Lucy

Lucy.

11-07-2020Vicki McLeod

Lucy Ireland, owner of Bikini Beach Boutique and Spa in Palma has launched a campaign to ask the international women of Majorca to participate in a body positive project aimed at celebrating every inch of our bodies, curvy or not. I interviewed Lucy and some of her Real Women to ask them about what it means to them.

Vicki: Why did you start the Real Women of Mallorca campaign?
Lucy: I started it because over a matter of days I got two lots of very negative feedback on social media about the fact I was promoting size zero and that my marketing was inappropriate due to the fact the lady was a size zero. First off she was not a zero. None of my brands actually make a zero or if they did I would never purchase them. Secondly I have absolutely no say whatsoever on who my brands use to model their products. As influential as I may think I am, I am actually really not. Thirdly this specific woman really went below the belt and implied my 3 beautiful daughters would suffer in their lives because of me promoting size zero. The irony of it was, I had already started the Real Women of Mallorca campaign just 3 days prior to these comments, so I did not start the campaign because of this woman but was already doing it. If she’d taken the moment to look she would have seen we had already approached the subject full guns blazing. So I started the campaign not as a response to someone but as a necessity to shout from the rooftops we are the Real Women of Mallorca, hear us roar. We are mothers, godmothers, business women, students, daughters, grandmothers, cancer survivors, fighters: heroines.

Q: What is a “Real Woman” to you?
A: A real woman to me is every single woman who exists, those who are confident, those with anxiety, thin, cuddly, dippy, intelligent, outgoing, introverted, ambitious, kind, mother’s, special aunties, grandmothers, godmothers, every single woman on this planet to me is a real woman including the size zero models who seem to get such a hard time when all they are doing is their job. We are all real women and should embrace it.

Q: Do you personally feel any pressure from external sources about how you should look? What are they?
A: I personally don’t feel too many external pressures, it’s mainly internal about how I feel I should look. But yes for others there are external pressures, apparently it takes 9 months to look normal after having a baby, and the rest! More like you’re never going to look the same again and if you do it will take a lot more than nine months

Q: Has your opinion of your body changed throughout your life? In what ways have you changed? And why have you changed?
A: When I was about 17 I loved my body, but in my early twenties, after coming through an abusive relationship I was the opposite, I hated my body and the skin I was in. That didn’t last long though and from the age of 21 I was with my now husband who has helped me to feel good about myself and my body. Now I’ve had 3 children. I love my body more than I ever have. This body has done wondrous things I could never ever have imagined 10 years ago.

Q: What would you like to say to other women who might not be so happy in their own skin?
A: Please, please don’t be. One day you will wake up and wonder why you didn’t enjoy every single moment just because you were worried about what you might look like. Throw off the towel, take off your beach cover and run into the sea. You are beautiful. Embrace it. Because you are a Real Woman of Mallorca.

Amanda

Q: What is a “Real Woman” to you?
A: A real Woman in her power does not even need to define herself because she knows it in her own presence.

Q: Do you personally feel any pressure from external sources about how you should look? What are they?
A: Women’s perceptions have been and are changing to the greater understanding that we are made equal. If not even more powerful since we are ultimately creators.

Q: Has your opinion of your body changed throughout your life? In what ways have you changed? And why have you changed?
A: A deeper understanding of the power in your body in your youth is only truly understood later in life. with age and maturity it is possible to see this beauty with much more clarity and appreciation. If only one could have this wisdom at an earlier age.

Q: How did it feel to submit a photo to the Real Women campaign?
A: My first Instinct was that I am going to do this in support of independent business women amongst our community. But with great initial reticence it is interesting to observe how powerful it is when someone asks you to do this, and the reflection and the insight you have of yourself and your own resistance.

Q: What would you like to say to other women who might not be so happy in their own skin?
A: My body is a temple and if I don’t honour it as a temple, I will never be content or satisfied in my body. Take time to know and honour yourself.

Sheree

Q: What is a “Real Woman” to you?
A: A real woman to me is someone that embraces themselves as they are. They show up as themselves unapologetically, despite other people’s expectations.

Q: Do you personally feel any pressure from external sources about how you should look? What are they?
A: Even though I’ve done so much work on not caring what others think, sometimes the thought of society’s expectations creep in. As an online business coach I sometimes feel that I should always be showing up looking and acting serious and professional all the time. The fact of the matter is I’d take having fun over being serious any day and still get the job done! Sometimes I feel like I should be dressing a certain way as well, in suits etc. but that’s not me and I’ve learnt to embrace my style as I know my ideal client wouldn’t be attracted to someone in suits or formal attire anyway.

