Iskra Lawrence pens powerful open letter to her younger self on body positivity: 'I know right now you think you aren't thin enough'
She's shared a heartfelt message of self-love and self-acceptance
In celebration of our International Women's Day digital issue, British model, mother and influencer Iskra Lawrence has written a heartfelt open letter to her younger self.
Hailed as the 'millennial poster girl for positivity', we couldn't think of a better person to reach out to than Iskra, who encourages self-love and self-acceptance among her 4.9 million Instagram followers and beyond.
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The body positivity advocate has always been open about her struggle to find her place in the modelling world as a teenager – with agencies saying she was "too big" to be a "standard" model but "too small" to be a "plus-size" model – but Iskra has since defied naysayers, scoring magazine covers, billboard adverts on Times Square, and gigs with brands like American Eagle Outfitters.
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Just last month, she appeared as a Spotlight Speaker at The BodCon 2022, a live virtual conference focused on body confidence and the movement towards radical self-acceptance.
As we champion and lift girls and women up this International Women's Day, read Iskra's moving open letter below…
Dear (younger self) Iskra,
You are enough.
You are exactly where you're meant to be.
You are loved.
I wish you could see everything you're going to build because of everything you've been through. Every rejection, no, and failure creates a formidable strength and drive that helps you achieve far more than you could ever imagine. So please try to be present and enjoy life right now, not worry about the future - you have an abundance of time.
As I look at you, I cannot believe how unkind I was to myself. Try to speak to yourself like you'd speak to your best friend - loving, supportive and kind. Because until I truly understood what it meant to love myself, I allowed my insecurities to drive a lot of unhealthy decisions.
I also want to let you know the power of saying 'no'. You may want to please others and take on every opportunity or just be nice by saying yes - but sometimes you have to figure out your boundaries, your non-negotiables, and how much you can cope with. You are in the driving seat of your car, not the passenger. Don't let someone try to steer. Quiet those expectations and ideals you feel pressured by, and always listen to your intuition.
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I know right now you think you aren't thin enough, your skin isn't smooth enough, your legs aren't long enough and your obsession with your appearance isn't making you happy or healthy. But it doesn't have to be that way. Because it's the gatekeepers in the fashion industry, those stylists who body shame and those agencies who rejected you, that are wrong.
One day they will see you on billboards in Times Square and the covers of magazines. You will show them that the beauty of us lies in the unique parts of us, not our size. And because of who you are and that you never give up you will create the change you always wanted to see and open doors for other girls just like you who struggle to realize they are enough.
Thank you for being imperfect, thank you for getting me to exactly where I'm meant to be a change-maker, founder, and most importantly a mother.
Love you, Iskra
Iskra Lawrence was a Spotlight Speaker at The BodCon 2022, a live virtual conference focused on self-acceptance and body confidence. For more information, visit thebodcon.com/thebodcon2022
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