Plus-size model, Elena Diaz Granados, talks to The Woman Post about self-love, social media, and her own journey of falling in love with herself.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía
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Elena gives us insightful advice to accept ourselves and embrace everything that makes us unique.
Catalina Mejía: Elena, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Elena Diaz Granados: I am 33 years old, I was born in the city of Santa Marta, Colombia. I studied to be a publicist but life has led me to become a model and in the world of fashion. I feel like being a model was something that chose me instead of me choosing it.
CM: How did you become the Elena you are today?
ED: It's been a long journey, realizing a mistake I was making. I had negative feelings about my appearance and myself for being plus size. I began to rethink my body and appreciate it for what it is because I realized that it was wonderful just the way it was, as it allowed me to walk towards my dreams. I also decided to see my body as a perfect system that performs many functions and gives me life every day.
CM: That same Elena, did she exist ten years ago?
ED: No. Ten years ago I doubted myself a lot because of my physical appearance. I cared a lot about what other people had to say about me. Today I am grateful that I realized that I was wrong and started working to show all those people who struggle to feel different or ashamed of their appearance, that being unique is wonderful.
CM: What would you say to Elena from ten years ago?
ED: I would apologize to her for wasting so much time holding negative thoughts about her physical appearance. I would give her a hug tell her that everything will be fine and that everything has always been fine.
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CM: What role does social media play on the path to self-love?
ED: Social networks have been an important channel, because my duty beyond looking beautiful in front of the cameras, has become to help and inspire other people who have also struggled with their appearance trying to please others and send them the message that it is no one but ourselves that we have to please. Sometimes we let life pass us by, hoping to become someone else when we can accept being ourselves and work to unleash our unique potential.
CM: What is the message you are trying to convey to women through your social networks?
ED: I tell women that I am an ordinary person, who also has fears and doubts about herself and is working to overcome them. I tell you that today I accept myself as I am. I also tell them that we have imperfections and that it is okay and that we should love and accept ourselves. People often hurt themselves for lack of self-love. Healing those hearts is my purpose and my mission.
CM: How did you discover that you could inspire other women with powerful messages?
ED: This happened when women started sending me messages like: “you inspire me,” “you make me feel like I belong.” Those words touched me and made me feel the need to work to help other women love themselves. I have received messages from young girls, even 15 years old, saying that they wish they could die from bullying or from rejection living at home or from their partners.
CM: Can you think of someone who has been influential on your path to self-love?
ED: I follow people on social media who also have messages about love, empowerment, and diversity. It is important that each of us begins to be responsible for the content we follow or the messages that we generate and publish, so I try to find inspiration in women who have positive things to say about diversity.
CM: What advice would you give to people who want to strengthen their self-love? How would you guide them in this process? Are there daily activities that you would recommend to grow it?
ED: I am a public speaker and I help people by setting daily goals for them to work on self-acceptance. We start with simple tasks like looking in the mirror beginning by recognizing how wonderful our bodies are as systems and the necessary functions they can perform for our health. It is a very rewarding process.
CM: Thank you, Elena, you inspire us, you are a great role model to strengthen self-love, acceptance, and empowerment in women.