Own your spots with body positivity-guru Ellie Sweet
Posting underwear-selfies on Instagram; for Ellie it’s normal day-to-day business. The goal? To promote having a positive attitude towards your body, with all its ‘flaws’ and ‘imperfections’. If anyone can teach us how to own our spots, it’s Ellie! Time for a chat.
Have you always been this confident? How did you get there?
No, most definitely not. I struggled with this for most of my life and I was always known as the “shy” kid. I was always anxious to be myself, so I didn’t. I acted or dressed the way I thought everyone else wanted me to, never the way I wanted to. One day I realized my body was worth more. I realized I didn’t want to hate my body forever, and that it was mostly ME stopping me from being confident and being myself. I realized that I don’t need to care what others think, and I learned to love myself because I’m the only person I’m guaranteed to have at all times. But it took a long time to get there; it takes consistency and dedication. You need to start by trying to accept yourself instead of straight away loving yourself. Some days you’ll be more confident than others and that’s okay, just don’t give up on trying.
What are things we can do to change our mindset?
Here are the things I did to help me get there:
- Make sure you are following motivating, natural people on social media.
- Say nice things to yourself daily, no matter how small. It can be something as little as a piercing, forearms or eyelashes.
- Don’t avoid the mirror! The more you avoid looking at yourself, the harder it will be to end up loving yourself.
- If you catch yourself saying something unkind to yourself, try to realize it, stop and change it for something nice.
- Make sure you look after yourself. Make sure you eat, sleep, wash, do what you enjoy. Sometimes it’s hard but it REALLY helps you feel better about yourself.
- And lastly: remember that it’s okay to have bad days too. Relax and try again tomorrow. Talking to yourself and saying the same things over and over again is so important. I promise it’s worth it, when you get to the point of accepting yourself, the loving part comes easier.
From skinny to Kardashian-worthy curves with cinched waists, there seems to be a certain fashion in body types. Do you think we will ever get to a time where there is no ‘ideal body’?
There most definitely is a certain fashion in body types and I think it’s completely wrong. Bodies change all the time and I think that is enough to show that all body types are beautiful. You come how you come and that’s all you need to do. I am not sure if there ever won’t be an “ideal”, but I truly hope so, as it is very damaging to wish for or want someone else’s body. No matter how much you work out or diet or whatever you think is going to work, you can’t magically have a different body type. And how boring would it be anyway if everyone looked the same?!
How do you see the role of social media in the current #bodypositivity movements?
Social media can be very damaging to certain people but very motivating for others, it truly depends on who you follow. Before I started my self-love journey I didn’t follow anyone that looked like me, I only followed people that seemed to be happy and seemed to be doing well, and it just made me feel bad about myself. So I changed that and followed people that look like me and people who motivate me to be myself. It helped me massive amounts!
And what responsibility do you think the fashion industry has when it comes to those beauty ideals?
I believe that the fashion industry used to have a very negative effect on beauty ideals as it just showed the “desired” body, the body’s that society has made accepted, through photos that were airbrushed etc. This is extremely damaging to most people, it makes them feel that they can’t wear the same clothes if they don’t look the way the model looks, which is not true! Clothes are made to fit us, we are not made to fit clothes. But I do believe that the fashion industry has gotten a lot better for it: now we see plus-size models, curves, bigger sizes, smaller sizes, natural pictures, different races. I think we have A LOT of work yet to do but I’m amazed by the progress.
You get a ton of positive comments, it’s great to see that others are inspired by you! Do you also get negative comments? And how do you deal with them?
Thank you, my comments are my motivation! It makes me extremely happy to know that I help multiple people. But I definitely get negative comments and messages as well. The way I deal with those mostly is to kill them with kindness. I find it the best way; most of the time when people are projecting on you, they aren’t happy with themselves or something else. What they say has nothing to do with you but so much to do with them, I won’t let other people’s hurt bring down my shine.
Which is your favorite part of your body?
My stretch marks and my hip dips are my favorite parts of my body. It took me a long time to love both things and now I see how much they show my uniqueness. They just add more beauty.
Why do you think it’s important to share this message?
I think it is important to share this message because soooooo many people struggle with this without even saying anything. It’s become socially acceptable to not accept yourself, which is incredibly wrong and I and I want to work on changing that. Young people come into the world thinking they should be a certain way, it makes them struggle from so young and it’s not fair. The world would be so much happier if everyone knew how important they are.
Follow Ellie on Instagram for your daily dose of body positivity.
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