KATIE H. WILLCOX
Occupation: CEO, Author, and Public Speaker
Katie, we’d like to start off by saying we absolutely love what you’ve created at Healthy is the New Skinny! You are such an inspiration. In a nutshell, what is this movement all about?
Healthy is the New Skinny is a social media movement that encourages girls to be their best selves and challenge the beauty ideal that teaches us we’re not good enough. We work to educate and encourage girls to choose health and wellness above society’s limiting beauty standards.
In your personal story on the website you talk about how you were able to transform your lifestyle from a, “fast food eating, TV watching, negative thinking, victim mentality type person, into your true self.” What are two tips you’d offer to other girls in this same place in life who want to make a change but don’t know where to start?
A couple of tips I’d give girls are:
1. Put health above the beauty ideal. Your life’s purpose is not to be beautiful. Each and every one of us is unique and we all have different and amazing things to bring to the world. Do not let anything or anyone tell you otherwise. Work to be your healthiest self (mind, body, and soul) because that will lead to a full and authentic life.
2. Don’t be afraid to unfollow (both online and in real life) people, pages, etc. that make you think negatively about your self-image. If it doesn’t do you any good, get rid of it!
As a new mom I want to raise my baby True in an environment that radiates positivity and love and teach her that despite what the media and society says, her worth and value is who she is as a person and not her body. A lot of times people will try to protect their children from harmful messaging, but what is most important is identifying the problem together and educating her on the meaning of true beauty.
You recently modelled for our Beyond Yoga capsule collection completely make-up free! Was this your first make-up free shoot? What was it like to be on a professional shoot totally fresh faced?
Yes! This was my very first make-up free shoot. All the shoots I’ve done in the past have included hair and makeup so I felt a little vulnerable at first, but it turned out to be an amazing experience and really helped me to challenge the way I view myself in that aspect. It’s really important to love ourselves at all different stages whether that be all done up or raw, because no matter what, those different versions are still us.
We know you’re a confident girl and you radiate body positivity but do you ever feel insecure despite the message you share with the world?
What girl doesn’t? We’re all human and I’m no different, but I’m fortunate enough to have learned that those feelings are only temporary and are not actually related to our bodies. When we feel insecure about ourselves and say things like “I feel fat,” it’s important to know that “fat” is not a feeling. That feeling is the result of feeling inadequate in other places of our lives, but often times we associate that feeling with our bodies and unfortunately that’s what we take it out on. When I begin to feel insecure, I look around and see all that I’ve accomplished and realize that I’m thankful living a life full of love and positivity.
In challenging moments when you don’t feel your best what tools do you use to turn things around?
When I need to turn things around, I realize that what I’m feeling is a choice and that I have the power to overcome what ever I’m going through. I do things that make me feel good and help me to reset like grabbing a coffee and going for a swim. These little bits of self-care allow me to assess and figure out what is actually wrong versus taking it out on my body.
We’re inundated with the highlight reels of people’s lives on social media and sometimes it can make it seem like our own life isn’t “enough”. Can you describe a real, raw moment that you’ve lived that you didn’t necessarily share on your Instagram feed?
I had a rough couple days after having my baby True. It was an interesting transition being a first-time mother and I was super hormonal which didn’t help! I was constipated, holding a pump to my boobs with one hand and holding a crying baby with the other. Even if I wanted to document that I couldn’t because one, I had no free hands, and two, I felt pretty overwhelmed. I laugh about it now, but in that moment I felt so isolated and I’m glad I got the hang of things!
You are about to release a new book and we can’t wait to get our hands on it! Can you tell us a bit about it? What can readers expect?
Yes! My book is called Healthy is the New Skinny: Your Guide to Self-Love in a “Picture Perfect” World and it is set to release January 17, 2017.
In the book I share personal stories about my experience living in a perfection-obsessed society both as a model and an overall flawed human being. I go on discuss the history of advertising and how we’ve been taught to dislike ourselves so that companies in the beauty industry can gain a profit. In addition I share tips and exercises to improve our body image and overall well being!
If you could give one message to other women what would it be?
Healthy is the New Skinny.
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