Body image and self-esteem with Anastasia Amour

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Anastasia Amour is a body image and self-esteem coach with one goal in life; to help others who suffer from low self-esteem, body image issues, and eating disorders. From her own personal knowledge of eating disorders, Anastasia’s passion is to give a friendly and honest support line to those who need it.With her own help website which includes her 14 day guide to body positivity for anyone to purchase, I speak to Anastasia about how she started this amazing supportline, and her best tips.

You run the positivity and body image advice website When did your passion for confidence and helping people with body image issues start and why?

After recovering from Anorexia, I had a huge desire to help others. From what I’d experienced in my own recovery, I wanted to provide support to others who could relate to me, because I knew what they were going through. I realised that as a kid I struggled with being overweight and I’d gone through countless cycles of yo-yo dieting too… so in terms of body image issues, I’ve got a huge amount of experiences under my belt to relate to a lot of women. I started to pursue formal education in psychology, and the rest started to fall into place from there!

You conquered anorexia and are now a body image and self-esteem coach. Do you find it challenging to coach someone who have anorexia themselves?

It definitely has its difficult moments. Over my recovery and research, I’ve learned that self-care is paramount. I know that I’m able to best serve others when I’m functioning at 100%, which means I need to place my own self-care needs as my highest priority. I’ve become quite good at setting my own boundaries. Whenever I find myself struggling or absorbing the energy of others in a way that’s challenging my own self-love, I take a step backwards and hit pause whilst I regenerate myself.

 How did you conquer anorexia and who helped you?

Through a lot of hard work, relapses, total failures… picking myself up and dusting myself off each time I failed and trying again. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t wish an eating disorder upon anyone. The hardest part of recovery was letting go of the part of me that I’d come to identify with so incredibly strongly for half a decade. The tiny rational voice inside me that started to peek through screamed that I was dying, but the biggest part of me – the disordered part – told me that recovery would kill me. Ignoring that and keeping going was torturous.
I felt such a huge sense of shame and stigma around my illness and my recovery, so I actually didn’t seek outside help – my recovery was entirely self-managed and I wouldn’t ever recommend that to anyone. I know now how incredibly dangerous that was to my physical and mental health and I’m amazingly lucky to still be here talking to you right now! I’m grateful for that every day.
Throughout my recovery, the only person that I actually talked to about my illness was a phone hotline support worker from The Butterfly Foundation, whom I talked to most weeknights. She was a listening ear, and that meant the world to me.

It must be so rewarding supporting others! What is the best thing about being a body image and self-esteem coach?

It’s immensely rewarding. The best thing for me is getting to be a support network for those who feel like they’re totally alone. In my own recovery I felt that sense of isolation so deeply, so having been on the other side of the battle, I know what it feels like for the women that I coach. It’s so rewarding when I see my clients have those “lightbulb” moments and watching them start to flourish.

Many people find it hard to control their weight, and this can turn into negative thoughts and activities. How would you say is the best way for someone to take a step in the right direction regarding their anxieties about weight?

A lot of people don’t realise that the body and mind aren’t things that should be controlled or conquered, but rather elements that need to work in harmony together. It’s impossible to have a healthy body if the mind is preoccupied with enforcing strict or arbitrary standards and likewise, it’s incredibly hard to have a healthy mind if you’re treating your body badly. Negative body image has a snowball effect over time and the longer you leave it, the more deeply ingrained those anxieties can become. I always recommend to my clients that whenever they start to notice their body insecurities becoming louder and louder in their minds, they take a step back and instead of judging those thoughts – really listen to what those thoughts are telling them. From there, you can start to unpick the root cause of the thoughts and start to heal the anxiety. Body anxiety is usually a symptom of deeper emotional conflict.

Confidence is something many people lack. They may have received negativity from others, or are negative to themselves. Is confidence easy to gain?

Yes and no!
No, because it’s no small task to go about undoing years of damage of the words of others and yourself that have been cemented in your mind. It takes time, effort, careful unpicking and rebuilding your self-esteem.
But also yes, because once you start doing the work I mentioned above, things start to click and you begin to realise that YOU and you alone are in full control of defining your worth. And that is an absolutely beautiful moment of revelation.

