Now more than ever, body positivity has become one of the major talking points of our generation. And sometimes, we come across a person who embodies that so much, it really gives us hope for future generations.
Meet Emily, a 30 year-old ex-London recruitment agency worker and absolutely divine soul. We came across Emily’s Instagram page a while ago and have never looked back.
Emily is an advocate for body positivity of a more inclusive nature. She sees it as much more than being pro plus-size; her energy spills over to those of us with scars we wish we could hide, disabilities we never asked for… anything that she says “someone has decided to wear with pride”.
“During the rough times, it’s hard not to hate your body”
We definitely think that’s something anyone can relate to.
We all have our bad days, our rough patches. Emily suffers from a chronic pain disorder known as fibromyalgia, as well as inflammatory arthritis, but you’d never be able to tell if you were to take a look at her social feed.
A big mood indeed.
One we could all benefit for basking in.
The positivity Emily exudes is so infectious, within hours of following her page, we already had encouraging sentiments sent out through her stories and the captions – oh, the captions – she chooses with such authenticity it’s almost like a love letter to her past, present and future self all at once.
“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti,” she captioned one of her photos, showing off a banquet of delicious food and unashamedly adding a couple of #ChubbyGirl hashtags. Yas. Queen.
Having gone through her own challenges of acceptance, partly due to the physical limitations caused by her conditions, Emily still admits to having found it hard not to hate her body.
“I think it’s important for people to learn to have unconditional love for themselves and to respect their body, not to see it as an enemy.”
Emily sees her scars – both physical and emotional – as a means of reminding herself that respect for your body is at the forefront of any journey to self-acceptance. For Emily, it’s about learning to see through the fog and remain true to who you are – even when you’re not feeling your best.
She acknowledges that it’s impossible to remain a beaming ray of sunshine every day, but that’s a learning curve for us all.
“I’m not letting my scars ruin my fun this summer!”
Emily wasn’t exactly having the best time of her life recently.
Her mother fell ill, which saw her return to Malta for now, to make the most of her family and spend all the time she can with them.
But it was in this instance that she found herself craving a channel of expression that would help keep her in a positive mindset and also spread the good vibes out as far as she could.
Emily’s family run the plus-size inclusive clothing store, Cecile, in Valletta and have been doing so for over 40 years.
As a child, she watched curvier women of all shapes and sizes struggle to find comfort in stores that were catering for what was expected from them and not what they felt satisfied the figures they were gifted with from birth.
“From as far back as I can remember, I saw women of all shapes and sizes finding beautiful dresses at my parents’ shop and got to witness the happiness and confidence it brought them.”
We asked Emily what it was that made her take a leap into the public domain with her character on display to the world. She didn’t hesitate to reply: “I’ve always been in awe of the beautiful body positive women I see on Instagram. It made me see there was an appreciation for flaws in photos [and in real life] sometimes and that people like to see real, unfiltered, un-facetuned bodies that look like their own.”
“I think it would be great to have some plus size representation in Malta too, as I haven’t seen many curvy girls on Instagram here and I think it’s about time,” Emily continued. “It doesn’t have to be about thin versus curvy but it’s nice to see some diversity either way.”
Emily really enjoys the personal feel her page garners with the comments cheering her on continuously and while there never was a real plan for her Instagram, she does hope to attract a more diverse crowd of fellow positive peers and looks forward to watching the positive community grow.
“It’s quite exciting to see how quickly a following is growing, too, which is something I never expected, so I’m really looking forward to seeing where it could go.”
Emily’s main message in all of this is that it’s okay to break free of the shackles. She doesn’t want us being hung up on the small things when there is always so much light out there within the dark. She wants anyone who comes across her page to know that they can stop simply waiting for things to change to be happier, or to find self love, and not to allow your insecurities to hold you back from doing what you want with your life.
“Don’t wait around thinking you’ll go to that boat party if only you could lose 10 kilos, or that you’d like to have your hair done but you want to wait until a breakout clears up. Life is too short for all of that. Enjoy the everyday and take comfort in loving yourself unconditionally. If you want to rock a tiny bikini and it makes you feel good, then just bloody go for it! Equally if a more conservative costume makes you feel your best – you do you.”
“I’m often happiest in black jeggings, a vest and a pair of trainers,” she continued. “Sometimes that’s how I feel sexiest! If you’re comfortable and confident in yourself, you will shine.”
And shine she really does! Emily is a breath of fresh air on all things positive – body, mind and soul… and we can’t wait to see where this journey will lead her.