There are plenty of days when Iskra Lawrence wakes up and doesnt want to be, well, Iskra Lawrence.
The Englishmodel has built her name off body confidence and positivity, but there are days when even she struggles with loving herself.
Heres where Lawrences philosophy splits from the average persons, however: Instead of giving in to the negativity, Lawrence, 26, launches into her good-vibes-only plan of attack.
And, frankly, shes flattered anyone asks her about it.
It was an amazing feeling, me learning to love myself. But now being able to let other people know theyre good enough its the best feeling in the world, she tells Elite Daily.
Sitting backstage at a body positivity event for Refinery29s 67 Percent Project, the surprisingly tall Lawrence who just delivered the keynote address explains its been a long road toward positivity.
As first a straight-size model and then a plus-size model, she battled eating disorders and heavily retouched images. Then, she took a step back from the industry to regain perspective.
The catalyst was having tried to change my body to try and be a straight-size model since the age of 13, Lawrence explains. I then went to a plus-size agency who said I was too small. I was like, something has to change because thats not right. It cant be one or the other.
When she was announced as the face of AerieREALs un-retouched lingerie campaign in the winter of 2016, Lawrences follower count exploded on Instagram. And her message only grew in reach and depth.
So, what does a model with 2.6 million Instagram followers and a national ad campaign do when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed?
Without a moment of hesitation, Lawrence launches into a laundry list.
Put on good music. Dance. Watch a funny video, she says. I put Post-it notes on my mirror or on the back of my door, even. The ones on my mirror are like, You look beautiful today! or Dont worry about the fact that youve got a breakout.’
She recommends approaching your day with positivity, then noting all the ways others reflect those good vibes back to you. Start with a smile at your co-worker. From there, Lawrence says its all about doing the things you love patting a dog. Getting a hug. Food.
Unlike many of us, Lawrence doesnt leave that attitude at the door halfway through the day. Shes made it a priority to see exercise as a treat, too.
Thats right: The gyms stinky, slow treadmill is Lawrences favorite way to unwind and reward herself. But, that starts with realistic expectations and goals.
When I was trying to change my body to look a certain way, I had images of other women that I could never possibly look like because Im not them. My body shape just isnt that, she explains, emphasizing its important not to set yourself up to feel like youre a failure.
Instead, lift weights in new ways today. Run an extra mile. Do something you can actually do, and feel good about that. Tomorrow, plan a new goal.
I can squat 120 pounds now, but obviously at the beginning I couldnt, she continues. I was just practicing sitting on a chair to do the technique right. It was making those little goals for me made me feel great, made me feel empowered.
When shes not at the gym or on a shoot, Lawrence is still trying to get her brain around the impact of her decision to never be retouched. Hundreds of young women reach out every day to tell her their stories, like shes the Mother Teresa of mermaid thighs.
Nostalgically, Lawrence recalls the first handwritten letter she ever received from a fan. She was on vacation with her parents in Puerto Rico, and couldnt believe a fan had trusted her enough to share her whole life story.
She said Ive helped her change her life in a positive way, Lawrence remembers. She doesnt have her eating disorder anymore, and Ive saved her life. Which is wild. I never imagined Id be able to try and do that.
Shes tangible, and shes here to spread the message of self-love. Its up to you to live it.
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