We talked to #phylydawoman Luciana about
the beginning of her successful blog "Lu zieht an"
and body positivity. Get inspired!
Photos of Luciana | Photography: Julia-Marie Werner
So many women do not feel at ease because of the shatteringly unattainable beauty standards that are imposed on us. - How do you gather confidence, what makes you feel confident? Being myself makes me feel confident. Knowing that I’m unique and special just by being me and existing. We all should think like that and stop focussing on fulfilling some idiotic standard created by our society. Why do we want to look like somebody else instead of embrace our own self? Think about that.
When and where do you feel most at ease in a swimsuit? At the beach, of course. :)
You are an activist for body positivity: what piece of advice would you like to give to your daughter, sisters, female friends to help them surmount insecurities about their physique if you could only give one? Life is not about the size in your clothes. Life offers so much diversity in every category it has. Not only body diversity. We should cherish the life we have and stop using it to change in a senseless way. Of course, health is the most important thing we have and we need to take care of that and yes, there are some extremes that we need to avoid in order to live a healthy and long life, but focussing on being something a human being can’t be because it’s photoshop is stupid. It’s okay to be fat, it’s okay to be skinny, it’s okay to be tall, it’s okay to be short, it’s okay to be white, it’s okay to be black, it’s okay to be disabled, it’s okay to be EVERYTHING.
You are one of the protagonists of our body positivity shoot with Julia Werner in Hamburg, what’s your takeaway from that experience, what made you decide to pose in swimwear for unretouched images next to other women? I’ve always been a huge fan of unretouched images and also post them on my blog completely unretouched, because the world needs to see more of them. It’s unbelievable how our vision of beauty has become completely unrealistic. Of course, skinny women aren’t unrealistic, but the media make us think that we need to be a photoshopped version of a doll and this is so wrong. Our photo shoot was amazing because we were such different women and yet all of us were beautiful in our own way. It’s about time that we realize that there is no “beauty standard” because beauty means diversity.
How can we help young women grow up with less body image pressures? We focus too much on our appearance. We compliment looks and bodies, not the person’s talents and character. Young women need to know that we are not defined through our looks but what we do. Our actions matter, not how skinny or fat I am. If we finally get through tot he younger generations and make them accept themselves, in the future, we’ll hopefully achieve a change in our perceptions of beauty.
Phylyda celebrates diversity & body positivity: What does your physical difference signify to you? (age, youth, weight, proportion in comparison to common beauty standards) What is beauty to you? Well, I’m a lot different when you try to compare myself to the common beauty standards - I’m pretty short (1,60 m), I’m fat, I’m very white, my proportions are kind of funny because my hips are very large while my bust is pretty small,... But this makes me unique, it makes me Luciana and who I am. This is me. Beauty for me is accepting yourself and showing it to the world. When you accept yourself and embrace yourself fully, you’ll be amazed of all the wonderful things that happen. An you’ll glow. Beauty is being yourself. And being a loving person, someone who accepts and tolerates others instead of making them feel bad.
You are the successful blogger of “Lu zieht an”, a wife, a model and I must say a rolemodel for thousands of women worldwide: can you tell us what moved you to start “Lu zieht an” when practically nobody else was doing inspirational high-end plus-size fashion blogging and what challenges you experienced? Thank you! Well, when I started blogging, plus-size blogs didn’t exist per se. I just wanted to show my outfits because I felt like it’s fun and it still is. Throughout the years, I felt like showing that being plus-size doesn’t mean you need to hide. And that you can still find high-end clothing if you’re willing to spend a little more and feel like it matches your style. I’ve always been a very experimental person, I love to play with fashion and try new things, even if most people think it’s not cool. I really don’t care. I think that fashion’s supposed to be fun and that it gives you the chance to re-create yourself every day, be the person you want to be. Expressing myself through fashion is something I really love to do and I really hope that my confidence, creativity and curiosity inspires others. Back in time, when I wasn’t even a “real” plus-size blogger, people already hated me for all that. They called me fat in many hurtful and offensive ways, they wrote about me in forums, laughed about me, told me that I’m wearing clothes in too small sizes, told me that I’m disgusting and even told me I should kill myself. In the beginning, I really asked myself why these people are saying such mean things because I was just being myself and I couldn’t understand why they would hate me so much. But I quickly understood that this is the internet - there will always be haters and it’s up to me to ignore them. And that’s what I did. I don’t care about them.
Is there a woman who has made a difference in your life and what’s the story behind that? To be honest, not really. I actually try to be my own role model. This might sound a bit conceited but I feel like this actually challenges me to always be a good person.