Written By: Jillian Hopkins
Photography By: @KarloGomez
A singer, a songwriter and a dancer; beautiful, inspiring and hardworking; Israela Claro does it all. Originally from Brazil, Israela moved to L. A. when she was just 21 years old. “I had a record deal, band, manager, family, everything stable back home but didn’t feel complete, so I felt the need to drop everything and go after my dreams.”
As it turned out, the road to Israela’s dreams was paved with unseen struggle--loneliness, depression, loss of self love and weakening of self-confidence. “I even thought about giving up on my dreams and myself, something really unusual for me since I’ve always had a lot of self-esteem and confidence, but for a minute, everything felt so lost.”
Israeala describes this beginning time on her own as dark. Alone in this darkness, fighting through every step on this road to her dreams, trudging past the obstacles and opportunities of defeat like thick, threatening mud. These dark days are what put Israela’s tenacity to the test. Ultimately, she came out of the darkness stronger and fiercer. “I knew I had what I needed to fight [those] tough moments. I knew I had so much strength inside of me, I knew my drive and confidence were still somewhere within me so I started fighting every single day when I got out of bed.”
Plagued with negativity and the desire to give up, Israela knew she needed a change. She started seeing herself as a winner; a fighter and taking care of her mind and body. She describes her body as a temple and knows that once you value yourself as such, the things you see and believe quickly transform. “It’s funny--when you sacrifice certain things in life to achieve bigger goals and a higher stage, you develop so much resistance and resilience… and it feels amazing.”
Israela remains true to herself and honest about her journey, hoping to inspire other young women around the world. She is not afraid to be vulnerable, share her story with others and admit her flaws. Israela knows that everyone has a story; she wants to influence women to continue to work on themselves, be good to themselves and learn to love themselves no matter their size or where they come from.
“The number one obstacle [that prevents women from having a good relationship with their body] is for sure the media body standards.” Israela explains that the media portrays a fake reality of perfection, and it poisons young girls’ mentality and alters their perspective. Israela wants to help young women everywhere. She wants to be a role model and motivate girls to become strong, fight for their dreams and never ignore life’s struggles. “We should never give up on working on ourselves.”
“I truly believe that you have to start with yourself, find your own sense of security, comfort and confidence, so that you’re not easily influenced and negatively affected by other people’s false reality and the fabrication of the perfect life and body.”
Israela wants YOU to learn to fall in love with yourself every day--you are the only one that can complete yourself. Self-love can be the hardest kind of love, but it is the most important one.
If you want to see more of Israela, follow her at @israelaclaro