I am by no means a poet, but I felt inspired to express my thoughts on my body in a new way so I wrote this little poem, backed by a photo of myself showing off all my lumps, bumps, and imperfections.
Even when influencers and activists talk about body positivity, we tend to show the most flattering images and angles, and only really highlight the positive parts of our journeys, so I wanted to show that the perceived negatives can actually be positives.
The response when I posted on instagram was insane. It was shared so many times by lots of influencers and bopo activists, and it means a lot that people see can see their own selves in my content and story.
In 2019 the lovely Morgan Defre asked me to take part in his brand new YouTube series called ‘Lets Gay To Know You’. We chatted back and forth chat about my life and experiences, especially around mens body image, and coming out, and of course RuPaul’s Drag Race! It was such a pleasure to take part, and it got me thinking about doing my own YouTube channel! Go and check out my video below, but also check out the rest of them too. Morgan chats with various people in the LGBTQ+ scene such as news anchor India Willoughby and Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes.
Kicking off 2020, I was asked to do a takeover of the Self Love Brings Beauty instagram account. Self Love Brings Beauty was started by curve supermodel Felicity Hayward to promote self worth and acceptance of varying body image standards.
The takeover consisted of answering a few questions around self love, and my own experiences with my body positivity.
“What does self love mean to you?”
To me, self love is allowing myself to be exactly who I am, in an authentic way. Whether that’s embracing my body as it is, exploring and enjoying my sexuality, or playing with fashion to represent who I am on the outside.
“What do you love about yourself?”
When it comes to what I love about myself, I would say I love how I’ve worked so hard on my own perception of body image to get to a place where I can see my body as amazing in it own way. Also I have great tits!
“What practical things help you practise self love?”
I find the best way to help me practise self love, is believing I’m worthy of it. I know that sounds blah, but the power of the mind is surprising, and you’d be amazing what you can achieve just by telling yourself something.
“What do you put in place to safeguard self love?”
I try and safeguard my own self-love, by surrounding myself with positive examples and people I can learn from, whether that’s other plus size people, or people with other lived experiences such as trans/non-binary individuals, or people of colour. There are principles and learnings to be made from everyone, whether they have the same life experiences as you or not.
“How do you get yourself out of a negative head space, and how cope with down days?”
One thing that really bothers me is if I’m having a down day, and I mention it to people, so often they don’t listen, they just throw back the positive messages I’ve said myself. I truly believe that sometimes its healthy to be down on myself and have those non-positive days as it helps me gain perspective. Not one said we have to be 100% in live with ourselves everyday, but if the majority of your days are full of self love, then you’re on the right path.
Men of Manual was a campaign by mens wellness website Manual.co to highlight mens body image issues and mens mental health. The campaign consisted of 8 men of differing ages, body shapes and races. We all discussed our journey with our bodies, and the stories behind them.
The campaign was a huge success being picked up by multiple worldwide press outlets, as well as being covered on ITV and Channel 5 News, where myself and another were interviewed.