I met Danielle the summer before college at Camp Sabra. We connected the first day–she was refreshing. Looking at her and being around her was (and still is) like taking a breath of fresh air. Danielle, I love your confidence, and your groovy sense of style. I love the way you care about your friends. I love that your heart is so big, and open. I love that you’re a hard worker. You’re a blessing to all that meet you. Danielle, you are worth it. You are enough. You are whole. You are beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve started this series because through my own self acceptance search/journey I’ve realized that we, as humans, all have problems with our skin suit no matter what it looks like. The point of this series is to confront our flaws AND to highlight our excellence. I hope one day we’ll all be able to wake up and that voice in our mind which lists all our faults on repeat will be much quieter if not silent. The mirror will be less scary. We’ll smile as we pass our gorgeous selves. We’ll have a bounce in our steps. One day we’ll love our bodies exactly as they are right now. We might have bad days . We might have bad weeks. Yet once we unlock that key, that key of self love we’ll know we can get back to a sanctuary within our bodies. Our bodies and our selves are waiting for that love, waiting for that permission to just be. As I said to Danielle, (and as I say to all my future spotlights), be gentle with yourself, you are meeting parts of yourself that you have been at war with.
1. What makes you feel beautiful?
Sometimes it’s as simple as my curls just going perfectly, other times it’s deeper and in a wider sense of beautiful, such as feeling at one with nature out in the sunshine and realise how beautiful it is being alive.
2. What makes you feel powerful?
3. What would you tell your past self about beauty and bodies?
Well… my past and present self are still too far alike than I wish they would be. I suppose I would tell my past self that: a) You aren’t going to get skinnier even if you exercise and eat healthy. b) Ignore the people who message you to tell you that you are fat and unattractive (like thanks I didn’t realise!!) because your self-worth is most definitely not based on their idealised body type, and ugly and fat aren’t related. c) You will meet people of all sizes in your life who wish they could look like you, and also you will find people who think you are sexy even if you don’t believe it (and that’s something I’m trying to imprint in my mind currently!!!)
4. How does your skin color make you feel?
It makes me feel like I’ve had it lucky in life. I’ve never had to worry about getting a job because of the colour of my skin, and I feel like I fit into what society refers to as ‘normal’…. and that makes me angry and sad. I know for me that my skin colour does not define me but I am aware that it is part of who I am. When I describe myself, I would say that I am a British Jewish Woman… and skin colour wouldn’t even come into it.
5. How have you struggled with your body?
I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t struggle with my body. I look back at photos of me in a tutu doing ballet classes at 6 and I suppose then I don’t remember thinking about my body… but I have many memories of being unhappy with my legs and bum being much larger than my waist and bust causing a lot of aggravation when it comes to clothes shopping! There have been times when I used to think long and hard as to whether it was possible for me to physically cut off the fat on my body with scissors, only to realise that I would bleed out and die, which would defeat the object of being happy with my body…! Now, I’m working to change and tone my body, but to appreciate my feminine curves and understand how to style to fit and flatter as well as enjoy what I’m wearing.
6. Complete this sentence… “In my body is a safe place to be because….”
In my body is a safe place to be because it is an incredible creation that will never replicated or replaced. It is a shell that holds a caring, empathic, honest and loyal soul that will support and defend me until my time on earth ceases.
From Danielle, with love.