We are so pleased to introduce one of our three ambassadors for our 2017 Embrace Summer campaign! Meet Chelsey, this blonde bombshell was a winner from our campaign last year and we loved her so much we have made her a regular on the Swimwear Galore website!
To kickstart the Embrace Summer movement, we asked Chelsey 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?
Yessss!!! So tricky! I've definitely been one of those girls who has cried in the change room when trying to find bathers.. (haven't we all?!) I don't think there was ever one particular worry, just a whole warped mindset of "I will look fat". I'm not like that anymore though, thankfully! When I put something on now my first thought is, I hope this inspires other women and girls to wear swimwear! I just take the focus off myself now and rock anything I feel like wearing, love handles and all!
2) What do you love about your body the most? Have you always felt that way?
I am a huge gym Junkie! I love weight training and running and as a result, although I'm curvy I am toned and very fit! I love my broad shoulders and strong legs as I've worked hard to make them this way. I love that I'm quite deceiving, because even though I'm curvy and have cellulite and fat, I can probably out run and lift more than you haha!!
3) How did you learn to love yourself and embrace your body? Did you always have the confidence you do now?
I'd like to think I've always been a happy and positive person but I did go through a really awful stage where I hated what I saw in the mirror. My dad passed away when I was 18 (I'm now 25) and I felt like I'd lost a lot of control of my life. I'd just finished high school, all my friends were enjoying the end of school and starting the next chapter in their lives and I was pretty lost and quickly began to put on some weight. After about 12 months I decided I needed to gain some control of my life and within 10 months I had lost about 25kg. I like to think I lost it in a healthy way, eating the right foods and exercising. but it became the biggest part of my life. I never wanted to be someone who was focused on weight and appearance, but with over 20k people following my weight loss journey on Instagram, it quickly became my whole world. It wasn't maintainable though, and I wasn't really fulfilled when I was 25kg lighter. I slowly got back into a good groove though, found a happy balance and put about 10kg of that weight back on. In that time I built a house, got engaged and married! (That was true happiness!) I have never lost my love for the gym and still to this day I train 6 times a week and eat a great variety of healthy foods...(but love a sneaky date night!) As I said initially, my confidence came when I stopped trying to impress society and my Instagram following and I started focusing on being happy, healthy and the best me!
4) What is the best advice you have been given in regards to loving and accepting your body?
I can't think of a specific quote or anything off the top of my head, but I've learned that not everyone is lucky enough to have a healthy, working body...and I do! I never want to waste a day being ungrateful for a body that moves, runs, lifts and jiggles with ease. That's far more important than what society tells me it should look like.
5) How do you think social media influences women’s self-confidence?
It is the biggest influencer. I wish I could go on every girls/womens Instagram and unfollow the numerous accounts which are filled with photoshopped, unrealistic images of "perfect". I put on swimwear and smile confidently, not because I think I'm perfect, but because that's what women need to see on social media...they need to know that imperfections are perfect!
6) What do you think about companies, like Swimwear Galore using a diverse range of bodies to advertise swimwear?
It is the most influential movement that I've ever seen a company make! At the end of the day, businesses have to "sell" and to change the way they advertise is always going to be a gamble. But I love that swimwear galore has taken the leap to change their message and to reach an audience in a real, meaningful and authentic way. I really hope it's the start of something so much greater in the world of advertising.
7) What advice would you give to women who struggle with loving & embracing their body?
Don't let other women, advertisements or social media accounts define your beauty. You are the only you and you're doing you perfectly! Fat is normal. Cellulite is normal. No bum is normal. Big bums are normal. Curves are normal. No curves are normal. Lumps, bumps, juggling, rolls...they're all totally normal. Be happy, be comfortable, be healthy, be confident!
8) What do you think is most important going forward to educate young women to love their bodies and be proud of them?
We need to post more than just the best parts of our lives on social media. There needs to be more companies getting on the bandwagon of using diverse body shapes in their advertising and most importantly, Women need to make a conscious effort to compliment and uplift one another.
9) We often remind our friends and family how beautiful they are, why do you think we are so hard on ourselves?
I have absolutely no idea. All I know is that if we were to look at ourselves through the eyes of someone else, we would have a complete different view of ourselves. We need to listen to the lovely things people say about us, and believe them!
10) You were in Swimwear Galore’s Embrace Summer campaign last year, did taking part in this help to you to embrace your body even more?
Absolutely! I remember coming home and saying to my husband "they chose me! They chose me because I look like this! They want me to model swimwear looking like this!" I was totally shocked that a swimwear company wanted my body in photos. After stepping out and just doing it, it wasn't scary for me to wear bathers anymore. I didn't care about people only seeing my "best angles". The campaign completely changed my view of myself and body image as a whole.