yan Cahill thank you for supporting our Kickstarter Campaign.
1. How have you struggled in the past to appreciate or love your body and how have you overcome that struggle?
I didn't fully develop a "womanly physique" until I was 17, while all the other girls I knew did. I thought I was very plain and unattractive, so there was no point in trying to be feminine....I became a tomboy.
Working as an actress and singer brought me out of my shell and I found my femininity, but I only felt pretty if I wore lots of makeup. The chemicals would make my skin break out, so I put on more makeup to hide it. I finally decided not to wear ANY makeup - unless I was going to a formal event - so I could learn to find peace with my own self. It was a hard decision, but it worked.
Nowadays, if I get dressed-up, I use only entirely plant-based makeup (no more breakouts and angry skin!) and only enough to accentuate what I already have. Simple, subtle, and natural.
2. What do you love most about your body?
I have always liked my eyes and my pale Irish skin. I feel very deeply connected to my Irish heritage.
My favorite part of my body, though, is what nobody can see: my voice box. Making music from one's own body is truly a magical experience. It is simply two tiny muscles in the throat that nobody can see, and you cannot even feel (the vocal cords themselves have no nerve endings).
I was trained classically, but I love stripping some of that away for Traditional Folk music. Like I said, I'm an Irish girl. ;)
3. What message do you have for other women who struggle to appreciate and love their bodies?
There is beauty and magic in everything. Nobody is born wrong or made to be wrong. You are not broken. Your body does not reflect your soul, nor your power and potential as an individual. That comes from the you inside you. Do what you love, share that love with others, and don't waste time on people who don't cherish and respect your spirit.
4. Why do you support SMV?
When I was a teen, the media and entertainment industries still gave a mostly narrow view of what beauty and success looked like. All the women were thin. All the men were chiseled. Many of us kids knew it didn't feel right to us, that not everyone could fit into those boxes, but if you wanted positive reinforcement for just being yourself, you had to know exactly where to look and we didn't.
The internet and social media have many flaws and pitfalls, but the ability for platforms like SMV to exist, thrive, and reach a broad audience is one of the gems that has come of this age. Hopefully we can build a new normal where no boy or girl, man or woman, has to feel inadequate for their body type, their passions, or career goals.
Thanks for your support, Ryan! We love you! --- The SMV Team