Rachel Peru is a 47 year old model from Leeds, who started her modelling career at the age of 46. She loves being in front of the camera and has modeled in high profile commercial fashion campaigns, including Swimsuits For All, alongside renowned plus size model Ashley Graham. She’s an avid supporter of body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry.
Firstly, always remember when you go through your life that you are unique and are worthy of everything that you work for. Remember how you felt when you were thin and wore the black skinny dress, you were full of self-confidence. Hold on to those feelings and keep them close when your body changes and your dress size gets bigger. You are still the same beautiful person, do not let yourself or anyone else dim that light.
When someone pays you a compliment, accept it gracefully and say thank you, don’t turn it in to an opportunity to make fun of yourself and highlight your flaws. If you keep doing that it will become a bad habit that takes you years and years to break. Be kind to yourself. Whilst we are on this subject, remember how nice it feels to be complimented and do the same to others. When you say nice things to your friends it will raise their self- esteem and make you feel good too. It doesn’t have to be about their appearance either, how about something they have succeeded in? After all there is so much more to all of us than how we look on the outside.
Join in with life, don’t let your insecurities stop you from taking part in what is all around you. Play that game of tennis with your friends. They aren’t Wimbledon champions either but they are having fun together, watching from the side-lines is not the same. So what if you are two sizes bigger than the other girls, what difference does that make to picking up a racket and hitting a ball? You’re not alone with these insecurities. The Be Real campaign alongside YMCA commissioned a report called Somebody Like Me, which found from over 2000 11-16 year- olds, 30% isolated themselves because of their body anxieties. Be brave and every time you are, your confidence will grow faster and bigger.
You will go through your life achieving and experiencing so many things, some good some bad, but I promise you the numbers on your weighing scales will bear no relevance to anything. It will have no part to play in what you go on to accomplish so stop standing on them every day. Ask yourself what purpose do they serve? If you see numbers that you are happy with yes you feel great but then the next day the numbers may be higher and your whole world seems to crash down. Try and imagine if you had a tiny baby and weighed it every day, as it goes through different stages its weight changes too. Would you love the baby any less if it’s bigger than when it was born? No of course you wouldn’t, our bodies change daily for lots of reasons. Learn to love your body and embrace it for all that it is, how you often see yourself is not how others view you. We are all different shapes and sizes, you are curvy and always will be, some of your friends are taller and slimmer, all of you are beautiful.
Try and learn to live in the moment more, you can waste so much time and energy thinking life would be better if only I lost half a stone… if only my boobs were smaller I would be happier… if only.. If only… Every day you are living your life so don’t let it slip by wasting precious time putting life on hold until the ‘if only’ day that will never materialise. By allowing your brain to play the ‘if only’ game you are setting yourself up for failure, instead find the things that you love and are passionate about and do them as often as you can. Keep swimming, go dancing, practice yoga, explore every opportunity that comes your way and excites you. If you find that your brain is winning and you are struggling write down a list of things that you are grateful for about each day.
I promise you it will make you feel better and it will help break the cycle. It’s about being kind to yourself. The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report 2016, which involved 4,500 girls from over 13 different countries highlights this message too, with 8 out of 10 feeling more confident and positive “when they invest time in caring for themselves”.
Lastly if you eat those 5 fish fingers because you love them, or had the second piece of cake when no one was looking, don’t beat yourself up afterwards. So what, it’s done. Did you enjoy it at the time, YES, has your life come to a catastrophic end afterwards, NO! Everyone has days when they over indulge for lots of different reasons but then the sun comes up and it’s a new day. Nothing good will come from dwelling on past events of any kind, move on, look forward and most importantly BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
With love x