Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, L’Oréal Paris has teamed up with the Princes Trust to launch a brand new podcast series, My Self Worth, to help spread a sprinkle of much-needed positivity. Here, model Iskra Lawrence, who features in the podcast, shares what it was like growing up with body dysmorphia and how she deals with social media trolls…
Why is it so important to talk about mental health?
IL: I think the main reason it is so important to discuss mental health is so that people don’t feel alone. No matter what you’re dealing with, it can be very easy to think your experience is singular and that can be very isolating. You are not alone, you are not beyond help.
Have you had any personal mental health battles yourself? How have you overcome them?
IL: Growing up in this industry, I did battle with an ED and body dysmorphia. When you look around and there really isn’t anyone who looks like you, you try to stuff yourself into a box to conform. I think the best thing you can do is turn that focus inside yourself and realise that you are perfectly made as you are. You weren’t made to fit in a box, you make the box fit to you.
What would be your best advice for anyone struggling?
IL: Again, just know you’re not alone. I know especially today with social media it can be hard when you’re constantly looking at everyone’s highlights. Once you understand that that’s exactly what they are, just highlights, and that everyone is dealing with something, you can be less hard on yourself and focus on all the wonderful things you have to offer instead.
This week is all about body image, what’s your personal experience of that?
IL: It was a journey to get to where I am today and be comfortable in my skin and with my body. It’s difficult and some days I still struggle but I think it’s important to keep in mind that this body is my home. It’s the only one I’ve got and I’d rather celebrate all the imperfections and be happy and at peace with myself.
How do you deal with the trolls?
IL: That’s been a journey as well. I think again it’s knowing that their words are most likely coming from a place of hurt. Instead of dealing with whatever’s going on in their life, they’re projecting and lashing out. So I’m a little softer on them these days and try to spin the comments into a positive no matter what.
The My Self-Worth podcast will be available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, iTunes and at loreal-paris.co.uk/princes-trust