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Meet Charnelle - Embrace Summer Ambassador

#IWillEmbraceSummer

We are so pleased to introduce one of our three ambassadors for our 2017 Embrace Summer campaign! Meet Charnelle, a bubbly brunette who is a social worker specialising in mental health. Her knockout curves definitely aren't her only ass-et!

To kickstart the Embrace Summer movement, we asked Charnelle to answer a few quesitons about her body love journey, social media and of course what she loves about summer!

1) Did you or do you find it difficult buying swimwear? What are the things that worry you the most?

I find it SOOO hard to buy bathers that fit my booty!!! I can never buy a "matching" set, it always has to be separates because I have a very small upper body and rock a curvaceous lower body and find myself needing size 10 in tops and 14 in bottoms! I worry about lots of things when I am buying bathers: "is my back fat showing?" "how much cellulite is visible?" "Is my muffin top too much?" I am very self conscious about my legs/hips/bum. I have always had a lot of cellulite since my early teen years but as I have gotten older I have started to appreciate that everyone has cellulite and bathers aren't designed to hide it...unless i want a full body wetsuit...which i don't!

2) What do you love about your body the most? Have you always felt that way?
This is a hard one! I pretend I don't love my booty, but secretly I do!!! I got teased a lot in school about having a big bum but I always say, I had booty before Beyonce made it cool! I particularly like my waist, it has always been a feature of my body that I feel good about.

3) How did you learn to love yourself and embrace your body? Did you always have the confidence you do now?
I think each morning is a new challenge of me embracing my body. [most days] I am confident with what I have but it doesn't mean I don't wake up some mornings absolutely hating some of my qualities. In the last few years my mindset has really changed. I lost about 20kgs in the past 3 years but my weight continues to fluctuate and i have learnt to accept that my weight doesnt make me a good or bad person, it is just a number. I have realised and accepted that this is my body, this is how I am designed (and my designed label is unique and priceless).

4) What is the best advice you have been given in regards to loving and accepting your body?
I don't think I have ever been given advice about loving and accepting my body it is something that I have learnt within myself and i think that is the important take away message. People can tell you everything they know but at the end of the day it comes down to you!

5) How do you think social media influences women’s self-confidence?
I think women are feeling more and more pressured by social media to be a certain way. I think social media plays a huge role in women's body confidence whether positive or negative. I am constantly shouting at my insta and emails when I see things about "weight loss", "no excuses" etc and everytime I see images of these "perfect" women with their "perfect" bodies my stomach drops and I have a moment of "I should eat better, I should exercise more" and then i eat cake because #treatyoself! I think we have become so influenced by what we see on social media we almost feel like if we aren't doing/being/looking a certain way then we are on the out of society. Of course I think there are the opposite effects happening too like people embracing their bodies leaving an effect on those who don't feel like they fit the same mold, but I know I often feel like i'm not fitting a mold.

6) What do you think about companies, like Swimwear Galore using a diverse range of bodies to advertise swimwear?
I think it is awesome and is really changing the way people think! It reminds people that there isn't a one size shops here sign at the entrance to stores! For so long we've seen the same body types modelling clothing albeit bathers, lingerie, activewear or PJ's and become deterred that "they wont have anything to fit me" but with more diverse bodies you think oooo i could totally shop there!

7) What advice would you give to women who struggle with loving & embracing their body?
It's ok to struggle, but don't struggle everyday! This is YOUR body, YOUR life don't waste it not loving yourself. If everyone was supposed to be the same the world would be an incredibly boring place!

8) What do you think is most important going forward to educate young women to love their bodies and be proud of them?
The language we use around young people is so incredibly important. Language like fat and skinny, chubby and slim are labels we don't need. Sizing of clothes plays such a huge part in how we feel...so often I am asked "what size are you". Size is a tag only it is not what you are.

9) We often remind our friends and family how beautiful they are, why do you think we are so hard on ourselves?
When I figure it out I will let you know! haha. I think it is human nature and I think the more we start to accept who we are we become less hard on ourselves.

Charnelle wears Milea Balinese Boheme One Piece & Sunseeker Dolce Cross Strap One Piece