Anastasia’s 3 tips for body positivity:

1.Don’t be afraid to audit your life. Think about who you follow on social media, the people that you spend time with and the information that you consume… ask yourself how all of these elements impact your self-esteem, and take steps to surround yourself with positivity!

2. Commit yourself to making self-care an integral part of your daily routine, rather than just a “band aid” for when you’re feeling low. Find out the self-love practices that work for you, and know that your self-love practices don’t have to look like anyone else’s! Think of them as an opportunity to really get in touch with yourself and your mind-body needs.

3. Don’t underestimate the importance of joyful movement – exercise is important to not only physical wellbeing, but mental health too. If you can find ways of moving that make your mind and body sing, then you’ll reap the rewards. Even if it’s only twirling around your living room to your favourite songs, that still counts! Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box  ☺

instagram @anastasiaamour


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New The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation Review

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I realised I had never tried any of The Body Shop foundations, and as they are doing a 40% off sale, I thought “Now is the chance”.
I chose their new Fresh Nude Foundation as it is semi-matte and claims to feel fresh and comfortable all day. I know I usually only stick to mattes, but I am trying to brance out a little and test out some semi-mattes and sometimes I like to have a dewy look.

The foundation comes in a glass bottle with a pump, making it really easy to get the right amount of product you need, and is hygenic which I love! (I really don’t like those bottles with no pumps. It is so messy!).
The formula at first felt a little too thick for me and I was worried it would be really hard to blend and get an even coverage. However after I applied the foundation to my face it blended really well and covered my acne and spots nicely without feeling too heavy.

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As you can see, I suffer from redness and acne on my chin area at the moment. My skin is oily, and I often breakout around my nose and chin area.

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After application, my acne and spots has been covered really nicely with no need for concealer! The shade I used: “Bora Bora” is the perfect shade for me, too.
It feels just as described, “semi-matte” but not too dewy for me, as I am already oily. I will use a powder on my T-zone to make sure that I don’t get extra oily, but I am really pleased with the end result.

If you have dry skin, or want a semi-matte  foundation, I really recommend The Body Shop’s Fresh Nude Foundation. It has 16 shades available, ranging from pale to dark and also contains SPF 15.
For £15 I think its great value for a high quality foundation from a high quality brand you can trust. The Body Shop has long been known for its high quality and beautiful products, and this foundation is no exception!

Get it here:



Petite and Curvy: Selini Angelini


With the fashion industry day by day accepting more curvier models and celebrating diversity, us curvy girls are starting to feel like we are taken more seriously. However, many curve and plus size models are over the average height for women, too.
I speak to the gorgeous Selini Angelini about being petite and curvy, and how she feels representing us shorter girls who tend to be ignored in the mainstream fashion industry.

The fashion industry is finally using curvier models walk the runways and model their clothes, however there is still a lot of negativity from people that think this is “unhealthy”. Why do you think people are still reluctant to embrace body positivity?

“Well I am not really sure to be honest. I believe that people who judge or feel uncomfortable with it, are just insecure or unhappy with themselves. I know a ton of women that work out every day  for 6 hours and only eat a salad. But nobody complains because they’re “fit” in our society. This is not healthy to me. Like people who use drugs to stay slim. To me seeing women that are happy with their body, mind and lives just have a different aura, I admire this aura a lot by plus size women.”

There is a standard height that designers and brands will use. Why do you think the fashion industry ignores shorter girls?

“Well this is something that’s kinda stupid. But in one way I believe it’s because of the clothes.  For example jeans length. This may need more work to adapt them, but in other way I think its kinda stupid. So many female stars, singers or actress are short. I know a ton of fullfigured short women. It’s important not to be insecure about your height, no matter what agencies say or not. Just be yourself and do the best. I never wanted to change. I like me short.”

A lot of “curve” models are quite tall and some clothes that they model look very different on us shorter girls. Where do you shop for cute clothes and lingerie?

