Emily Bador put up her first body-positive Instagram post in December.
After the start of a successful modeling career - in which she worked for Ivy Park, Unif and Tatler, to name a few - she realised she had developed a particularly unhealthy relationship with her body.
This revelation led her to take some time out for herself and, when she began to feel like she was back on the right path, she posted this:
Since then, Emily has been inundated with personal messages and has continued to post intimate and open photos on social media.
Intrigued by her decision to be so public about her personal struggle, we reached out to the Brighton-based model and asked her some questions about being an Instagram activist.
Her first political post was in the Summer, at the news of the referendum.
Previous to this she had been concerned about her ability to book jobs, but now, she doesn't care about that, 'these are my views and I'm proud to have them.'
'I know there's a large audience out there too which think the same way as me, so if a client didn't agree with that, then I'm not bothered.'
And who is her 'audience', well, with the help of Instagram, about 75K people.
Her following has been immensely important to Emily, both due to it's democratising force, 'It's given regular people large platforms to express themselves. 'It's no longer [just] the elite who can express themselves,' and it's ability to create a safe and comforting community,
The knowledge that you're not alone in whatever issue you're having, is amazing. I always thought I was over exaggerating and making everything up, and it couldn't be that bad... But to know there are other people out there who feel exactly the same is kinda comforting. I now have people I can talk to and relate to.
But what was wrong?
Seemingly Emily was living a charmed life as a successful model, but this was part of the problem, she has explained how modeling contributed to her anxiety, 'My role as a model affects me massively.'
'It made made my anxiety go through the roof.
'I'm very self deprecating, and I also fear failure, and having the whole world (aka 70k followers, your bookers, your family, and your social life) look at you and expect you to succeed is pretty scary.'
Somehow Emily transformed those negative thoughts and experiences into informed, positive ones:
Before, I never really questioned my ethnic identity or how bad my body issues or anxiety were. I could get by. It's shocking how many models suffer with these issues too. Someone from my agency once said anxiety comes with the industry. Everyone has it or knows someone who's experienced it.
She's aware that to many, it will seem like she leads a comparatively charmed life: 'Yeah, this past six months I've become very aware of privilege.'
'It's having the understanding that systematically you have an upper hand.
'That's not saying your problems aren't valid, or your struggle isn't hard, it's saying other groups have the odds stacked against them more.'
She understands that since she is 'white passing' (since she is mixed race with a light skin tone), cis gendered and has, ultimately, an aspirational figure for a lot of people, she is privileged, but her fears and thoughts are as valid as anyones, 'I think having an awareness of privilege just makes people have more empathy for one another, which in this day and age, I think we really need. '
So Emily is taking every day to try and gain self-acceptance, and in the mean-time she's going to keep posting and marching to try and change the world for everyone, including herself, because 'We're not real ally's if we're silent and sat on our arses are we?'
Well said Emily.