Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Behind the Scenes with BoPo Babes: AmyLoiseW

Welcome to my new blog series! I will be going behind the selfie sticks, tripods, and self timers with some of my favorite body positive babes. I suspect if they're not your favorites yet, they will be soon!

I was introduced to Amy, aka @amyeloisew through another one of our bopo babes – Megan. Coincidentally enough, Amy says that’s how she was introduced to the bopo scene. “I worked with Meg a few years ago and was instantly drawn to how bubbly and lovely she is, and when I found her Instagram a year or so later, and saw her embracing her wobbly bits, I thought maybe I could too. - A few months ago we were shopping together and she told me that I should look at my body as a work of art, if someone were to draw or sculpt me they would take so much time over every little detail and they would put so much love into every lump, bump and other 'flaw' that may be there . It really boosts your confidence to imagine someone pretty much worshipping you!”

She then took her body positive journey online. “There was a swimsuit that I had never let see the light of day, then I wore it in an Instagram post and now I love it and happily skip down the beach in it. I was TERRIFIED when I posted my first picture, and I'm still scared when I post them now. But you (the bopo community) have all made this journey a heck of a lot easier.”

Her main motivation for continuing to post, no matter how scary it is, is to help inspire other men and women into self love. Her future children are in her mind too. “I don’t want to someday have a daughter or son who I have to comfort because they don’t look like people in magazines.”

Being unedited is something that she focuses on in her Instagram posts. She is a self-described “beauty addict” and often posts before and after pictures from her makeup looks. It’s important to know that while someone may not be using Photoshop per se, it is still very easy to manipulate things online and in the media. From makeup to lighting to “flattering” poses, we can still control how our Instagram feed shows us while being #nofilter.

Once she started her self love journey, she says she began to realize how intrinsic diet culture is in our lives. “I didn't notice how surrounded by diet talk I was until I was actively trying to avoid it. I used to follow "fitness" accounts on Instagram. I put fitness in quotation marks because what they actually were were thinspiration accounts. They mentioned nothing about getting fit, being able to move better or being more flexible, they literally focused on whether or not you had a thigh gap. Unfollowing those type of accounts and flooding your feed with a variety of body types really helps you to start to see your own beauty.

When I was younger, I used to get a lot of stick from people about my weight and my general appearance. I'd be called ugly and fat and all things like that. Nowadays, I don't get hateful comments, besides the odd "concerned" comment from people. I have certain people in my life who have the best intentions and don't realise that by saying "You shouldn't be eating chocolate." "I'm just worried about your health" and stuff like that, it creates more problems and makes my relationship with food incredibly difficult. I used to shout and scream at them, but now I give them a look that says "don't test me" and walk away. I can't stress enough how important it is to remove yourself from the toxic conversations about diets and size is on this journey. Get away from all of the negativity.”

When she receives negative comments online, it’s not as easy as just walking away. You have the words in front of you to read over and over again. The best way to deal with it? “I read it, I laugh at it then I delete it. I used to try and defend myself and I would usually end up crying and believing what they told me, but I realised that you can't reason with idiots. I've also noticed that if you let them go off on run, they eventually run out of steam... it's a bit like letting a toddler run around a playground really!”

Like all of us, she still has bad days and sometimes they’re specific to her body. Self care can help; hers includes eating Nutella, watching YouTube videos, and dancing around to sassy music, but generally she just tries to ride it out.

“I tried the whole pampering yourself thing which does help a bit, but it never fully cures me. I'm going through a bit of a difficult time at the minute and when I'm stressed, my reaction is always to start picking my appearance apart (I have no idea why!). But yeah, I've come to realise that we all have good and bad days, and although the bad day I'm experiencing at the minute has been more like a bad 6 weeks, it's fine. I'll heal and I'll come back stronger and will finally reach a point where the bad days are fewer and farther between. It has genuinely changed the way I am and the way I see the world. Friends who have known me for years have told me how much I've blossomed, and even though I'm struggling at the minute, I'm still more confident in myself in this rough patch than I ever was three years ago.”

Lightning Round
  • Favorite Happy Song?
    • Big, Blonde and Beautiful from the musical Hairspray. Trust me, if you want to feel the sass completely engulf you, dance around to this song.
  • What’s a movie that never gets old?
    • Legally Blonde - what an excellent film!
  • What’s a book you could read repeatedly?
    • Any of the Harry Potters but if I had to choose one, probably Goblet of Fire. It's so good!
  • Favorite ice cream?
    • Haagen Dazs do an amazing chocolate salted caramel one. Or in Spain you can get Dulce de Leche flavoured ice cream that is just to die for.
  • Favorite brick and mortar store?
    • Debenhams (a department store in the UK), mainly for its beauty hall. I love shopping for makeup and loathe clothes shopping (literally nothing fits me properly and it's so irritating!) and Debenhams has a great array of brands I love.
  • Favorite online store?
    • BeautyBay! For the same reason as Debenhams - lots of great makeup brands!
  • Favorite drink?
    • Chocolate milkshake
  • Do you have any hobbies?
    • Does make up count? I love buying and playing with make up. It calms me down when I'm feeling worried and it's so cool to create lots of different looks knowing if you mess up, you can just start again!
  • If you were able to throw an over the top party for your birthday a la My Super Sweet 16, what would the theme be?
    • Disney! And I would start the night dressed as Belle in a big yellow ball gown, then part way through the night I would change into a shark outfit with a cowboy hat on so when everyone goes "who are you?" I can go "I'm Woody! Howdy howdy howdy" and then my boyfriend (who would be dressed as Woody) would come and snatch the hat off my head. I've thought about this way too much.

Until Next Time,
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