Q: Has your opinion of your body changed throughout your life? In what ways have you changed? And why have you changed?
A: I used to be obsessed with my weight growing up: getting called fat in primary school a few times didn’t really install the best body image of myself. About six years ago I actually went on my own health and wellness journey, I not only lost weight but also started getting into the world of personal development. The combination of losing weight and working on myself changed the perception that I had of myself and the way I felt in my own skin for the better.

Q: How did it feel to submit a photo to the Real Women campaign?
A: It made me feel happy and confident, I never would’ve done that 6 years ago so it was an amazing feeling to send in without hesitation.

Q: What would you like to say to other women who might not be so happy in their own skin?
A: What I’ve learnt over the years and has worked for me personally has been working on my mindset/ personal development. That’s what’s changed my confidence most around being comfortable in my own skin. It’s about how we feel as women, not how we look.

Kate

Q: What is a “Real Woman” to you?
A: Someone who shows strength and empathy. Someone who can look at their flaws as an opportunity to learn and grow. Somebody who listens: this one took me nearly 40 years to learn! I am a strong, intelligent, adventurous, emotional and an excitable woman and I am proud of it. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I am proud to know “me” and I am confident to follow my own intuition. A “Real Woman” is someone that can love, be loved and be a positive influence on those around them.

Q: Do you personally feel any pressure from external sources about how you should look? What are they?
A: Most definitely I feel pressure, mainly from myself. I bought a pair of designer pants 12 years ago and I have never been able to wear them. They are currently on a boat from Australia to Spain with my most loved positions. Silly I know. I feel the pressure to stay slim, stay young and stay energetic. I have learnt as I have aged that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. One of my favourite things about living in Europe is watching proud, curvy and topless women strutting their stuff at the beach. It reminds me that confidence is much more sexy than being skinny and wrinkle free.

Q: Has your opinion of your body changed throughout your life? In what ways have you changed? And why have you changed?
A: A little part of my heart still wishes that I could wear “anything” as I did in my 20’s and 30’s. My body has changed a lot, I was thin without trying for most of my life and now I am sexy and curvy. My body started to change in my mid 30’s, belly, bum, boobs, they all decided to “join the party”! It’s taken me a while to accept my new figure however I now love it. I focus more on my health and mental wellbeing rather than what I look like now which makes me a much happier person.

Q: How did it feel to submit a photo to the Real Women campaign?
A: Sending it felt embarrassing however when I saw my photo on social media amongst so many other gorgeous and diverse women, I felt proud. Initially, I joined the campaign because it had been years since I bought myself a beautiful, high quality bikini which I loved and let’s be honest, I wanted the chance to win a facial! I now feel something much more meaningful, I feel grateful to part of a campaign that is showing women that anyone can strut down the beach with pride and confidence, no matter what you look like.

Q: What would you like to say to other women who might not be so happy in their own skin?
A: You are gorgeous inside and out, own it!

Sue

Q: What is a “Real Woman” to you?
A: I believe a real woman is someone who is just happy being herself and doesn’t feel the need to behave, dress or look a certain way

Q: Do you personally feel any pressure from external sources about how you should look? What are they?
A: Not any more! Of course I can be influenced by images I see in magazines or on social media but not pressured. Sadly I think this is not the case for many young girls, in the age of Instagram etc it must be very difficult for teenagers to not feel pressured to look a certain way when they are constantly bombarded by (heavily filtered) images of what appear to be “perfect people”. This must be particularly hard for those with low self esteem.

Q: Has your opinion of your body changed throughout your life? In what ways have you changed? And why have you changed?
A: Yes my opinion has changed. As a teenager I was extremely self conscious as I was so much taller than the other girls (and most of the boys too!). Even in my 20’s and 30’s I was still very self critical about the way I looked. Now I am over 50 I feel comfortable with my body, yes I wouldn’t mind having my 20 year old one back but not if that means depriving myself of the things I enjoy. With everything this year has thrown at us all it is more important than ever to enjoy life, live for today, eat the cake and drink the wine!

Q: How did it feel to submit a photo to the Real Women campaign?
A: I thought it was a fantastic idea for people to share their photos, The Bikini Boutique has some beautiful beachwear and it is great to see it being showcased in this way.

Q: What would you like to say to other women who might not be so happy in their own skin?
A: Be realistic - don’t expect it to be possible to look like an 18 year old Victoria’s Secret model! Make the most of what you have because the chances are you will look back in 10 years and wish you could turn back time.

If you would like to participate in the campaign and submit a photo of yourself then follow Bikini Beach Boutique either on Instagram or Facebook for more information about how to join in or call Bikini Beach on 871 577 836.

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