In our second installment of Beauty Marks; a series on the issues women are facing today we talk with some of the top fashion and lifestyle bloggers about how they've overcome some of their personal struggles with body image.
5 Influential Lifestyle Bloggers And Their Personal Struggles
When you constantly see seemingly flawless selfies and graceful style online of some of the most influential social media fashion and lifestyle influencers, such as Nika Diwa of Diwa Dollhouse, Olena Eaton of Olena Fashion TV, Medge Beauvoir-Yellowlees of My Voguish Diaries, wellness blogger Shaun Yvette, and Russian-born fashionista and entrepreneur Olia Kedik of Olia Moda, it's easy to think everything is perfect for them. But there's no such thing as a picture-perfect selfie, as they've experienced setbacks. We asked them about their individual struggles, what drove them past it, and what resources someone in a similar situation could use to cope and overcome.
The Struggle Is Real
These influential women understand and know struggle all too well. They've experienced their own personal struggles with accepting and loving who they saw in the mirror. Struggle extended into Nika's career as a luxury fashion merchandiser, where she questioned her self-worth and identity as a woman. "It's impossible to measure up to the unrealistic standards portrayed in fashion magazines. It just doesn't translate in the real world," she explains. Nika turned to writing as an outlet to move past her struggles and created the Diwa Dollhouse blog. "Since then, I have tackled issues within myself and the industry as a whole to reclaim how fashion can be used to represent your message as an individual. My mission is to empower women through fashion," Nika shares.
Olena's struggle lasted up until age 30 and was linked to others having a hard time accepting her Asian features while growing up in Eastern Europe. She was bullied and teased throughout her childhood, making it difficult to love herself. As she matured and began to embrace her positive aspects, she admits she was still critical of herself. "I embraced a lot of positive things in the mirror, but like most people, I am my worst critic, I guess. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I acquired the mature perception of beauty and self-confidence... [Now] I don't obsess over every single fine line or extra pound I gain. I know I am not perfect, but I love who I am and enjoy it!" Olena shares.
But with each struggle they've faced, they were able to overcome them and build their self-esteem. Medge started to overcome her struggles by being kind to herself. She reminds us our flaws are what makes us unique. "You have to learn to accept your flaws or work with them. Being you is what sets you apart from the next person. I started being kind to myself and hyping up what I did like!" she explains. Medge reminds us that confidence is key to overcoming struggles with self-esteem and advises to play with the camera to build confidence: "[Find] your angles... Play with the camera. Feel silly. Just do it. At the end of the day, you need to be confident in what you're putting out there. So find your angles and work with them. Once you're comfortable there, you'll get confidence and build on it."
Shaun shares that self-love and being confident in her own skin was key to pushing past her struggles after birthing her first child. "I remember looking at my tummy, wondering if it would ever go back to how it was before I got pregnant!" Yet, Shaun accepts her stretch marks "as a beautiful symbol" and reminder of her two beautiful girls. "I have wrinkles, stretch marks, curves, and cellulite. And it is because of those so-called imperfections, that make me, me. I overcame not loving what I see in the mirror by embracing those imperfections and learning to be confident in my skin. I'm imperfectly imperfect and I love what I see in the mirror."
Resources to Rely On
Getting through each challenge isn't something these influential women did completely on their own. These women also had to put the right routines in practice that would help them get through it all. For Olia, it meant being kind to others and herself. She explains that "I have learned to love myself and feel confident in my skin... I am a true believer in [telling yourself that] 'I am beautiful,' [and] 'I love myself'. You have to remind yourself on these things. It is always great when someone else like your family members remind you as well. It promotes self-confidence! I tell my daughter every day that she is beautiful and she is smart! [Being] kind to yourself and people around creates so much positivity." Olia goes on to recommend that you should "stop and recognize something wonderful about yourself, and pause to articulate the compliment. It does wonders and boosts your spirits."
From facing bullying to lacking self-love, these bloggers have experienced their fair share of challenges. Yet, they didn't let that stop them from making an impact in the lives of others by telling their story and sharing what makes them shine. Women like these bloggers share their stories and help empower other women everyday through initiatives and women's organizations that help build up their confidence and self-esteem, such as the Movemeant Foundation and the Self-Worth Foundation. You can be a part of the impact and get involved with causes you care about on a trusted platform like Be a Doer. Be A Doer offers multiple options to get involved with causes that fight against women's issues and promote and empower women to embrace self-love and self-confidence.