Danya is a founding member of Fresh Faced Friday, our positive body image and self esteem campaign happening on the 2nd September. Recently Danya was interviewed by The Girl Campaign (www.thegirlcampaign.com) about FFF.
Why did you decide to get on board with FFF?
The idea of Fresh Faced Friday is so simple, but it can have such a huge impact. My first experience with FFF was in 2013, before it really got going as a national project. I went to my job as a waitress without any make up on for the first time in four years of working there. I was terrified, and thought it would be really obvious, especially considering it was a Friday night and we would be busy with customers dressed up to go out. But not one single person noticed. It made me realise that the way I saw myself was completely different to the way others saw me. While I looked in the mirror and saw pimples and crooked teeth, others just saw me, exactly the same way they had for the past four years. I realised how distorted my view of myself had become, and just that one night made me so much more confident.
People brush off body image as being unimportant, and a problem that only affects teenage girls, but it is so much more than that. Having confidence in the way you look translates into being confident about who you are, and what you can achieve. Poor body image leads to poor self-worth which can affect your confidence to express yourself, to try new things and to reach for your goals. It can also cause severe physical and psychological disorders such as anorexia, depression and even suicide. Body image isn’t just a problem for teenage girls, it affects our entire population, and when we’re questioning being able to put ourselves out there due to the way we look, we’re holding ourselves back from so many opportunities.
If you could offer advice to the young people of today (or your younger self) what would it be?
Being beautiful isn’t about having clear skin or perfectly shaped eyebrows. It’s about being confident enough to stand up for yourself and those you believe in, being kind and compassionate, and having drive to work had and achieve your goals. That, not your appearance, is what makes you attractive.
What is your favourite quote?
‘Don’t try to change the world, find something that you love and do it every day, and eventually the world will change’ (Macklemore)