Canadian influencer Sarah Nicole Landry opens up about 'bad body image days'

The body confidence influencer told Yahoo Canada she stills struggles with bad days, especially as summer kicks in.

Sarah Nicole Landry is opening up about her live-saving medication. (Instagram/@thebirdspapaya)
Influencer Sarah Nicole Landry (The Birds Papaya) opened up to Yahoo Canada about dealing with body image with her children. (Instagram/ @thebirdspapaya)

For Sarah Nicole Landry, known on social media as The Birds Papaya, it's become essential to make her home a "safe space" for her four children.

As she continues her own journey with body confidence, the Canadian influencer says she wants her kids — including two teenage daughters — to always show up in life, without focusing on their body.

In an interview with Yahoo Canada, Landry admitted she still sometimes struggles with negative body image, especially as summer rolls around.

"Your body can feel really loud at times, and you can have those really bad body image days," the 38-year-old mom said.

"There's something very comforting, especially as a Canadian in the middle of winter, when you're just so bundled up and you don't even have to have that layer of thought of leaving the house, and people seeing your body."

As move into a season marked by showing skin, Landry wants people to know confidence starts from within.

Reclaiming 'bikini body' with no pressure

Landry said when she began her journey towards body confidence, there was "so much messaging around 'just wear the bikini,' 'just wear the shorts.'"

She recalled participating in that messaging, wanting people to feel like they were permitted to wear whatever they wanted.

"'Bikini body' used to be something that was a size, it was a goal. It was a body type," Landry said.

"The messaging of 'just wear a bikini' and 'every body is a bikini body' is taking back that mold that has been set on women, especially that you have to look a certain way before you're allowed and permitted or worthy of wearing a bikini."

Landry recalled the first time she wore a bikini after having her babies.

"It was so much less about what I looked like and it was reclaiming that part of me that felt like I wasn't allowed, because I had stretch marks [and] cellulite."

But, the influencer is now advocating for women to remove that pressure of having to wear a bikini to feel accomplished.

We all have bad body image days.Sarah Nicole Landry

"I recognized in the past couple of years, especially with postpartum, that I wasn't always super comfortable," Landry admitted.

"When I felt like I was forcing myself into 'wearing the bikini,' I was feeling less inclined to go and do the things that I set out to do."

Landry said on a bad body image day, she would miss out on swimming with her kids in the pool or having a beach day. That's when her appreciation grew for a one-piece swimsuit, which she said could feel less distracting than a bikini.

"We all have bad body image days. And I think to feel more shame on top of that, for not wearing a bikini, is doing us an injustice," she said.

Her favourite one-piece at the moment is the Knix Deep V One Piece Swimsuit.

"I think everyone looks at me and assumes that I have so much confidence in my skin and in my body. But it's more that I've chosen to show up for myself and show up in the world."

Confidence is in showing up

According to Landy, the most important part about body confidence is not waiting on the feeling of being confident to do the things you want to be doing.

It's less about feeling, and more about intentional actions, she explained.

I've chosen to show up for myself and show up in the world.Sarah Nicole Landry

Landry tries to show up even on days she's struggling.

"Sometimes that's in a one piece and covered with a sarong, covered as much as possible," she said.

But, she added she still wants to push herself.

"[For example] 'I really want to push myself to experience a string bikini on the beach this summer,' whatever that thing might be.

"But it's not that I look a certain way or that I'm wearing something that makes me confident — it's that I can reflect confidence through the decisions that I make to step out, even when I'm uncomfortable."

That's something Landry echoes inside her home as well. She doesn't want her daughters to have any regrets.

"I was a teenager that wore a T-shirt swimming... I look back on it, and part of me is sad," she admitted.

Two of Landry's four children are now teenagers. (Instagram/ @thebirdspapaya)
Two of Landry's four children are now teenagers. (Instagram/ @thebirdspapaya)

"My kids sort of go through these same things, where sometimes you can you can sense that they're struggling with certain things, or somebody says something at school or they saw something online — and we have real-time conversations about it."

But more importantly, Landry added, "it's the way I talk about myself in front of them."

Home should be a 'safe place'

Landry said she's been "really intentional" about what she says at home.

"I always want our home to be this place where we can have these conversations, that we can air out our frustrations but that ultimately, is a safe place to land."

In their home, she said, they don't say negative things about their bodies, nor comments that some may find positive, for example "'you've lost weight,' or 'oh you're looking so good and skinny.'"

I hope they don't say no to things because of how they feel about their bodies.Sarah Nicole Landry

Though they may still hear comments from their relatives, Landry encourages her daughters to be inquisitive.

"I don't think I've done it perfectly," she admitted with a laugh.

Her wish for her children is that "they continue to just show up in their lives, however they want to," Landry said.

"Whether they're wearing a bikini, or whatever it is that they want to do, I hope they feel supported.

"I hope they don't say no to things because of how they feel about their bodies. That's what I did as a teenager, that's what I did as a young mom.

Landry said what she wants for them is "to live a big beautiful life, with as little regret as possible.

"I can only hope that, even though I know they will have body struggles throughout their life, they just continue to do the things that they love to do."

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