wearing the bras they like or wanted to try. When I first discovered body positivity and fat activism, it was seeing women who looked like me that really inspired me to try and love myself and my body as it is, so it kind of seems like a good way to give back to the community that gave me so much, and continues to do so.

 

  1. If you could give your teenage self some advice, what would it be?

 

You’re completely normal, and in no time at all you will have way too many other things to worry about to waste time worrying about what people think of you and your body! Your body looks the way it is meant to look.

 

  1. How has the body confidence community helped you stay body confident?

 

Just looking at photos of other bopo bloggers everyday helps me and motivates me. I definitely notice a difference in my mood and mental health if I scroll through a bunch of photos of women who more closely resemble me, compared to when I’m bombarded with images of one, unrealistic body type. I’m aware skinny shaming is a real thing and doesn’t help the body positive movement, but I still need to see myself represented and to see women with bodies like mine to feel like I’m normal and valid and beautiful. The honesty of many bopo bloggers also really helps me when I’m having low days. We’re all on this journey and not every day is perfect, and it’s nice to know we still all falter sometimes and that I’m not judged when I don’t feel positive about myself.

 

  1. Finally: if you are having a low self-confidence day, what do you say to yourself or do to remind you how amazing your body truly is?

 

I usually look at myself a lot in the mirror and focus on the bits that I really like, even when I’m feeling low. I take a lot of pictures of myself and make myself talk about the things I do like and try not to.

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Big love to Niamh for telling us her truth. Honesty can be one of the most inspiring things when it comes to self-acceptance. Thank you, Niamh.

The Body Confidence Influencers: Jenny Lee

Hi Guys! I’m so excited to share with you the interviews I have conducted with some amazing body confidence influencers. I wanted to get different perspectives on how people have overcome their own body issues, as I know not everyone has had the same journey I have. The first of my beautiful ladies is the wonderful jenny_leeeee. The fashionista, body confidence advocate, (and Britney Spears enthusiast) talks to me about the struggles she has faced and how she overcame them:

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At what age did you start becoming aware of your body and a pressure to look a certain way?

 

Even at the age of six, I was aware that I was taller than most kids my age. It was never something I was concerned with, but around the age of eight or nine (3rd grade) I became aware that I was just bigger overall than most kids my same age. This was about the same time when I guess kids my age always started taking notice because jokes about me being “fat” or “big” began. I remember it hurting my feelings and I didn’t understand why I was different than the majority of my other girlfriends. Clothes shopping for school around this time started becoming like a chore and I was shopping in the Missy section…while most friends were still shopping in the Girls department. I would say the pressure to fit in by looking a certain way just grew with every passing year from then onward.

 

Do you recall any defining moments in your past that negatively affected your body image?

 

It’s strange and funny what you remember growing up and while I remember mostly happy times at school (which is where most peer pressure is, of course), there were comments from my peers around when I was the age of nine or ten that I remember so vividly. There were comments such as, “I bet when you look down your belly is so big you can’t even see your feet” or being nicknamed by one kid Jelly Roll #2 along with two other peers because we were deemed “fat”.

 

I’ve always loved fashion but growing up as a bigger girl and visiting a store dressing room was never fun. Nothing I loved ever really fit and I remember in middle school buying a really trendy dress from a Delia’s catalogue and thinking I looked so cute in it! When I wore it to school I had friends tell me that there were a couple people talking about the dress and how I was “too fat” to wear something like that. It was just a jersey dress! I thought I looked cute in it! I had no concept or thought in my head that I looked fat whatsoever. It was a blow and I never wore it again.

 

I am so thankful that plus-sized girls of all ages now have trendy, fashionable items that fit nicely because they deserve to feel good and well-dressed as much as anyone any other size.

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What has been the biggest struggle for you to overcome on your journey to self-acceptance?

 

By far the biggest struggle has been my own mind and my own thoughts. External influences and factors never help a situation, but only within the last two years have I fully realized that my struggle for self-acceptance begins and ends with myself.

My weight has fluctuated, my size has fluctuated, but I was NEVER satisfied. Never. At one point in my life I was at my smallest weight/size and still thought I was huge. I realize now I was struggling with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and albeit probably mild, it was present and haunting me every time I looked at myself in the mirror. As I write this, it makes me shake my head and my eyes fill with tears because I see that there was nothing I could have possibly done with regards to changing my physical self that would have made me happy.

 

I was always told that one day I just wouldn’t care anymore what people thought of the way I looked, that with age I would just not give a damn. That couldn’t have been more wrong for me. Self-acceptance didn’t come with age…it came with self-talks and self-love first and foremost. I made a promise to myself maybe two years ago that I was no longer going to let my body size and weight define me as a person, and if I wanted to lose or gain weight was MY choice and no matter WHAT size I was, I wasn’t going to hate myself. You can’t love yourself by hating. You can’t improve by hating.

