udmilla De Souza
1. What is one major way you've struggled to appreciate or love your body?
Growing up I was never a slim girl. I looked at my friends and could not see a difference between them and me. I saw us the same way. It was once I became a teen that the pressure of being skinny became a little more than I felt like I could handle.
The more I was bullied the more I wanted to eat to soothe myself from so much emotional pain. It was only when adulthood came around that I felt the weight of being a bigger size than what the media portrayed to be the ideal size. This is when I started to understand that I had two options: I could either love myself with all the beautiful features that I had or I could hate myself just because the women on TV looked slimmer than I did.
I did not want to agree with the patterns that society had placed in me because at the end of the day what was created around physical appearance suddenly became the reason for so much emotional pain. With that being said, I feel like the major way that I have struggled to love my body was having to accept that I looked exactly how I was meant to look, that I was perfectly gorgeous, and that no one is the same. My beauty was unique.
2. Why do you think women develop negative relationships with their bodies?
I think that women develop negative relationships with their bodies because one day someone convinced them of the lie that there were rules as to what was considered ugly and beautiful.
Women develop negative feelings because our society doesn't always allow them to appreciate their body.
3. What are a couple ways you've found to overcome negativity in relation to your body?
To overcome negativity in relation to my body I started inspiring other plus size girls that looked mesmerizing. I started saying kind words and phrases to myself which included:
- "Ludgy, you are beautiful."
- "Having curves makes me beautiful."
- "I am pretty inside and outside."
- "I am blessed for being in this body."
- "I am strong."
- " I will inspire other women who may be going a similar situation."
I also practiced self-care by getting massages and other things like facials to make myself feel better.
4. What's one thing you wish would change in the world to help present and future generations of women feel more beautiful in their own skin?
One thing that I would like to change in this world to help present and future generations of women feel more beautiful in their own skin is people's hearts. When a person has a kind heart they also have a beautiful soul allowing them to see everyone in a beautiful light. If I could change people’s hearts the barrier of judgment based on someone's weight would disappear because through a lens of kindness every single person in this world would be able to see the beauty in other people, regardless of their shape, dressing style, taste, or skin color.
5. What do you love most about your body, and why?
In this new stage of my life, I am learning how to pay attention and love every detail of my body. But what I love the most about my body are my eyes, my lips, and my hair. The reason why these are my most loved features is that they represent my ethnicity.
My lips, eyes, and hair are a definition of what a Brazilian woman looks like. Having an identity in my heritage allows me to hold on to my roots, which allows me to understand my natural beauty.
6. How has SMV impacted you?
Sunday Morning View has impacted me in a very amazing way. When I first was contacted by Karlo Gomez I was very happy because I felt that someone had finally noticed beauty in me. SMV helped me open my eyes to my natural beauty, despite my insecurities with my body.
Getting to know SMV has inspired me to keep on searching for the aspects of beauty in me that I had never been able to find in the past. Karlo contacted me and his support allowed me to look at myself and to love me. Being able to see other women going through a similar situation has for sure helped me.
SMV has given me and many women around the world the opportunity to love ourselves and the opportunity to appreciate who we are much more than we have in the past.
I consider this opportunity a reassurance that despite what life throws at me to bring me down, there is a value in me that states that I am beautiful exactly the way I am.
Thanks for your support, Christine! We love you! --- The SMV Team