Our Founder Jess shares her ideas on body positivity and why she launched the #EteLove campaign. Read below for more of Jess' personal story.
What does Body Positivity mean to you?
Body positivity to me is about embracing all your unique traits on a deeper level including; emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.
It’s about knowing that the way you look doesn’t define your worth. We need to begin focusing more on the things we love about ourselves rather than nit picking at the things we don’t, because there is a whole lot to love about yourself and spreading this to others. You will never look like someone else and that’s because you are YOU and that is what makes you pretty darn special!
On Valentines Day, we are launching a whole month of Love… yourself. But for me this will continue well on beyond this month but we want you to come with us on this journey and challenge yourself over the next 4 weeks to question your current beliefs and push your limits.
Why is this message so important to you as a designer of swimwear?
I wanted to use the platform I have with Ete Swimwear to inspire girls. One of my goals is to be a great role model for girls all around the world. Especially when swimwear is one of the most revealing things someone can wear, insecurities do play on our minds! I want to really focus on making everyone feel amazing and embracing their uniqueness, because it is something that should be celebrated.
When someone can be 100% confident and happy with themselves, amazing things begin to happen and you can see the ripple effect as it flows on into their work, relationships and life goals. I know shopping for a swimsuit can be stresssful, and I want to take the anxiety away from shopping and wearing swimwear to become something girls are excited about. We are currently working on new sizing, cuts and shapes so we have something that will make every girl feel amazing, comfortable and confident.
Have you had any personal struggles about body/ appearance?
When you think about body positivity, the first thing most people think of is weight and size but for me, my biggest insecurity has always been my skin. I have suffered with acne for as long as I can remember and it has been a massive journey for me over the 10+ years. I would spend hours every morning in front of the mirror trying to make my skin look “acceptable to leave the house”. Some days I didn’t even want to leave the house so would cancel plans and opt to stay in instead. I hate that this insecurity has meant I missed out on those days of my life, days I can never get back.
I have always eaten healthy and lived a healthy lifestyle. I had been to doctors, naturopaths, dermatologists, hormone specialists, and nothing seemed to be wrong or out of balance. On paper everything seemed great but I still had a face full of pimples and nothing worked! That’s the thing with genetics, you can’t change them, but I can manage it the best way I can and I certainly can try to manage the way I react and feel towards it.
How do you feel your best?
It’s so important to remember to listen to what your body needs, whether that be meditation, certain foods, a workout or a catch up with friends. Don't let your skin, size, colour or any other insecurities ever hold you back from what you want to do in life. You are all beautiful in your unique way and that is what makes us so special.
What was the inspiration behind starting Ete Swimwear?
When I began Ete Swimwear, I was just 22 and uninspired by my job and needed something more. I have always had a strong connection to the beach and the ocean, and noticed a lot of brands were moving toward athleisure and a more minimalist aesthetics which just wasn’t me, so I set out to create designs that were not only comfortable, but beautiful. With feminine prints, boho details and pretty colours, Ete Swimwear was born! We are made for the Feminine Adventurers of the world.
I decided that my brand HAD to inspire other girls to be happy, explore and push themselves to live their best lives. And I am proud of where we have come from in just 2 years, but I wanted to take it one step further and really start to focus on self love and helping girls all over the world be happier with their unique capabilities, beauty and life in general.
What is something you hope girls and women can take away from the campaign?
The number one thing I truly hope for is that I can make people happy. Happiness to me, is the key to life and when people are happy they can achieve anything. For me, this message goes well beyond size, shape and looks, I want it to extend into every part of their lives where they can feel more positive, confident and inspired to achieve amazing things. My hope is that if we can just impact one girl’s life or perception of herself, we have done our job.
Beyond the campaign we are also donating 100% of profits from the shirts sold to charities that support girls suffering from negative body image and eating disorders. But I hope that through our campaign, we can bring more awareness to the topic and help prevent this from happening in the first place.
How important is it to 'love yourself' in today's social media world?
Social media has the ability to inspire, empower and ignite, but it can also be the source of insecurity and self-doubt. It is so important to pay attention to the accounts you follow and ask yourself “do they provide me value?” “do they make me feel good?” if the answer is no, then you need to unfollow these accounts.
We take this responsibility really seriously at Ete, and we aim to support and nurture our amazing community and show them that their potential is limitless!
This isn’t just applicable to social media but life in general. You should surround yourself with people who make you feel amazing and that you can make feel amazing too, because that’s what we hope we can do through this campaign.
When women support women, amazing things happen.
For more #EteLove stories read our Q&A with Ariella Nyssa
To help support the Positive Body Image movement, we are donating 100% of Profits from the sale of our Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful T-Shirts to the Butterfly Foundation and ProjectHEAL - Shop the T-Shirts here (as worn by Jess)