This weeks podcast guest is Isabella Davis, a body-positive advocate who is making waves in the body image movement on Instagram with over 16k engaged followers who love and support her mission; it’s just a shame Instagram doesn’t feel the same.
There are some double standards that exist on social media when it comes to curvy women existing in their bodies. Curvy women’s pictures are constantly breaching Instagram's “Community Guidelines” and although it’s not proven, Bella says that she has been shadowbanned for her body more than once.
Trigger Warning - please note this episode includes discussions on eating disorders.
Addressing double standards on Social Media
While Bella says she will continue to share her message with women online, it is extremely disheartening to see curvy women banned, while “acceptable bodies” by societies standards are free to post what they please..
This is a double standard we would love to see changed on social media because as they hashtag suggests #allbodiesaregoodbodies
Bella's journey to inner confidence and self-love
Bella’s journey to accepting and eventually loving and celebrating her body has been a long a bumpy road.
Bella explained how she never wore dresses or shorts because she was so self-conscious. It was in year 12 that her negative relationship with her body took a turn. Bella’s year 12 formal was fast approaching and she said, “I had a body in mind that I wanted to have by my formal so I joined a 12-week bikini body challenge."
"The boot camp had a strict meal and exercise plan and we had to train six days a week. I was so dedicated to the point of obsession. I would walk past the chocolate section of the supermarket or past restaurants and would hold my breath because I was so worried there were fat particles in the air”.
Bellas explains that “I became so small, fragile and unhappy. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think straight and I knew I had to hide it from my family and friends because they wouldn’t understand. What I realise now but didn’t then, was that I had developed an eating disorder.”
Bella explains how her journey has been full of ups and downs including yo-yo dieting and that it wasn’t until last year that she realised things needed to change.
“I was sick of my life and my self worth being dictated by diet culture. I was sick of looking at an image and wanting to be someone else. I started to wonder why can’t I just be myself?"
"I decided it was time to make a change and that's when I gained more weight than I ever had before but somehow I was also the happiest and most confident I'd ever been in my skin" Bella explained beautifully.
"I’m the heaviest but also the happiest I've ever been because it doesn’t matter what your weight is or what you look like, what matters is how you feel about yourself. I feel so confident, sexy, beautiful and worthy in my body and other women can too!"- Isabella Davis