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Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence, model and #everyBODYisbeautiful advocate
Stop comparing yourself with others. I used to do this — idolizing and dreaming of looking like other models I aspired to be like (“why can’t my legs be that skinny?” etc.). But having that mindset is so crippling because you can never look like them, and you’re not meant to. You’re meant to be you, and that’s the best you can be! I also do my mirror challenge regularly: I get in front of the mirror and instead of looking at any insecurities I may have, I find and focus on all the incredible things my body does for me and the unique things about me that make me one of a kind. It makes me feel very empowered and grateful.
(Photo: iskra/Instagram)

8 plus-size influencers share advice on loving and accepting your body

The road to self-love can be a long and bumpy one, full of internal and external obstacles getting in the way of accepting ourselves. Living in a world where we are constantly told by the media and society what we should change or not like about our bodies, it’s hard not to get sucked in.

Every day, we’re bombarded with overly Photoshopped pictures of unrealistic bodies on social media that leave many women feeling less than. But don’t get me wrong — social media isn’t all bad! Body-positive crusaders are taking a stand online to show that everyone is beautiful in her own way. We are seeing models like Denise Bidot start the body-positive No Wrong Way Movement, while my British sister Felicity Hayward fuels her cause, #selflovebringsbeauty, all the way from London.

After going through my own self-love journey, I can tell you that it does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work to change your mindset and start deconstructing the negative thoughts engrained in you and start recognizing the beauty in our differences. Loving your body is a choice that each individual must make on her own and happens when you stop comparing yourself with others. Cutting out your own negative self-talk can be one of the hardest and most important steps.

An exercise that really helped me was positive mirror talk. Each morning I look in the mirror and say out loud five things that I love about my body. Like Instagram star Iskra Lawrence says, the idea of this exercise is to point out the amazing things your body does for you and to be consistent. Keep telling yourself you are beautiful, even if at the time you don’t feel particularly pretty, and repeat until the feelings follow.

Imagine how much we would all flourish and all the beauty we could create in the world if we could just start loving the marks and dips of our bodies instead of trying to change who we are. The world would be so boring if everyone looked the same! Diversity is what helps fuel creativity and keeps the world an interesting and inspiring place.

To help you on your own self-love journey, I’ve enlisted eight major body-positive crusaders to share their top tips on how to love your body.

For more style inspiration, follow me on Instagram and read my style blog, Margie Plus.

Read more from Yahoo Beauty + Style:

• 9 must-have pieces from model Nadia Aboulhosn’s new size-inclusive clothing line

• The very cool reason this white T-shirt is going viral

• Hilary Duff tells body-shaming critics to ‘kiss my a**’ in swimsuit photo

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