No two humans on this planet are the same. Aspire to be the best version of yourself, not someone else.
This is the life motto of Felicity Hayward, curve model and founder of the digital movement #SELFLOVEBRINGSBEAUTY. “I wanted to create a space for everyone. No matter what size, age, background, gender or sexuality”, she said. “The media portrays us all to have ‘flaws’. I don’t believe they exist. They are simply a way to make money off of our insecurities. I want you to celebrate your beauty. There is only one version of yourself, so you should be celebrating your individuality. Not changing it”.
We had the a chance to speak with some of the people involved in the movement, and why the ‘Self Love Brings Beauty’ campaign means so much to them.
WHAT DOES THE SELF LOVE CAMPAIGN REPRESENT?
Lois: Self Love Brings Beauty represents diversity, inclusivity and acceptance.
Laurie: For me, the campaign represents the destruction of the ‘social norm’. It is the love and appreciation for what makes us beautiful, unique and different. Especially when society tells us that we should change to fit in with what is accepted as ‘beautiful’.
Hallé & Hayden’s Mom: The Self Love Campaign, to me, represents a long awaited and much needed positive change. Variety is the spice of life and this world is a wonderful place because we are all different. Finally society can be empowered to love themselves just as we are.
Michelle: To me, it represents celebrating our individual beauty and showing that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, abilities, ethnicities and sexualities.
Kelly: It’s a space where you have the total freedom to be yourself. Your weird, quirky, unapologetic, real, authentic, flawed and fabulous self. You can hold this space for yourself and others. It’s about knowing that no matter what, you are loved. You are respected, honoured, embraced and celebrated. I believe it is every person’s birthright to be confident and comfortable in their own skin.
Rome: In my opinion it’s a reminder to prioritise your happiness above all else. Accept the fact that no one is photoshop perfect in real life. That’s boring, It’s damaging to think that we need to be something other than what we are to be included in society.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A VOICE AND PLATFORM FOR THIS SUBJECT?
Lois: I see so many horrible comments about people’s bodies, sexuality or gender through social media. I think #SelfLoveBringsBeauty is a message that will not only educate and inform younger generations, but hopefully start to make people change their mindset and think twice before they post that nasty comment. We are not interested in your opinion on us and you will not stop us.
Sam: There’s so much focus on how you SHOULD look and not enough diversity in the alternative. With campaigns like these, it embraces the different and normalises what society deems ‘different’.
Kenya: I’m someone who loves to talk about self love and positivity. I’ve grown from being a really insecure person to someone who appreciates everything about themself, even flaws. My personal growth motivates me to encourage other people to love themselves. I’m aware of the journey and know that it takes some time and sometimes hearing other people’s story can help.
Kelly: Having a voice and a platform enables the invisible to become visible. It helps to break barriers, challenge negative stereotypes, encourage love and respect towards others. It is self empowering and promotes good mental and emotional health.
Rome: Contempt for others due to a physical attribute stems from a clear lack of self love and respect. It’s present everywhere we go. The responsible decision in my eyes is to love yourself so much, that outside standards of beauty aren’t anywhere near your conscious.
Demonte: Its important to have a voice and a platform on this subject because there are so many people that go on social media and see people with ‘ prefect bodies ‘ and look at themselves like they are less than what they are because of that. In reality, no matter what colour, shape, size you are we are all the same way. We are all people and we all have worth no greater than the next person.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO PROJECT FOR THIS CAMPAIGN?
Lois: Just be yourself. No one is perfect.
Joanne: If you don’t love yourself, learn to. There are so many things that make you amazing! Keep asking if you’re striving to be the best you. That’s all that matters.
Hallé & Hayden’s Mom: Other people’s opinions have no impact on your life. If someone doesn’t like me, what happens? NOTHING! This message really helped me in my journey to discover self love and self respect. I support women to overcome anxiety, depression and build their confidence, self love. This helps them to feel fabulous about themselves and their lives! I have free audio hypnotherapy sessions, coaching and more on my YouTube channel.
