Introduce yourself! Who are you? I’m Katie, I’m 23 and I’m a mental health nurse. I’ve been plus size for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a passion for makeup and fashion.
What does self-love mean to you? Have you always practiced self-love? To me, self-love means being comfortable in your own skin and accepting yourself. It’s easy to wish for changes “I wish my hair was longer” “I wish my arms were smaller” “I wish I didn’t have stretch marks”. But it’s important to remember that your self worth is not less because you dislike something about yourself. Self-love means celebrating every part of you, there’s nothing wrong with working to change something about yourself but it’s important to love yourself first/whilst making the changes.
Have you always had confidence in yourself? Is this something you still struggle with? I’ve not always had self-confidence and some days I still struggle with this. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to have days where you feel rubbish about yourself and remember that this feeling will not last.
What was one of your most defining moments in life? In relation to body confidence… wearing a plus size bikini for the first time in public last year… and realizing that NO ONE CARED. I felt amazing and had fewer tan lines than when wearing a one-piece! I specifically love this moment because I felt empowered as a plus-size woman and it really boosted my confidence.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way? Beauty does not have a size limit. I’m still beautiful despite wearing a size 22. I can wear anything and I don’t need to consider whether something is “flattering” because when I practice self-love, I can feel comfortable and confident in anything.
What were things like in high school? What would you say to 16-year-old you? High school was difficult because I was still discovering myself and developing my own style. At that point, I hadn’t realized I could literally wear and do anything I want. I would tell my 16-year-old self that you don’t have to live to please anybody else. The shape or size of your body does not concern anyone else and if you feel cute in something then wear it with pride.
Do you have any advice for others who may not love the skin they’re in? You will get there. Self-love takes time and practice. The more you push yourself outside of your “comfort zone” the less your “comfort zone” will exist. You will eventually learn that you do not live to please a single person, except yourself. There will eventually be no comfort zone because you will be comfortable in anything.
What message do you think every woman should hear? Other people’s “beauty standards” do not apply to you. Never let anybody make you feel that you can’t be a certain way. And be kind to everyone, somebody may be at the start of their self-love journey and one compliment from a stranger may give their confidence the boost it needs.
Are you still learning who you are? Absolutely! As I get older I learn less but I feel that the learning is never over.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward? Is there anything that helps you deal with stress in a healthy way? I love to shop. I’m constantly buying and trying clothes that are new and out of my comfort zone. This includes underwear. The more new styles I try the more comfortable I get with them. And I like to remind myself that the number in my clothes label means nothing. If I need to, I size up and I don’t have a problem with this.
What does it mean to love your body? Loving your body means being comfortable looking in the mirror, being kind towards yourself and treating your body with the respect it deserves. We should be grateful towards our bodies and accept that they come in all different shapes and sizes which does not make them any less beautiful than anyone else’s.
Do you think there is a specific definition of ‘perfection’ that most people want to achieve? The media has a huge part in people’s ideas of perfection. Media is also a big culprit for body shaming and hate comments. Despite this, I do feel that there have been some improvements more recently and the plus-size community on Instagram is generally a lovely place to be. The amount of messages and compliments women send each other is overwhelming and so reassuring. People are learning and accepting people’s differences but I do also think as a society, there’s still a long way to go.
Katie Nicholson is a mental health nurse. She has been plus size for as long as she can remember and is all about empowering women to love the skin they’re in. She also has a passion for makeup and fashion.