“Well, for my jeans I shop most in H&M or Bershkha. H&M have amazing jeans. I am not really a brand person. I have some brands like Armani shirts, Tommy Hilfiger, Bench or Lacoste but I prefer white shirts and blue jeans and my Gap hoodie. Simple.
 I love Morgan (Morgan de Toi). It’s an elegant, sexy brand from France, and all their clothes suit me perfect! Especially dresses. It just fits my curves perfect! Mango has awesome pieces too! I like Lipsy dresses and Miss Selfridge too. They have some cute pieces! But I am not a fashion blogger, I am very simple in clothes.
 But in Lingerie, oh my heart opens! I have so much lingerie. I would wanna have more but because of my chest size they don’t fit me. This makes me more mad, then the fact that I am too short for an agency. I wear a lot Chantelle, Gossard, Triumph and I have pieces from Bon Prix and H&M (Bodysuits). I ordered from Dita von Teese collection (which is a little too small on my chest), Hunkemöller, Passionata, Freya, Lascana & Panache. I love Calvin klein panties and I have every colour.
Definitely one of my goals is to have my own lingerie line, with sexy badass pieces for bigger cups!

Do you have any fashion tips/recommendations for short girls?

“Just take your time to go shopping. And don’t shop at only at one place. I like to shop with my mama the most, she is amazing. We have kinda same bodytype and she always helps me. She is so honest about what looks good or not. Sometimes too honest!

“Drop the plus” has been a debate going around social media the past year. What do you think? Keep or drop the “plus” in “plus size”?

“Definitely keep. Its’s kinda how everything started and this presents us and other women with fuller figures. But in another way I understand when people wanna be called just a “model”. But it’s not a big thing to me, to be honest, things like this don’t cross my mind or give me sleepless nights.”

You inspire me to be more comfortable and confident with my body. But what model inspires you?

“Thank you! Well I don’t have models that inspire me in the way to be more comfortable in my skin, because I never really struggled. But I admire strong women. I admire Angelina Jolie, she is my fave. She never kept a secret about her past and she lived her madness to the fullest. Madonna is a big idol to me, with her open mind and provocation she helped a lot of women to feel free in their sexuality. Maria Callas, she was the epitome of art and because of her ambition and vulnerability. Also, Velvet d’Amour is amazing to me. I have admired her since I was 21! And after I met her, she is a total sweetheart –  Definitely a dream come true. Frida Kahlo, Mae West, and of course the beauty of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loreen, Jayne Mansfield and Monica Bellucci. My favourite model I follow on Instagram is Esther Andersen and I really hope to meet her!
But the reason why I feel comfortable in my skin is my mama. She is the prettiest and strongest woman I have ever met. I wanna be like her one day!”
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Have you always been body confident?

“Well I definitely had a struggle with my body when I was 9/ 10 years old. I came very early into puberty and I wasn’s so happy about it. The boys in class started to like me and get interested because of my different bodytype, and the girls always beat me on my chest. So I only wore big hoodies and I prayed that my chest wouldn’t grow anymore. This was a very hard time for me and  I only felt good when I was in Greece on holidays. I could wear top and normal clothes because a lot of Greek women are very curvy, so I didn’t felt wrong.
But I always felt good because of my weight and I am happy with myself.”

What are your tips for women who want to be more confident with their bodies?

“When you want to feel more comfortable, you should do things in life that makes you happy. I started dancing and athletics when I was 6 years old and I did it for 8 years. Sport is very good and helps you a lot to feel and to know your body. Don’t go after unrealistic shit and don’t watch too much topmodel show’s or women on IG with 73827 filters and photoshop from head to toe. Don’t be around women that only talk about beauty and surgery as this doesn’t bring you further in life. Be you. Be proud of you. Pray to god. Make yourself a ritual and be proud of it. Set yourself goals, but not goals like: “I wanna lose 10 pounds in a week”. Set yourself relevant goals for your future like: “I wanna go to school, I wanna be a better person, I wanna cook today something good for me and my family, I wanna do a good graduation”. Surround yourself with positive and educated people.”

You have shot with the lovely Velvet d’Amour for Volup2 and you looked so gorgeous. Do you have any plans to shoot more?

