We interviewed yoga, vegan and conscious fashion blogger Anna about overcoming the bullying she experienced over her physical appearance. Anna shares how she is now embracing a new found self confidence.
First name: Anna
What’s your favourite quote?
I love Lao Tzu’s quote: “Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.” I spent my teenage years comparing myself to other girls online. Now I understand that it’s important to be happy in your own skin – no matter how other people look.
What does empowerment mean to you?
It means being brave to do what you want. Feeling strong to decide what’s best for you. And doing it all unapologetically.
What part of your body do you love the most?
My legs! I think they are the strongest part of my body. And even though I have stretch marks and cellulite, I still think they are beautiful and sexy.
What is your favourite quality about your personality?
That I’m passionate about life. Since realising I wasn’t happy with the degree I was studying, I stopped doing things I wasn’t passionate about. I found my own path, something I really wanted to do. Since that moment, I’ve found more passion for life and my future.
When you were growing up, can you remember becoming aware of what you looked like? Were you influenced by anything in particular?
I was born with a congenital ptosis, so some muscles in my eyelid didn’t work. During primary school I was bullied for this. Kids in school would say that I was ugly and my eyes weren’t symmetrical. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t think I was different. Being bullied and not having friends at such a young age was very hard.
What insecurities have you overcome that were previously holding you back?
I was very sensitive about my eye. With age, I’ve realised that everybody has their own insecurities. I’m very lucky I’m a healthy person. And that really I have nothing to feel insecure about. I’m strong and beautiful in my own way. I’ve stopped comparing myself to other women so much. We are all beautiful and worthy. A couple of months ago I had my hair cut very short. It’s not possible to cover my right eye anymore. And I feel very comfortable with that. It means I’ve overcome a insecurity that I have been holding since I started primary school.
Who do you look up to and why?
Claire Michelle (@plantifulsoul). I followed her on youtube when she started and we went through the same thing almost at the same time: she, like me, didn’t like her life, feared changing it and following her instinct. I think that she had a huge influence on me and thanks to her I was brave and got the courage to make the change I needed. She’s an inspiration for those who are a bit lost and need motivation to follow their dreams and do something they are passionate about.
What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
It gets better, I promise. Keep being as strong as you can be. The day will arrive when they can’t hurt you any more. And you’ll get over all the hurtful comments. Just keep being the way you are.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
When I’m not doing yoga, I’m either on youtube, planning things for my blog, taking photos or for hanging out with friends. I also love walking in nature while listening to audiobooks.
What advice would you like to share with other women?
Stop looking for your faults in other women’s beauty. Stop thinking that you’re less beautiful because you saw a beautiful women on Instagram. And stop comparing yourself to others. You’ll feel much better about the world as a result.
Photography by Thorbjøn Nilsson (@teohnz)
Find Anna on Instagram: @annadesousa