Life

Read this powerful post on self-love by someone who grew up in the public eye

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Amy Swales
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Honey Kinny Ross has an inspiring message for anyone feeling under pressure for the way they look.

For every part of the female body, there’s a product promising to improve it, a service claiming to bring it up to the standards we should aspire to. Something to clean it up or slim it down, cover, disguise or change it until it resembles something deemed ideal.

Growing up with famous parents can’t fail to add to that pressure, and one body-positive Instagrammer has addressed the difficulties of being a teen in the public eye, having endured body-shaming and bullying over her appearance.

Posting a picture of herself in the bath, Honey Kinny Ross – daughter of TV host Jonathan Ross and screenwriter Jane Goldman – has penned an inspiring message of self-love and acceptance on the image-sharing website.

Describing how the exposure at such an early age “made me feel like my body was a problem to be solved”, Ross discusses how she came to realise that other people’s attitudes were more of an issue than her dress size – but not before she’d gone through an extremely difficult period of self-loathing.

Growing up in the public eye made me feel like my body was a problem to be solved. With age and experience I have come to realise that my body was never the problem. The problem was much bigger than me and the space I took up in the world. The problem was in fact the attitudes that people hold towards bodies. We live in the kind of world where I was body shamed by strangers on the internet at the age of 13, and was told the best thing to do would be to say nothing, crash diet and quietly hate myself. And I did - and I did it well. And it nearly killed me. And even when I got to a weight that people considered socially acceptable, I looked in the mirror and I still hated myself. And that’s when I realised it wasn’t ever going to be about what I looked like - how you look means nothing when you can’t recognise or connect to what you feel like on the inside. The only way forward is being kind to yourself - kind to your body, kind to your mind. There were many times where I thought I wasn’t going to make it - and sometimes I still feel that way. But I’m here, and so are you, and if you can soften, and treat yourself with compassion and respect, I promise you, one day your acceptance of your self will feel as easy and as blissful as exhaling. Your body isn’t a problem to be solved - you’re perfect and we’re all just cursed to live in a world with a shitty, narrow view of what’s acceptable and attractive - but I swear, we can change this if we start by changing our own attitudes. You are worthy of love. You are understood. You are whole.

A post shared by Honey Ross (@honeykinny) on

“We live in the kind of world where I was body-shamed by strangers on the internet at the age of 13, and was told the best thing to do would be to say nothing, crash diet and quietly hate myself,” she writes. “And I did – and I did it well. And it nearly killed me.

“And even when I got to a weight that people considered socially acceptable, I looked in the mirror and I still hated myself. And that’s when I realised it wasn’t ever going to be about what I looked like.”

However, Ross goes on to offer hope to anyone feeling similarly buffeted by societal expectations.

“The only way forward is being kind to yourself – kind to your body, kind to your mind.

“There were many times where I thought I wasn’t going to make it – and sometimes I still feel that way. But I’m here, and so are you, and if you can soften, and treat yourself with compassion and respect, I promise you, one day your acceptance of your self will feel as easy and as blissful as exhaling.”

She adds: “Your body isn’t a problem to be solved – you’re perfect and we’re all just cursed to live in a world with a shitty, narrow view of what’s acceptable and attractive – but I swear, we can change this if we start by changing our own attitudes.

“You are worthy of love. You are understood. You are whole.”

The post has so far garnered hundreds of likes and supportive comments.

Ross promotes body positivity on her social media feeds, and recently took part in a video for The Pink Protest, in which she discusses the change in reaction to her body when she lost weight in the past and how that informed her use of Instagram

Soft and sensual in September ???

A post shared by Honey Ross (@honeykinny) on

“I see Instagram as a way to normalise things and talk about my body and being a plus-size woman a lot,” Ross explains. “I post a lot of photos where I very clearly have cellulite and a gut, and I talk about how much I love that and how much I embrace my body.

“And I’ll get messages from women, younger than me and older than me, and even men to be honest, who are going like, ‘You talking about your self love and you talking about your journey has made me feel like I’m gonna be OK one day.’

“There’s a whole world out there of people who are aggressively loving themselves and just that by itself is an act of protest.”

Image: instagram.com/honeykinny

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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