We all know just how feel-good a false tan can be. It boosts our confidence instantly, leaving us looking – and feeling – like we’ve just had a week’s holiday under the sun.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that founder of cult vegan tanning brand Jules Von Hep is a fierce believer in body positivity. “The Isle of Paradise mission is not only to tackle the body
confidence issue head on but to provide consumers with a solution that will encourage them to take the all important first step to achieving body acceptance,” he says.
As a natural extension of his inspirational beliefs surrounding body acceptance, GLAMOUR can exclusively reveal that Jules is launching a new Get Body Posi campaign, a global commitment to making body acceptance top of the beauty industry agenda.
The campaign centres around a pragmatic, feel-good guide built around 4 key principles – acceptance, banishing comparison, finding what happy means to you and bringing self-love everyday. The guide will feature personal experience from Jules and inspirational campaigners including Megan Barton Hanson and Tess Holliday, along with psychology and science in fun and engaging exercises. The best bit? It’s totally free to download and follow – and GLAMOUR reader’s get an exclusive first look here.
GLAMOUR caught up with a few of the incredible ambassadors to find out what body positivity means to them…
Ever since leaving the Love Island villa, Megan Barton Hanson has faced scrutiny in every area of her life – including her body and her appearance. “At first I wanted to react to all the negative comments, but I really don’t care now. You just have to keep things real and be authentic to you.”
Having always been honest and open about the cosmetic procedures she’s had to alter her appearance, Megan is a firm believer that we shouldn’t feel ashamed if we decide to do the same – and that we should all be more open about it. “The more people discuss what they have done, the better the industry practice will become. The more educated someone is about the options available to them the less chance of botched jobs. If people really want the work done, they’ll have it done regardless, so its good to be as honest as possible so that people can make better informed decisions about procedures.”
As for her own journey with her body? “When I had surgery I thought it
would make me feel much better about myself, and it did to an extent but that’s only ever going to be a surface remedy. There’s always going to be someone prettier, taller, brighter eyed, with better hair and when we compare ourselves, which I have done in the past and only ever leaves you feeling miserable.” These days, Megan has found inner confidence through self-acceptance. “Flaws can be what attracts someone to you – one woman’s flaw is another woman’s feature.”
As well as a good night’s sleep, and enjoying glamming up and treating yourself, Megan is a firm follower of the mantra ‘this too shall pass’ to maintain her positivity. “We sweat the small things so much sometimes and the things that I could be super stressed about today I probably won’t even remember next year! That’s the amazing thing about Get Body Posi, it’s full of the inspiration you might need on those days you just don’t feel yourself.
Having experienced sexual abuse as a child, Simone found it difficult to accept her body growing up. “I didn’t want to be seen, well I didn’t want men to look at me sexually so I started to hide my curves as much as I could wearing baggy clothes knowing that deep down these weren’t ideal clothes I wanted to wear but I had to keep myself safe.”
Years later, she was diagnosed with PTSD – a moment she describes as a turning point for her. “I went into therapy everything became untangled it was a lot of work but understanding that my sexual trauma wasn’t my fault began my journey to love my body and started to set myself goals I had to reconnect!”
These days, she turns to dance as a form of physical expression and a way of staying positive. “it shifts my energy straight away I put my music on and I let my body move I let go and reconnect!” She also reminds herself of her favourite quote from the Lion King – “if a thought or purpose doesn’t serve you let it go” – to get through a down day.
The Body Posi campaign served as another pivitol moment for Simone. “The fact I took the courage to shot nude for this campaign is testimony to claiming back my power and owning my body!”
Despite being a role model to hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, providing an antidote to the unrealistic ideals of the beauty industry, Tess doesn’t use the term ‘body positivity’ lightly. “It’s definitely become a bit watered down because it’s become mainstream and co-opted by a lot of brands that haven’t really understood what the term truly means,” she explains. “Despite that, I still feel like it’s important to use, but it’s even more important to make sure we are using it in the right context.”
However, Tess hasn’t always been such a fierce advocate of self-acceptance. “Growing up I wasn’t encouraged to love myself for who I was in regards to my size, I was always told how beautiful I was, but subtly reminded that I would be “more beautiful” if I lost weight. The concept of being able to love myself as I was, was absolutely foreign to me,” she says.
“I think it’s great that there is more literature like the guide from Get Body Posi out there to encourage those that haven’t quite gotten there yet with loving themselves. Or for those that have, but maybe you need a reminder.”
Alex is loved her for honest account of how Instagram and the use of filters and photo-editing apps can alter our perceptions of reality, regularly posting pre and post edited photos to encourage her thousands of followers not to accept the unrealistic portrayal they see on their feeds. “I was sick of seeing blatant photoshop on Instagram. I have four sisters and they were visibly envious of pictures I knew with absolute certainty had been retouched. It started to make me angry and I decided to try and spread understanding that almost every image we see on social media has had some kind of retouching…” she says.
“Photoshopping is damaging for followers – it’s spreading a dangerous, unachievable ideal and totally unfair comparison – but it’s also damaging for the people who use it on their own pictures, too. It only serves to intensify their sense of inadequacy and lower their own self-esteem.”
Alex’s passion for dispelling the myths of our modern world started from her own struggles. “Since the age of around 12, I’ve struggled with body image issues. I never felt comfortable in my own skin – quite the opposite, I felt awful, which is why I spent the next 17 years of my life dieting and trying to change how I looked.”
“My darkest moments were the days where I just didn’t want to get out of bed and face myself – I hated myself and what I looked like, and staying in bed felt like my way out. I would cover up mirrors in my flat to avoid having to confront myself because it felt so painful.”
Luckily, Alex has finally been able to overcome her body image issues; “I see my body for what it is – an incredible vessel that allows me to move through my life as I wish. I no longer wish to change it, I no longer envy other bodies and I no longer feel like a stranger in my own skin.”
Her journey has led her to the Body Posi campaign in what she describes as one of the best moments in her realtionship with her body. “Standing in front of the camera at the Get Body Posi shoot in my underwear, feeling so liberated and confident in myself… It felt like quite a momentous occasion – like I was truly letting go of my debilitating past and stepping forward into a bright, hopeful future.”
If that isn’t inspiring, we don’t know what is….