“The shoot with Velvet d’Amour was amazing. I was very nervous. It was so early in the morning and Alina Cherciua, Janet Doman and Velvet d’Amour came in my appartment to do my makeup. But they did an amazing job! I felt totally free to be myself and this is very important to me to express myself. They are really, very good people and I can’t wait to see them again! I have a lot of inquiries from very good photographers to work with me (New York, Los Angeles and more), but at the moment I just don’t have time. As soon as I have my graduation, I really wanna make more shoots and different kind of shoots.”


What can we look forward to from you in the coming year?

“There is something coming but I can’t tell yet, it’s a little secret 😉
This year maybe I will work with a street photographer from Switzerland. It depends on how I feel emotionally and because of my Anxiety Disorder and if I have enough time because of graduation.But as soon as I have my graduation and time to travel, I wanna start doing more modelling jobs.”


To find out more about Selini, make sure you are following her on IG, Twitter and Facebook!

instagram @Seliniangelini

twitter @SeliniAngelini

facebook Selini Angelini

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows Review

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After ages, I finally got my hands on some Makeup Geek cosmetics! Yay!

I decided to pick out some eyeshadows first, as they didn’t have my contour shade on Beauty Bay. I picked one normal eyeshadow, two duchromes and one foiled and instantly I was amazed at how pigmented and creamy they are! But I will get into that later.

I have been a fan of Marlena (CEO of Makeup Geek) for years. I first subscribed to her YouTube channel around 6-7 years ago, and I fell in love with how skilled, and how driven she is to create beautiful makeup looks. And when I found out she was creating a cosmetic brand, I was over the moon as I knew she would create an awesome brand that wasn’t too pricy but still have excellent quality. And I was extra extra thrilled when I found out that Makeup Geek cosmetics would be cruelty free! I have a lot of admiration for Marlena, and many cosmetics brands don’t bother going cruelty free, but it is a really important issue for Marlena, and many of her fans, like me.

So, I picked out my eyeshadow pans and wasn’t suprised at how brilliant they are. I have heard so many awesome reviews and comments about Makeup Geek, and had watched Marlena talk about her new products in awe on her YouTube.

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The first colour I bought is “Motown”, and this is a matte, deep purple, perfect for creating a smokey eye, or a purple look.

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Second is “Houdini”, a foiled deep green with a bold, metallic foiled finish. This would look amazing on its own, or as a liner affect as it is so powerful and striking.

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Third is “Havoc”, a duochrome warm coloured shadow with a teal reflects. I think this would look awesome on the lid, and then a matte brown blended in the crease. The duochrome effect really makes it interesting and multi-dimensional.


And finally “Secret Garden”, an amazing, strong duochrome green/teal with an espresso base. Again, this is a strong colour and would look beautiful on its own or as a liner effect.

As you can see, each shadow is amazingly pigmented, creamy and no need for a primer! I am so pleased with these and will continue to buy from Makeup Geek. All her products seem the best quality and a reasonable price, and they are cruelty free!

Price: (BeautyBay)
The normal, pressed shadows like Motown are £4.95
Foiled shadows are £7.95
And duochromes are £4.95

These shadows are so worth the price and more! I actually can’t believe how cheap they are, because their quality are so much better than MAC shadows!
If you are cruelty free too, definitely check out Makeup Geek too as Marlena has a strong stance on animal testing and her work on this brand is outstanding!


Zoeva Rose Golden Blush Palette Review


New to Zoeva’s Rose Golden collection is the Rose Golden Blush Palette. A palette with a contour, highlighting and blush pressed powders infused with vitamin E, I just had to have it!

I don’t own  any of Zoeva’s Rose Golden brushes, as although they are stunningly chic and beautiful, I only buy vegan brushes (which Zoeva do by the way!). But this Rose Golden palette is just as beautiful and in need of a new contour and highlight, I bought it from Beauty Bay.


The palette is a pinky-golden, shiny, high quality cardboard style palette that has a small magnet that helps it snap shut. Inside you have 3 pressed powders:

Heavy Crown: A matte mid-brown contour shade. A little dusty, but quite well pigmented and the perfect countour shade for most skin tones.
Glowing Still: A highly pigmented and creamy highlighting shade, pefect for highlighting under the brows and the tops of the cheek bones to give you that glow.
Palace Door: A very shimmery and rose golden blush that is very pigmented and creamy. Palace Door would make a beautiful blush for the summer time as it has a golden tone along with the pinkness.

