Learning to Love Everything You Are with Body-Positivity Activist @mayaraefe

“#MyStory is a series that spotlights inspiring women in the Instagram community. Join the conversation by sharing your own story. To see more of Mayara’s photos, follow @mayaraefe on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Portuguese.)

“#MyStory is about loving yourself, your heritage and your body. It’s about survival and having the freedom to be who you are.” —Mayara Efe (@mayaraefe), a body-positivity activist and plus-sized model from São Paulo, Brazil.

“For years, I suffered from depression. As a black, curvy and gay woman, I didn’t fit into any of society’s boxes. I tried to fit in. I tried to lose weight, and every month I tried to straighten my hair. Then, when I still didn’t feel like my life had any great possibilities, I tried suicide. During my recovery from depression, I discovered feminism and realized that I could do anything, regardless of my skin color or weight. I started to post photos that my grandmother would take of me. People began sharing these images, saying I was photogenic and recommending me for modeling jobs. This is how I became a plus-sized model.

I don’t want other girls or women to have to go through the same thing I did in order to learn to love themselves. I learned the hard way that the only way to be happy is to hold your head up high and have the maximum amount of love and respect for yourself.”

Love this message by Mayara. 

- Lisa

Lisa Lee