Instagram has slowly been transforming into a more body-positive and empowering platform, and I am so here for that. Activists, influencers, and body-pos queens alike make it a point to show their followers how unconditional self-love is done, proving that, when you're following the right people, social media can serve as an amazing outlet and reminder that everyone is on this journey together, and that empowering each other is beyond important. Fitness influencer and fashion model, Iskra Lawrence, recently talked about self-love and body confidence in an interview with Health, and her words basically encapsulated all of the work she's been doing on the 'Gram to make girls and women of all ages feel infinitely comfortable in their own skin.
Here's the thing: Self-love and body confidence are similar, but they're not quite the same. Both of these things characterize what is often a complex relationship with the self — some days you feel like you're on top of the world confidence-wise, while on other days, it feels difficult to even look at yourself in the mirror.
Lawrence is no stranger to the complexities of cultivating both self-love and body confidence, and during her interview with Health, she noted that there's a subtle difference between loving yourself and being confident in your body, one that not many people can pinpoint right off the bat.
"Self-love is kind of the inward feeling of that confidence, of that acceptance and love of just cherishing and being grateful for exactly who you are and who you want to be," Lawrence told Health. "Body confidence is kind of the projection of that, it's the outward embodiment of self-love."
It seems like, the way Lawrence sees it, self-love is about accepting yourself no matter what, despite self-perceived "flaws" or "imperfections." Body confidence, on the other hand, from Lawrence's perspective, is about taking that warm, internal feeling of self-love and radiating it for the world to see. "It means getting up in the morning and truly accepting yourself," the 28-year-old model explained, "[whether] that's relationships, if that's work, if that's fashion choices. All of those things can be dictated by insecurity and fear, and so body confidence is having the confidence to go out and do exactly what you want to do and be exactly who you want to be."
TBH, I could not love this woman more if I tried. What's especially amazing, though, is that this is far from the first time Lawrence has imparted such empowering wisdom when it comes to self-love and confidence.
Personally, my favorite thing about Lawrence is that she isn't afraid to acknowledge the struggles that everyone faces on their journey toward self-love and body confidence. In an Instagram post from August, she wrote in the caption,
...even when I was dropped for being to curvy and also told I was too small to be a plus-size model I didn’t take no for an answer then spent the last 14 years getting to where I am now - surviving my Eating Disorder and challenging the need to retouch, moving to NY on my own with some money I’d saved up and creating the life I dreamt of on my own.
Even if your family aren’t rich, connected or famous - doesn’t mean you can’t make it, you just have to hustle even harder.Even if people laugh in your face, if you believe you can do it, chase your dreams.The harder it is to get there the more rewarding it will be.Use even the negative energy to fuel your drive and passion.Celebrate the small victories and learn lessons from your mistakes and failures.
What's more, in her work with aerie on the brand's #AerieREAL campaign, Lawrence has constantly reassured her Instagram followers that it's OK to not be OK, or to not know how to love yourself or feel confident. She wrote in the caption of a September post,
I kind of had to fake it till I made it with my confidence (well aware of my privileged able body) until about 6/7years when I realized deep down I wanted to commit to putting my self love first and refuse to let anything or anyone stop me from living my life how I want to.
So uh, how can I become Iskra's best friend ASAP?