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I am really pleased with the pigmentation of these powders, especially the highlight and blush colours. In true Zoeva style the packaging is chic, and the colours and tones are beautiful for a great price. Whats more, Zoeva’s cosmetics are cruelty free, and have a vegan brush line too for us animal lovers!

This palette is definitely worth its £13 (Beauty Bay)/ €14.80 (Zoeva) price tag as it is a beautiful product that will look pretty in any makeup collection, and it is a must-have for anyone needing a contour/highlighter/blush trio!



Introducing: Plus model Nina De Martino


I am always on the look out for new plus/curve to follow and help promote, since I feel like we need a stronger plus/curve industry to help break the “thin ideal” barriers of the fashion industry.
This week I caught up with Nina De Martino, a new model on a mission to inspire women to embrace their curves and take on the fashion industry head first. I chat to Nina about her life as a model, her opinions on the fashion industy, and her advice for aspiring models.

What made you decide to be a model?

“I decided to join an agency to pursue a second career that has been a dream since I was 18.  As a child, I always loved fashion, accessories and creating different looks with a particular piece of clothing.  I have always been “plus size” and able to dress according to my figure while staying on top of the latest trends and fashions.”

What kind of model do you describe yourself as?

“I would describe myself as a full-figured curvy model.  I am a size 16 and embrace what I have!”


As a curve model, have you ever had any negative feedback from the fashion industry for not being the “thin ideal”? 

“This is my second year in the modelling world and I have not. I have been told “we don’t have anything to fit you” from a designer, but I have never been scrutinized for not being smaller than a size 8.”

The plus and curve fashion industry has started to really kick off in the last 2-3 years. Yet some designers are still hesitant to use curvier models. Why do you think this is? 

“I think people tend to fear to show their curves or accentuate a specific area of your body. However, I think this will all change as  we can see it is happening and growing. The average woman is a size 12-14 here in the US and I think designers need to focus on the audience and the average women of 2016.”

You have modelled everything from sports clothing to lingerie. What is your favorite type of shoot?

“I honestly do not have a favorite type. Photoshoots with props and different lighting are always a blast because they force a model to step out of their comfort zone. I have worked with many different photographers including one in Italy and every time it is a positive experience. I learn something new about myself, and modelling every time”


How do you prepare for a shoot? Any skin care or make up tips for us?

“My agent taught us to have the “luggage”.  By prepaing the night before by packing everything you might need.  Although the make up artists are usually on site of the shoot, we were trained to apply our makeup in case of an emergency.  I also pack hair products just in case of a hair emergency.  Make up wipes are a must in case we need to re-apply or correct a specific area. As far as makeup tips, every three months I get a facial and I have yearly check ups with my dermatologists.  I have always struggled with acne, therefore I have to be pamper my face. My foundation is oil free of course and MAC  products are a must. Their highlighter is one of my favorite products that I can use all year long!”

Many young girls lack confidence because of our demanding media and thin-loving industry. How do you stay confident? 

“I am a Zumba instructor and love to dance, hence my cardio is teaching my classes.  I recently starting kick boxing to tone my body and switch up my exercise routine as I feel there is always room for improvement no matter what size or shape a woman is.  I have stopped comparing myself to others. For years I would but at this point I have realized we all have our own beauty and we need to embrace with what we have and work towards being healthy physically and  mentally to promote and produce a lifestyle of happiness.”

Do you have any tips for girls wanting to start modelling? 

“My one statement I say to future models is, believe in yourself no matter what size or shape you are. Never compare or be jealous of another model or woman’s body.  We are all different for a reason and remember there is someone out there that is looking at you with admiration!”

As a model, what are your goals for the next year?

“My goal is to continue modellling and hopefully be able to participate in a few commercials, but mostly to inspire women!”


instagram To support Nina and her mission to empower curvy women, make sure to follow her on instagram: @La_bella_nina_demartino

Boosting Positivity


Over the past two years, I have made some lifestyle changes that have slowly began to change the way I think about myself as a “plus size” girl in a world where the “thin ideal” idealology is still prominent.

