I’m just your average girl. I go out with the girls on a Saturday night. Veg out and watch Netflix most Sunday’s. I live for my next travel adventure. I work out – when I can… And like your average girl, I too spend a vast amount of time on Instagram. On my commute, lunch break, even whilst watching television you’ll usually find me scrolling through ‘the gram’.
“Skinny girl… Perfect hair… Curvaceous girl… Perfect skin… Girl with amazing bum… Chic outfit… Perfect lips… ANOTHER skinny girl… – this was my feed! With every new picture, a new emotion; PRESSURE… DESIRE… INADEQUACY… LONGING… GUILT… JEALOUSY… ENVY… DESPAIR… – wow, that’s exhausting! And do you know what it totally was…”
As a girl who has always had problems accepting her body, Instagram just seemed to magnify this. Advertising wasn’t just on billboards, magazines and television – it was invading my social space. I was constantly faced with images of perfection and it was out of my reach, no matter how hard I tried. Trust me, I TRIED!
Then I started working at Isle of Paradise, and something MASSIVE happened! First of all, I met Jules who had a totally refreshing outlook on body image and more importantly life in general. Jules has spent every working day, for god knows how many years, in front of naked women who ALL have their insecurities and body hang-ups. Yet the more naked bodies Jules sees the more beauty he sees in them – and these are REAL bodies, no Photoshop and no airbrushing. Another thing, Jules feels so passionately about representing all shapes and sizes which means I spend my days at work looking at incredible bodies of all shapes and sizes. IT. IS. SO. REFRESHING. And lastly, and more surprisingly, my views on my own body have shifted a full 180. Instead of scrutinising every inch of my body and picking flaws, I genuinely want to celebrate my body. Life is short, I’m healthy and I’ve got so much to be happy about. I’m more than my body – but I love it all the same!