 

I see it every day in women of all ages. Women of every age who still bash their bodies- and most don’t realize they’re doing it. A comment made among girlfriends of “Oh, if I could just lose these last ten pounds” or “I’m so huge!” is hurtful to yourself and others. To most it may seem like a general statement, but when I hear it I become sad. Why has this become an acceptable “bonding” topic of conversation for us as women? Our weight loss? Really? Why can’t we bond over more positive things….

 

I’m not saying I think it’s wrong to want to improve yourself physically, but obsessing over a number on the scale is NOT healthy. Period.

 

 What prompted you to start promoting body confidence on social media?

 

A brief history: I used to have a blog. For the majority of its existence my blog was dedicated to both Fashion and Fitness. I was documenting my workouts and weight loss and also showing off my outfits of the day. In my head I had to lose weight to keep looking better in my fashion posts….I didn’t know plus-size fashion bloggers existed at this time (around 2009). I’m sure they were out there but rarely did I find any. And it always seemed liked people who followed my blog were all smaller “average” sized women….not size 12/14 women, which was my size at the time.

 

Fast forward to today, look at all of the body confidence and plus-sized fashion bloggers who exist! It’s such a positive thing to see come to the forefront and I finally saw women with curves, fat, rolls, bigger boobs, broader shoulders- JUST. LIKE. ME. I saw ME. I saw myself in these women, both mentally and physically. I knew I wanted to be a part of this.

 

I mainly use my Instagram account as my platform for body confidence posts. I’m posting what I’ve always loved- clothes and makeup- while being myself. That’s what it’s all about…being your true self and just sharing that with the world, because inevitably someone will see you and relate to you.

If you could give your teenage self some advice, what would it be?

 

Pretty simple, really:

 

Enjoy life. Go to the beach. Stop NOT doing things because you think you’re fat. You’re not and the people who love you don’t care and the people who don’t know you who SEEM to care? DON’T MATTER.

 

 How has the body confidence community helped you stay body confident?

 

For me, it’s always nice to feel love and support. I know first-hand that self-confidence starts within yourself, but having a support system of others you can relate to is OH so important. It’s important for myself and others to have someone to talk and share experiences with, someone who understands. Having other body-confident women in my life has made me a better person and while many of them are internet friends, they are still, to me, simply friends. Bonds are created and occur in the most unconventional ways today, but to me they are just as or stronger than any other.

 

The body-confident women I follow on social media are women I consider to be friends and role models and they give me strength on the days I want to give up or feel down. Their words, messages and confidence just feeds my own.

 

 

Finally: if you are having a low self-confidence day, what do you say to yourself or do to remind you how amazing your body truly is?

 

We all have them. We all have days, no matter how self-accepting we are, where we might have negative feelings towards our bodies. Even when I have these feelings, I know it’s only temporary. I remind myself that I am ME. I am no one else. Comparing myself to other’s doesn’t fix any problem I might have. This may sound silly to some, but on days where I “hate” my body, I get butt naked in front of the mirror and stare at myself. This may seem counterintuitive and that it may magnify a body part currently giving me stress, but it opens my eyes at the big picture. For someone who, for the longest time, wouldn’t look at her naked self in the mirror for longer than one second, it’s an important part of being me now. Because now I don’t see one “bad roll of fat”, I see one whole beautiful body and for that I’m thankful.

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Big love and thanks to Jenny for giving me such an honest and insightful interview. 

 

The return of the turtleneck

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I am so god damn happy it is winter soon and I get to buy loads of different coloured turtleneck jumpers, tops and dresses. Contrary to my Instagram posts I actually cover up most of my body when I go out. I think it is because I am cold 90% of the time so as much as I love those tiny little dresses, they do not work practically for me. I did however, decide to pair my turtleneck this week with a skirt and no tights just so I didn’t look like I was joining the Night’s Watch. Good job I didn’t pair it with my fluffy black jacket. I have a lowkey urge to dress like Cersei Lannister most of the time, which I may indulge one day so watch out.

Top: New Look, Belt: Asos, Skirt: Next, Boots: Ted Baker.

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[Note that the only exact piece is the turtleneck. I have tried to find similar pieces that would create the same effect] screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-16-25-20 6916872-36928274-3ts32c02kblk_zoom_m_2

I’m also hoping you will all buy a pair of knee-high/over-the-knee boots this winter because they are not a staple you will regret. I also have a great pair of Zara knee-high boots that make all my outfits look much more fashionable. This was just a quick outfit post for today because I have been super busy, but I will have some exciting body confidence interviews for you all soon so watch this space.

PS: If you have requests then it is much better to contact me on here because my Instagram is often bombarded and I can’t always reply to you all.