  • Accepting your bodyThe most important change that I made for myself was accepeting my body and it’s shape.
    When you accept how you are made, only then can you decide how to not change your body, but nourish it and make it healthier in your own unique way that suits YOU. This may be by lowering your carb intake, working out more,  or wearing an outfit that flatters YOUR shape.
    Accepting your body can be hard. We all want to change certain things on our bodies and look the best (in our opinions) we can, but when we understand our bodies, then we start to truly appreciate ourselves.
    I used to hate my thick thighs, but I came to accept that thay will never be slender. Instead, I came to accept that they are wonderfully shapely, curvy and look bomb in skinny jeans and tights. Since accepeting myself, I am more confident to wear what I want, talk to who I want, and celebrate my curves.


  • Working out

Something that most gym goers swear by is how they feel after a workout. Exercising releases the happy chemical endorphins, which flood your body after a work out and you instantly feel more clear-minded, less stressed and proud of your abilities. Of course, you also get the added physical health benefits and increased stamina and fitness, which will boost your positivity too! It is a no brainer.

  • Following women/men who are like you

Following some body positive people on the internet is great support. You will see just how real these people are, and how they experience the same issues as you do. They can be inspirational to you, whether it be through their body journey, their gym regimes, healthy eating diaries, or just their personalities.
I follow “plus size” models who have the same body types as me to help myself learn about what I could wear that flatters me. For example, George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, Denise Bidot, Ashley Graham and many more. Watching these women slay the curve world really boosts my mood.

  • Eating cleaner

I’m not saying you need to turn vegan, cut out bread, chocolate and sweets. But I have truly seen a drastic improvement with my moods from quitting the microwave meals and cooking more. Through doing this, I have learnt to cook so much better, my fitness has improved, and I feel like insides are so much more better for it. I was a sucker for those “diet foods” that had to say “low fat” on it. But you don’t need these, and most of the time they are packed full of chemicals. Eating clean and eating healthy fats is the way to go to a better mood and better body. You don’t even need to cut down portions, just make sure it’s clean and you can name all the ingredients!

  • Doing something for the environment

Whether that be recycling more, walking more, beach cleans or cutting out plastic, I feel that when I do something good for the environment, I feel so much more better about myself, and in turn I get to see my progress. When I do a beach clean and pick up rubbish, netting and plastics from the shore and see what I have collected, I feel awesome! I have just helped sealife by getting rid of something that would get swept in the sea and potentially kill them. And if you are an animal and beach lover like me, this is something that makes my day!

I hope these tips help anyone who needs a positivity boost. We all have specific things that make us happy, but accepting our bodies and the way we are is my first step. Since accpeting myself, I can truly say that I think my body is killer, and I would have never said that years ago!



Comparing bodies


We have all done it – We look down at our sticky out bellies, thick thighs and stubby legs and think to ourselves: “Why are my legs twice the size as hers?”, “How come she has a flat tummy, and mine sticks out?”, “She eats more than me yet I’m fatter”.

I used to do that. I used to compare my growing body with other girls’ growing bodies, and question why my body wasn’t exactly the same as theirs. It’s crazy when you think about it. But then again, no one ever taught us that every body grows completely different, at different rates, and at different times. And whats more, girls start puberty at different times to others. So when I was 13 and growing boobs, and my friend’s were the same age yet were still flat chested, I felt like an elephant. Boys would ping my bra straps and laugh that I was growing (something obviously completely natural and normal) boobs, and I all of a sudden felt more self-conscious in PE.

Even when I was fully grown, I still compared myself to other girls. I compared the size of my boobs, tummy, arms, legs, just about everything to others, but what I was forgetting is that every body is completely different.

Everyone has a different make up, growth rate, metabolism, and body to everyone. You can not possibly compare your body to anyone, because you are a unique person with a unique make up. And that is the beauty of bodies, we are all totally different from eachother and diverse. No one can be someone else, and someone else can’t be you.

And this is how I slowly accepted my body, which in time gave me that body confidence to enjoy my shape and embrace my uniqueness. If everyone had the same body type, fashion would be a very boring place. Diversity is what makes us interesting as humans, it is what gives us “our” personal look, it is what people love us for, and it is what we should love on ourselves, too.