Oh my, Hannah. What can I say? Your story brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it and still does. I absolutely LOVED meeting you and having the privilege of showing you, how truly beautiful, strong and amazing you are. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and most of all trusting me. xxx
Tell us your story! What made you want to take part in the Love Me True Campaign?
Like most women, very early on in my childhood, I developed feelings of unworthiness, and insecurities around stepping into my feminine self. This eventually transpired into bad relationships – with men, with food, with substances and fundamentally, with myself. I endured a hellish few years battling anorexia, and then bulimia, along with a torturous battle with alcohol. All of these battles were around my inability to truly connect with, accept, and love myself.
But I'm still standing.
And on my left wrist (I'm left handed), is a tattoo that reads the beautiful words that a gorgeous Asian doctor took the time to leave with me "IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME".
What advice would you offer to other women who are considering taking part in the campaign?
Do it! It’s a liberating experience that helps you step into your femininity and take your rightful place at the centre of yourself.
What does it mean to love yourself?
To connect with yourself. To trust yourself. To own your humanity and your vulnerability and your imperfections. To accept the light and the darkness and know that you are perfect and enough just as you are and offer yourself the compassion and acceptance that you would to your best friend, mother, or daughter. Just as a seed contains everything in it to become a beautiful apple tree all on its own - so are we born exquisitely perfect just as we are.
What do you remember learning about beauty from a young age? What impacted you the most that you have carried throughout your life?
Beauty was reserved for those perfect girls at school whose hair fell just so, and whose skirts skimmed their tiny hips delightfully. Back then it was thin eyebrows and unfortunately I had more of a Brooke Shields look going on. I could never quite get my look right and my hair just didn't sit right. I was also short and my body just didn't look like the other girls. I didn't know if I was Apple or Pear or possibly even a Watermelon - I just knew I was different and I never felt beautiful.
I've always held the belief that beauty is reserved for others. It's something that you see on the cover of magazines - it's something that belongs to the girl with the rugby player boyfriend...it's off limits.
Have you ever struggled with the idea of conventional beauty?
Absolutely! I'm only now learning to accept my body as it is. I hate my body so much I endured a tummy tuck when I lived in Thailand. Do you have any idea what it's like to cut your body in half? To inflict a scar literally right across yourself?
Now I see my scars and I love them. They are part of me.
What is your favourite physical feature about yourself?
My green eyes.
What is your favourite NON physical feature about yourself? (After all, beauty is not only on the inside!)
My grit and my determination. I always get back up.
Is there any advice you would like to share with others who struggle to see their own beauty?
I wish I could tell my younger self that beauty is about so much more than having the perfect legs or boobs, or tummy. It can't be bottled, bought, or manufactured. It truly does come from within. It's knowing yourself and trusting yourself. That's real beauty.
Oh - and thick eyebrows will come back in! They always do.
How did you feel during the experience?
Liberated. I met two beautiful and amazing women. The experience was in no way ego based – it was a spiritual experience centred around so much more than my body.
How did this experience impact you? Have you noticed any changes in yourself, be it your self-confidence or anything else since your session?
This has been part of my overall journey claiming my rightful place in my truth. There were many moments of synchronicity and I felt a genuine acceptance by both Jessie and Jamie.
What was the best part of the experience?
Connecting with other beautiful women.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just love that we are all part of this beautiful movement towards loving and accepting ourselves.
Last question, would you do it again?