Danish girl Amalie Have’s refreshing images of herself and her body with an intention to create awareness about the beauty of curves is far more stimulating than the celebrities around the globe uploading naked pictures on Instagram.
Amalie Have aka scandinaviandreamgurl on instagram is breaking the stereotype of the ‘perfect body’ and she does it in a way to encourage others to do the same. From a very young age Amalie Have has always felt different, her thighs were bigger than the other girls, and her body wasn’t like the girls in the magazines.
In fact it still isn’t represented still today. While many girls go through this struggle everyday, there are very few that actually go out and change their mentality instead of their body, which is exactly what Amalie Have does.
We chat to Amalie Have about how she started embracing her body, her tips for curvy women, and learning about the body movement. Margaret Tra writes.
When you think of curvy women, what do you think?
Body positivity, body-love movement, power, confidence, game-changers, feminism, and a little bit too much ‘just go love yourself.’
How old were you when you realised your body wasn’t represented in the media?
I was in kindergarten, so I around five! I was very conscious about my body. I was taller than the other girls, so of course my thighs were bigger, but when you’re so young, you don’t really have that perspective.
From kindergarten it only got worse. I remember I cried everyday when I got home from school from the age 8-15. I felt my hips and shoulders were extremely big, my thighs were touching each other, and the my ribs weren’t visible enough. And it didn’t help then adults told me “Oh you have enormous hips! But that’s a good thing, you will be good at caring and giving birth to a child someday!” Thank you, that’s just what every 10 year old wanna hear.
I grew up in an environment where thinness was the one and only goal, and only the extremely skinny girl was being represented in the media. And I struggled through it, I ran at least two times a day, only ate carrots, and ended up struggling through an eating disorder, which all kind of escalated when I got knee injuries after pushing myself to hard to reach a ridiculous goal. Both of my sisters struggled through it, all my girlfriends struggled through it, and I don’t want the next generations to struggle through it.
It’s a long process to grow up, and there’s a lot of biological things you don’t have any control over, so it’s pretty destructive to feel like you have to try to follow one ideal, and especially if it’s just not your body type. We need to discuss eating disorders and media influence, and do much more for preventing this to happen.
When did you start embracing your body?
During high school, so around the age of 16 I guess. It was around that time, where I started eating normal again, and instead of hiding my big hips and breasts, I wore bodycon dresses, kept my head high and moved more confident. And guys said I looked hot, at the school, in public, everywhere. I turned heads on the street. It’s sad it had to go that way around, that I needed guys acceptance in order to feel OK, but I think it made me realise, that my natural body was just fine. And I actually don’t think it was so much my measurements the guys liked, it was more the way I carried myself. Confident, with a smile. You can wear almost anything, as long as you are comfortable and therefore confident.
What advice would Amalie Have give girls and women who are not happy about their bodies?
That’s a good one. The easy thing would be to say is just go love your own body, we are all beautiful and unique. But it’s useless if the receiver is just not there yet. Instead of preaching about how everyone should love themselves, we should maybe give young people some tools, or change the goal a little bit.
Let’s say the first goal could be for starters, to feel OK with your own body. Like a body neutrality state. If we could see ourselves as whole beings, where the body is just a part of us, a shell, and not in the focus.
The Body Movement
The body love movement is important and has an important message to spread, but it’s often served in a way it cannot be used. A body-positive attitude is useless if the receiver doesn’t have the skills to achieve the goal yet. Liking and even growing to love your own body is a journey, and if you’re preaching about everyone is amazing and unique and everybody should just go love themselves, it’s useless and de-motivating.
So maybe one advice would be, to practice to see your body for more than the looks, and more like an amazing tool.
Experiment with your body
Some other tools could be, to find out what clothes you feel most confident in, and experiment with what compliments your figure. In your search, avoid all the lousy guides in women’s magazine. Curvy women can’t wear horizontal stripes? Please, I rock them right now!
I started getting comfortable with my own body, when I started experimenting and therefore figured out what suits my figure best. Don’t go after everything that’s trendy, if doesn’t make you feel comfortable and confident. I have wide hips, wide shoulders, big boobs and a smaller waist, so I figured out, that I feel most confident when wearing bodycon dresses and high waisted jeans and skirts, to really emphasise my figure. I would not feel comfortable wearing cute light garments that are very floaty and light, but a girl with another body type would maybe feel amazing in them.
Find a real role model
Especially if you are younger, I would also recommend to find a role model, with the same body type as you, who totally rocks it. Someone you can relate to. It can be your bigger sister, an amazing public figure or a cool girl you found on Instagram. Someone who embraces all the features you tend to hate.
Does Amalie Have workout?
Yes, I do workout, but I really don’t think it’s a must in purpose to feel comfortable with your own body. I only workout and do sports because I always have and I really enjoy it. I have a lot of energy and temperament, so if i’ve been lifting heavy, I’m a lot nicer to my friends and family when I’m working out, haha. I began swimming from the age of three, I’ve been playing a lot of tennis and handball, the past three years i been doing crossfit and weight training, 4-5 times a week.
There’s this crazy fitness culture going on, where all girls must squat in order to get love, and that’s bullshit. Workout if you want, don’t if you don’t want. If you hate sweating, go for a walk with a friend or try to bike to school instead once in a while.
In your IG you talk about changing the way girls and women look at themselves, why is that important to you?
It is not necessary for young girls to live through what I did, and many at my own age did. We only get one body, and we have to live with that body our whole life. It is our home, and we need to have more respect for it.
Girls are not taught to love their body, they are taught constantly to look for so called ‘flaws’. Several industries make tons of money on young girls – because young women are easy targets – and we need to tell them that.
There is such an awareness and focus on looks and appearance and bodies, and it gets easier to navigate in all that, as we get older. Hell, I’m just learning to navigate now, and I can still get a bit mesmerised if I look at these super skinny models perfect Instagrams, but luckily I know when to snap out of it. Most of the young girls are not able to navigate yet, and it’s tearing them down. Me and my friends didn’t even have Instagram and Facebook when we were growing up and we have a hard time – imagine growing up now! Now you don’t only have to be skinny, you have to be skinny, fit with visible abs, yet still curvy with a big butt and boobs. How is that possible to live up to when you’re 14? It’s not, and it should not be.
It’s basically something we just need discuss and be aware of as society. We are producing very sad and self obsessed young people. We can not focus on the important things in life and make a better world, if we are all obsessed about our waist size.
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