Welcome back again to The Body Diaries! Settle in with another cuppa tea for some self-love and positive vibes whilst I chat with my friend Hayley. She is the ultimate cat lady, with ever-changing hair colours and a love of vintage.
Give my readers a little introduction to you. Who are you and what are you about?
Hi! I’m Hayley, a very Northern 23-year-old student midwife. I’m a size 18/20 and 5″10. At 14, I was a size 14 and I have never been anything less. I have always been the biggest of my friends and stuck out like a sore thumb. But, I discovered myself and style at 15 because I fell in love with charity shops and vintage clothes. An awful lot when I was growing up, people described me as having the possibility of being ‘pretty’, if I lost weight. I put a lot of pressure on myself to go to the gym and eat well. I was 16 when I first realised that my size didn’t define me. I uploaded a bikini picture to Tumblr feeling curvy and fab when I was a size 14/16 and got a shit ton of reblogs. I began to realise that people still found me beautiful. I was beautiful and my clothes size didn’t determine that. That was when I began my journey of promoting body confidence and self love.
How would you describe your relationship with your body?
Particular days are difficult and I can hate the rolls that appear when I sit down (or the one I now have when I’m even stood). Sometimes I L-O-V-E my rolls, I look down and think ‘aww I’m so cute and squidgy’. I strut around acting like Dita Von Teese in my underwear one minute and the next I can’t bare to look at myself naked. No matter what though I know that it doesn’t define my self worth, and I’m a good person regardless of my image.
I think loving yourself and being fully body confidence is not really achievable personally. I believe we all have days we dislike our bodies, but it’s more about learning to not let those define how you feel about yourself the majority of the time. I was 16 when I realised that the size 8 figure of my best friends was never going to be achievable for me. The sooner I accepted that we are all different shapes and sizes, the sooner I grew to love myself. I’m fat and beautiful, I don;t have to be one or the other.
Tell me which 3 parts of yourself that you love the most?
My legs, lips and booty!
How do you try and get over the bad days you have with your body?
I think about every other aspect of my life! I think how happy I am with my career, my boyfriend, my family and friends. I remember that I am healthy and well. Life is far too short to worry about what other people think. If I was truly unhappy with my body then I would change it. I sit scoffing cheesy chips and think fuck it! If I am happy and everything in life is so good, then why should I feel pressured to lose weight by the media and society to be happy? I am already very happy, eating my cheesy chips and embracing my belly rolls.
What is your go-to outfit that makes you feel like you’re the hottest person on earth?
Oooh hard one! I have so many outfits that make me feel good. I’d have to say my most recent one is a new dress (and it seems to be the Primark ‘it’ dress at the moment too). It is a red rose wrap-over number. I actually feel like the red dress salsa emoji when I wear it, so sassy! Here’s a picture of me and my better half whilst I’m wearing it.
What tips would you give your 12 year old self about body confidence?
I’d tell her to ignore the bullies as she is a chubby beautiful babe. I’d tell her to love her body as she only gets one and to stop putting so much pressure on herself to look like her friends. I’d tell her she’s never going to shrink in height and her hips aren’t going to narrow. She only gets one body and to embrace it! One day she will love the 12 inch difference between her hips and waist which she hates so much now! I’d tell her to love herself because she is beautiful. She doesn’t need to have a flat stomach and fit in size 10 jeans to know her beauty. All she has to do is look in the mirror!0