Munroe Bergdorf talks: Body confidence
Munroe Bergdorf is a model and activist who regularly appears on national and international television to comment on race, diversity, gender and LGBTQ+ topics.
We asked her about body positivity, body image and body confidence - and she told us everything!
What does body positivity mean to you?
For me, body positivity is just feeling good within your body, feeling confident, comfortable whatever shape, size... whoever you are.
As someone with a large online following, do you feel pressure to present yourself a certain way online?
I used to feel quite a lot of pressure having quite a lot of followers on Instagram and social media, but I think the more that you become comfortable with yourself, get to know yourself, the less pressure you feel to be something else for other people.
Is there a difference between your IRL self and online self?
I definitely think there’s a difference between me in real life and on social media... because it’s social media. You can only fit a certain amount of yourself on there. I would like to think it’s representational of part of who I am.
What kinds of self-care practices do you implement in your daily life?
On a self-care tip, the best things I can think of for myself, personally, is anything sensual - so taste, touch, breathing even, smelling and anything that makes you feel alive.
How can we support kids in becoming body positive in a non-body positive world?
Something you can definitely do is is expose kids to a wide range of role models, people who are doing amazing things in the face of adversity. That’s something that I know that I wish I'd had, but I didn’t.
What’s your favourite affirmation?
I’m not so much a daily affirmations girl, but I love the quote by Cyndi Lauper, "On the darkest days, I wear my brightest clothes."
How do you maintain a positive body image when your job is heavily based on your appearance?
I think when you have a job that’s so heavily reliant on the way you look, it’s so important to know who you are on the inside. Just do some work on who you are, rather than the way that you look. I think that that’s so important.
How do you pick yourself up when you’re feeling down?
Something that I do for myself a lot when I’m down is cook. I think that food brings back good memories, and I associate it with good times.
Who has been the most influential person on your self-acceptance journey so far?
I would say that one of the most influential women to me has been Laverne Cox. Just seeing her come out and absolutely kill it, in the early days of my transition, was so important.
What’s helped you the most on your self-love journey?
Something that’s helped me the most in my self-love journey is stopping comparing myself to other people and seeing other people as inspiration, rather than adversity or competition.
See other people as inspiration, rather than adversity or competition.
Where to find support
If you have concerns about your body image and feel it may be affecting your physical or mental health, speak to your GP or a health professional who can put you in contact with the right people to help. The support can be life-changing.
It is always good to speak to someone you trust about the issues you might be facing, no matter how big or small. Although it can be hard talking about mental health, everyone finds it challenging at times. If you are experiencing difficulties, don’t feel ashamed or different, and don’t feel you have to hide away from it.