Self-care started for Anjali in her early twenties. “It took me a while because I wasn’t happy with myself,” she tells us. “I was always the tallest, the biggest and not your ‘average’ size. I was also one of the few with a different origin, so that has been (unfortunately) a struggle for me as well. But at some point I started to care less about other people’s opinion and started to embrace myself. In 2018 I competed in Curvy Supermodel in Holland, and I became the first runner up. So I was thrilled to be able to share my message with young girls!”
Loving yourself looks and feels different for everyone. When we asked Anjali about this, she said: “Body positivity isn't just for plus-size people... and sometimes I feel like it's only associated with that. But body positivity is for everyone who is insecure about themselves.” So true! “For me it's a lot bigger than just someone's size,” she continues. "Everyone has the right to shine in their own body! Sometimes I can't feel comfortable in my own skin, and that is because I have to deal with a hormone imbalance. That’s a big struggle for me, so I also have to accept that I occasionally have an off day and that this is fine, too! So I keep reminding myself it doesn’t have to be a ‘I FEEL LIKE A UNICORN DAY’ every day.”
“There was a period in my life where I was very unhappy with myself,” Vivian tells us, of her journey toward self-care and loving herself. “I was bullying myself all the time and never thought I looked good enough. At one point, I was done with all this negative energy and stopped saying bad things to myself. You will see: if you stop with that, a lot will change.”
Really loving who you are isn't really an end goal, but a constant state of acceptance. For Vivian, the thing she is still learning is that “it doesn’t matter how you look, but when you’re a good person from the heart the universe will guide you.” This is our new mantra btw. And her advice for getting over the fear of other people's opinions of you? “They like you for you! If they don’t, you shouldn’t waste your time on these people.” Love it.
“As a dancer, putting my well-being and health first has always been a top priority to be able to perform and push myself daily,” Ella tells us. “As I’m growing up, I’ve come to realise that taking good care of and being kind to yourself is the biggest favour you can ever do yourself. It took me a while to understand that it’s perfectly fine to not be okay all the time.” For Ella, treating herself right is personal. “I think I’ve gotten really good at doing small things to make myself happy. Self-care does not look the same for everyone. It’s all about what YOU personally are in need of in that moment.” Such a good reminder to always listen to yourself! “To me it can be as simple as cooking my favourite meal, investing a little more time in my skincare routine, allowing myself to take a long nap, crying my eyes out, rewatching a good movie or having a coffee with someone I know makes me feel safe and seen.”
While figuring out how to give herself a break every now and then, Ella has started to crack her own self-care code. “Usually it’s not about solving a feeling or issue for me, but about accepting that I need to slow down and take time for me,” she tells us. “Being an overly social butterfly like I am, always filling up my schedule, I’ve learned that you can’t always please everyone around you, and that there should be no shame in putting your well being first. If you’re overwhelmed, tired or unhappy, it’s impossible to be the best you can be to the ones around you. I’m still learning to say ‘no’ to things, and accepting that taking time for myself is also being productive.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is advice made of solid gold.