Come as YOU are: What that means to me - The Bodzilla

by April Hélène-Horton @thebodzilla  

Come as I am? Well sure, NOW I feel like I can do that - and I want you to be able to do it too.

If you, like me, grew up during a time when magazine covers lauded unattainable bodies and shared tips to get rid of flaws you didn’t know you had … wait… isn’t that still a thing?

That’s right - even today, media publications and dodgy online advertisements are trying to sell us ‘the perfect body’, a ‘beach body’ or some other sort of shame-inducing money grab that plays on our insecurities.

Today, I feel better than ever about the fact that my body and how it looks isn’t the thing that defines my value; redefining that for myself was something that took time though, and is a constant work in progress to maintain.

You might be wondering how I got from teen me (who felt like the only way into a career in fashion/modelling was to lose weight) to being the first fat person in a bikini on a billboard.

One of the most important things that’s helped me ‘show up’ is seeing other people like me in more mainstream media and fashion. This week, Australia’s first size-inclusive runway changed history once again - supported by brands and businesses who want to champion EVERY body. LeukBook is here to be the place for us to find those brands and businesses and skip the soul-crushing moments like seeing a new release of clothing that doesn’t go past a size 12 or that the limited plus options are all sold out.

The confidence and validation that comes with seeing more people who look like me, or hearing people who work in fashion asking hard questions of the industry - these are some of the other things that have helped me be less worried about what people think of my body - and to overcome the thoughts that I have about it.

Self-confidence is a muscle, and you have to train it. The time is going to come when you see how far you’ve come in relation to how you see yourself, just like when you realise your fitness or strength has increased after time spent on physical training. 

The best part about the opportunities you get to FLEX that muscle? It allows other people to see the possibility of their own inner strength. I genuinely believe that whether you make your impression on the world via the media or simply by walking down the street with your self acceptance on display, every one of us makes the difference.

So – when I invite you to Come as YOU are, what I mean by that isn’t that you should skip whatever makes you feel ready to face the world. I wear what makes me feel fierce, glamourous and dramatic and that includes anything from makeup to eye-catching fashion and anything in between. I want you to give yourself to the world authentically, without worrying that there’s some way you should change to meet the standards society sets for us.

by April Hélène-Horton

April is featured wearing the Luna Turtleneck in Amberglow with the Aria Ruffle Long Sleeve Cover Up and Fresia High Waist Buckle Pants.

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