Kenya: Never try to imitate anyone else, you won’t be happy. When you’re unapologetically yourself, you’ll truly be happy because you’re living life the way you want to. Sometimes being yourself can be scary; Especially when you don’t conform to society’s norms. But just remember that we can’t all be the same. Being different doesn’t make you less worthy than anyone else.
Hollie: I want people to really believe the movement. When you start to look at yourself in a positive light, when you stop demeaning and putting yourself down, when you start believing that the way you are right now is beautiful, when you realise you DON’T have to change to to fit in with society, you’ll find a light of self love that really will flourish. It did for me.
Kelly: As a person who is ‘disabled’, I am in the most heavily marginalised group in society. I want to change the way people see disability. I want to show that my body may be different, but it is still beautiful and worthy. It is time now for disabled people to step in their power and say ‘THIS IS WHO I AM’. A beautiful, strong, powerful, resilient, deserving human being.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT FELICITY HAYWARD THAT INSPIRES YOU? WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT?
Lois: Felicity is my best friend and has always been super supportive of everything I do with my illustration work. So when she asked me to design the SLBB logo, I drew it straight away in my bedroom and sent it off to her. She has taught me to love my own body over the years. Seeing her do the same for others and empowering people all over the world is so cool and inspiring. Plus seeing so many people wearing something I designed with a positive message behind it is amazing.
Laurie: Felicity is one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. She constantly radiates genuine love and positivity. She inspires me because she has found self love and wants to spread that feeling to everyone else. I wanted to get involved in the project because I saw it as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone.
Joanne: She is such a BABE! She’s one of my inspirations in terms of the curve modelling industry. She’s so down to earth and sassy! A badass combo. The fact that she built a brand purely on inclusion, and not because of a trend had me interested from the get. Loving yourself for who you are brings nothing but pure contentment.
Bashir: Her confidence is what drew me to her. She seems to have the same mindset I have when it comes to loving yourself and building self esteem.
Rome: She not only had the confidence to love herself in a completely superficial industry, but she took that bravery to a larger platform to speak for more than just herself.
Demonte: What inspires me about Felicity is she has been through it all when it comes to people trying to put her down, bullying and being told ‘ you cant be this ‘ and ‘ you cant be that ‘
Not only does it bother her one bit but it inspires her and pushes her to let other people know that who you are is prefect so love yourself and embrace your imperfections. Because in reality no is prefect.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Lois: Don’t go to art school. Value yourself. Have confidence.
Sam: If I had the chance to go back, I’d of said don’t change who you are in order to fit in. You’ll find those that love you for you. Feel comfortable being in your own company and learn to love yourself first. Seek out and follow those that inspire you, have a positive attitude and BE KIND.
Michelle: I would tell my younger self to stop listening to the people who tell you that you can’t do it. Next year I will be publishing my debut book, ‘Am I Ugly?’; it’s a book I first wrote when I was 13 years old, but was too scared to publish because I was always told that I was a bad writer. Over the years this was conveyed to me so often. I was convinced that whatever I had to say wasn’t important or worth listening to. If I could go back, I would tell that 13 year old how much her voice and story matters. The world deserves to hear it!
Hollie: What you think is ‘normal’ doesn’t exist. Stop waiting for the day you think you’re slim enough to follow your dreams and just go for it. I did in the end and that’s why I’ve not only got an amazing baby boy, a successful plus size fashion and lifestyle blog, but I’ve also just set up my own social media management company, Trend Saxon. #SelfLoveBringsBeauty is more than just a reflection in a mirror. It brings beauty in the shape of confidence, drive and self belief.
Bashir: “You’re the shit and you don’t even know it”. Don’t sweat kid.
Rome: Don’t amplify those moments of self doubt. Give the world more flavour.
Thanks to all the beautiful people who made this campaign