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Our Founders Story

I’m sitting at the edge of my bed deflated. I am deflated because yesterday I loved myself, and today I don’t. It’s a constant vicious cycle. One day I’m loving myself, and the next few I don’t. It seems like no matter how much I love myself, there are always many days plagued with self-hate to follow, and I am sick of it.

As I sat there wishing it was yesterday, I started to notice that every time I looked in the mirror I was in fact waiting for anorexic Steph to show up. And she never did. I was left upset, sad, and guilty for not appreciating how skinny I was back then, and now flogging myself for letting myself go. All I wanted was to go back in time and appreciate how skinny I was, and how fantastic I looked because of it. Then the penny dropped. The conversation I had back when I was 40kg is in fact the same conversation I am plagued with today sitting on the edge of my bed.

I decided enough was enough. If I can’t love myself at 40kg I definitely have no access to loving myself in any other version either, so I decide to get powerfully related to the physical reality of my body, in order to put my expectations to rest and finally see the true me that is alive and breathing today.

My naked photoshoot was me seeing myself for the first time. It was the moment where I witnessed the true authentic me that had been wrestling its way out for too long.

‘This was the moment I decided to have a naked photoshoot.’

‘I was a free child again discovering and playing’

My naked photoshoot was not just a photoshoot where I got naked, it represents a critical and pivotal point in my life whereby I became my version of Steph without socialization and my past trauma, pain, and judgement. I became my creation. I became the sculptor and chisel of my own masterpiece.

Unveiling myself had me grieve for my past versions of self, and strip away everything I had been conditioned to believe about me and the skin I was in. No longer were the magazines, adverts, and past life experiences hanging out in my head, telling me who I am. Now I can hear my voice above the noise and can create who I am in every moment of my life.

I was captivated. The silence was addictive. The question’s of how do I look? How do I sound? Is this the right thing to do? Do they like me? Had disappeared. All there was, was me and the moment, and I was enjoying every single bit of it.

I walked into my photoshoot as someone plagued and tormented by self-hate, wishing one day I would wake up in a different body, to then walking out of the shoot a brand new human, fully embracing the beauty and glory I always was.

I say I am beautiful because I say so, and I want you to discover this for yourself. I want you to have the freedom and comfort to declare who you say you are in the world independent from your physical edges, independent of what the school kids said, and who you already know yourself to be, and this is why I birthed Body Freedom International.