In a world of vague self-love messages, Michelle Elman is the ninja-princess who barges in and slices through the bullshit with her hands-on BoPo tips.
I first discovered Michelle Elman’s account, Scarred not Scared, 10-years into my Body Positive and pretty irritated by it.
It was one of those all-encompassing self-hate-life-hate days. And every smiley, vague self-love post made me feel even worse.
I wasn’t looking for an I-love-myself-nursery-rhyme. I needed something practical. Something I could actually use RIGHT NOW.
In swoops the ninja-princess, Michelle Elman.
Michelle Elman spits out blunt truths like fire, she drops practical tips like bombs and she always seems to connect the dots between everyday hang-ups and the heart of body positivity: “eff that, I’m not hating letting mad stupid fears stop me from living my life anymore”.
Here’s an example of Michelle Elman’s applied BoPo wisdom
*Heart stops with excitement*
And this UK-based body activist actually spoke to YAAAS Magazine. *Faints*
Here’s how YAAAS mag’s chat with Michelle Elman went down…
Your 5 most favourite things?
What does a day of the life of Michelle look like?
How has life changed in the last few years for you, following your viral post in 2015?
The last few months especially have been a bit weird for me with both the TedX talk and the announcement of my book being within weeks of each other.
Fav movie that you’re secretly ashamed of liking?
The main characters don’t even have any scars from their surgery; and the whole storyline diminishes the illness and rather places an emphasis on love – thereby undercutting the importance of their illness. It basically, isn’t realistic in the slightest.
- When I am with friends in the evening, I don’t take out my phone. No exceptions. The only way I am able to turn off is to not even look at my phone.
- I naturally work, and especially write, best between the hours of 2 and 4 in the morning. It is a daily battle to either give into my body clock and stay up and squeeze all that creativity or to obey standard conventional working hours.
- Until recently, my followers didn’t know that I was spending the majority of my day dealing with book things. I have actually been working on it since 2014.
You can preorder Michelle’s upcoming book Am I Ugly? right HERE.
Weirdest food combo you love?
I love soya sauce with my soft boiled eggs. People think it’s weird but it’s a habit that started one day in Hong Kong when I couldn’t find the salt.
Your most favourite and your least favourite thing about your day today?
You once said:
“Body positivity isn’t about being able to take underwear selfies, it’s about not letting your underwear or your swimsuit be the reason you aren’t taking part.”
Any practical tips for overcoming that shame and the fear associated with not looking “perfect”?
Practically, I always tell people who want to wear a bikini, to go buy one. People jump ahead to the last step but no one remembers the steps in the middle.
Check out Michelle Elman’s mad dance moves:
An excerpt from Michelle Elman’s dance-video caption: “I have been absolutely hating the gym. So much so, I can’t even face going to the gym to go to my dance class so you know what I’ve been doing instead?
Walking… a lot. And dancing, at home, alone. I LOVE dancing , always have. I don’t care that I can’t actually dance and I don’t care that I look like a goofball because I have so much damn fun! Who said you had to be good at something to enjoy it?”
3 Things you wish you could go back and tell your 15-year-old self?
- Just because someone is an adult, doesn’t mean they are always right. I was body shamed a lot by teachers and adults who I trusted and it always hit me harder because I thought adults always were right.
- You are perfect exactly as you are.
- Don’t stop doing your favourite activities, because you are not good at it. You don’t need to be good at something to enjoy it.
A few bits from Michelle Elman’s smart post caption: “We need to stop intellectualizing body positivity.”
“People read a caption + look for the flaws, whether they agree and whether this aligns with their body positivity but don’t sit with it long enough to impact you. This is important because the emotional side is how the change happens. The intellectual side is me repeating “love yourself”. The emotional side is me showing you the HOW.”
Practically speaking, what do you do to deal with a negative or destructive thought?
Sometimes it helps to have a catchphrase. In Scandal, Olivia Pope always says “it’s handled”. So that’s one of my favourites when I feel stressed with work.
How do you deal when negative thoughts seem to take over your mind?
You also need to clench your jaw in order to talk to yourself so to quieten your mind, relax your jaw and look upwards.
Find out more about Michelle Elman, right HERE.
And for more YAAAS magazine interviews with Body Postive Activists, you can click HERE because we talk to a ton of amazing people.
Here’s a post on exactly why skinny doesn’t equal happiness. And we used your idol, Marilyn Monroe as an example.
Here one post where YAAAS Magazine writers tried all the BoPo tips curve model Marciel Hopkins gave us, to see if it actually makes a difference.
And here’s also a post where I tried to be a proper Barbie-style girl for a day. Let’s just say it caused me to rethink my life.
In conclusion, we just have a crap load of amazing articles. And we’re never going to stop making them, so just sign up here already.
Let's be honest, loving your squishy bits can be hard! So we asked curve model Marciel Hopkins for some PRACTICAL tips to rock BOPO all day and then we actually tested them for 7 days! Rocking body love can honestly feel like a Tekken fight in your brain between bad...read more
As from now it's a proven fact that being skinny doesn't equal happiness. Don't believe me? Here's four pieces of evidence that'll crack this haunting myth right open. ONE: Perfect people are dying to be happy Pick one person you'd like to trade bodies with? Marilyn...read more
Self Care is a thing in 2017, because you actually NEED it. Here's how to avoid Breakdown Britney and take care of yourself by and Carla Mouton and Iske Conradie You have it rough sister. 2017 is not a joke. EVERYTHING is fast. Your food. Your socials. Your brain. And...read more
This girl does not care. She has not been on a diet in eight years. She has never followed the advice of a Youtube makeup tutorial. She rarely does her nails. She air-dries her hair regularly and uses normal soap for her face. How does it feel not, not caring what you...read more
So your beloved child-reading-fairytale days didn't teach you as much about real life as you thought it did (because let's face it, we all thought a sparkly, glittery castle was the only thing we NEEDED). by Tern Pelser First off, let's just get this out of the way:...read more
Expect a major plot twist in this one. Want to feel like the hot girl for a change? Try these 4 guaranteed tricks to make any body type hot as pancakes! Disclaimer: it's NOT what you expect. by Jolene Raison Okay, we don't want you waking up every morning pinching the...read more
It’s 10 PM on a Sunday and tomorrow's assignment is STILL not finished, because you just couldn’t resist watching those last 10 Youtube videos…. Let’s face it, we all procrastinate, but does the accumulation of our lost hours translate into a bleak future? Luckily,...read more
So I’m in a circle of friends discussing pizza toppings, but my mind takes me to a whole different dialogue: “Do I look like terrible? Probably. Why do I eat myself into looking like a chubby penguin? Look at how gorgeous my friends are. Am I a failure? I haven’t even...read more
Have you ever felt deeply disappointed in your expectations? Alexa shares how she realised high expectations are vital to being strong and happy - even when things don't work out the way you expected them to. Dreaming about growing up I never liked being a kid. I was...read more