This International Women’s Day we are celebrating women of all shapes and sizes from all walks of life. As a women run company we are passionate about women's equality and empowerment and we strive to continually support each other in our work and personal lives. We have spent time with body positive influencer, photographer and mum, Holly (@talesofboys), to learn how she feels empowered as a women, how body positivity has helped her and how she hopes to inspire confidence in all women.
What does body positivity mean to you?
It means helping people feel acceptance and confidence in their own body and making people realise that your body doesn’t define who you are.
How do you feel empowered as a woman?
I feel empowered every day. I see so many women I aspire to be like that are incredible and are just smashing their goals! I feel empowered by the people that surround me, that are making a difference in the world and standing up for women’s rights.
Who is your female role model?
Sarah Nicola Landry (aka. @thebirdspapaya) is my inspiration. She stands for everything I am passionate about and is a huge role model as a women and a mother.
How can we empower each other instead of constantly competing?
For me, it's really important not to compare ourselves with other people. When we start comparing, we automatically think of negative things, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I can’t do that. The best thing to do is uplift each other. Say to someone ‘you’ve done amazing today’ and remember that compliments don’t have to be about your appearance or that you’ve lost weight, to a lot of people that may not be a compliment at all.
What are your top tips for juggling your work life and being a mum?
A working mum, that’s a hard one. I have always worked and I’ve never been out of work. After I had my third child I went back to work after 6 weeks and juggled childcare and working. I have been really fortunate that I don’t have to a 9-5 job but I do feel that as long as you get the balance of working and family life right then you're going to nail it. When the scale is too high at one end you can really struggle and it's hard to get that balance sometimes. My best advice is to communicate your needs and make sure you say what you can and can’t do from the offset.
Do you think it's just as important for your boys to learn about women and body positivity?
This is such a good question. For me, I don’t want my children to be bought up thinking that a women should look a certain way or dress in a certain style. I like my boys seeing how I dress, what my tummy looks like and how I have wobbly bits. Quite often they’ll wiggle my tummy and say ‘mum I love your wiggly tummy’ which is exactly what I want them to think is ‘normal’. We often dance around in our knickers and pants and we embrace our bodies! Being body confident in-front of your children is a must. There is so much pressure when children get to the teen stage of their lives thinking they have to be a certain way, and we know how important mental health is for children so the one thing you don’t want to do, is negatively affect your child in that way. Being body positive with your children is absolutely essential and just show them what a body should look like from the beginning.
How did you learn to love your body?
There was a time when I absolutely scrutinised my body and I hated everything I saw in the mirror. It took a while before I realised what I needed to do and rewiring my brain was the only way so I started telling myself what I was grateful for. Instead of looking at my sad tummy and belly button in the mirror, I would lay down and look at it in a different way. I realised that looking at it in the mirror was the wrong way, if I lay down it looked happy. I thought my thighs were fat thighs, but they allow me to walk to beautiful places and they allow me to take my children to school. Let's start changing how we view things. Whatever the negative is that you see on your body, think ‘what does that do for you?’ Stop looking at what it should look like but realise its actual purpose and reason its attached to your body and it will change your mindset completely.
What advise would you give to 10 year old you?
I would say to myself; Live for today. Don’t worry over the small things and never let your body or looks stop you from doing what you love.