A plus-size trans model has opened up about how she learned to love herself.
Shay Neary made headlines last year as the first plus-size trans model to land a major fashion campaign.
She was cast by retailer inclusive fashion retailer Coverstory for their latest campaign in December.
Now, Shay opened up about how she learned to love her body in a video posted on I Heart My Body’s Facebook page.
‘You just have to accept that internal voice,’ she said.
‘That’s telling you “I’m beautiful, I love myself”.’
Shay said she looks into ‘every’ mirror and building she walked past and told herself ‘I love myself’; and she does the same when getting out of a cab and looking at herself in the mirror.
And Shay doesn’t care whether people think she’s overdoing it.
‘I don’t need to look good for them, I look good for me,’ she said.
‘And that’s what it’s all about. Don’t do it for anybody else but you.
‘Because you’re the most important person.’
As she briefly touching on the time before she transitioned 11 years ago, Shay starts to casually deconstruct – and criticize – society’s approach to beauty.
‘We’re taught to judge ourselves before others do,’ she said.
‘I don’t to that anymore.’
So Shay has decided to stop ‘badgering’ herself about any potential shortcomings and instead embraces her body the way it is.
‘Every day, you’re going to find moments of insecurity. Every single day,’ she said.
‘Remember that you’re human. We’re not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection.
‘I don’t need to be perfect for people to enjoy me. I don’t need to be anything other than myself for people to understand and relate.’
Calling the feeling of not having a worth a problem, Shay says the only way to beat those thoughts it through challenging yourself and others.
‘If I never challenged what people thought of me,’ she says.
‘I wouldn’t be where I am now.’
Watch the full video below: