Ask any woman if she is happy with how she looks and more likely than not she will give you a list of her perceived flaws and hang ups, so it’s refreshing to meet a woman who accepts herself exactly as she is.
Grace Victory is a popular and award-winning vlogger (Ugly Face Of Beauty) and TV Presenter (Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets). Hailed as the ‘Internet’s Big Sister’ probably due to her unapologetic manner and willingness to discuss difficult topics like sexuality, body positive image and mental health, She talks about most of this and more in her candid new book, No Filter published by Headline.
We recently caught up with Grace to find out more about the process of writing the book, representation and much more.
Melan Magazine: We’re loving your book. It’s beautifully written. How much support did you have in writing it?
Grace Victory: I’m glad you’re enjoying it! It’s about my life and could only be written by me, but where I am experienced in writing posts for my blog, writing a book is a very different process so I had support from my publishers who helped me make sense of articulating my story. My therapist was also a massive help in working through the difficult chapters with me.
Autobiographers often say the process of telling their story was cathartic. Would you say the same?
Absolutely. It was so therapeutic to put my thoughts and experiences on paper. However, at times though it was emotionally draining reliving some parts of my life.
You are a role model for many. Do you find that to be a heavy burden?
I get asked this quite a lot and I assume people think it is a tough burden to carry, but I try to think of myself more of a real model than a role model. I also own up to my mistakes and I think people appreciate that.
How would you describe your relationship with your body?
Better than it was when I was a teen that’s for sure! Body confidence comes and it goes. I have had an eating disorder for most of my life and I’m still in the process of recovery, but I try and love my body at every stage of my journey, and I am so excited to love my body when it is at its healthy, happy weight.
Representation is important. Do you think the media industry is getting better or worse in this regard?
I actually recently spoke about this in a blog post and feel really passionate about it. I think the lack of diversity and representation is getting better, but its not fast enough or good enough for the age we live in. We need to see more diverse people across the board – especially in blogging. The majority of bloggers getting opportunities look the same and I’d like to see more WOC and marginalized bodies being given the same chances.
We’ve seen you in a few TV programmes and documentaries. Any more plans in the pipeline?
I am absolutely gunning for a prime-time documentary on either sex trafficking or binge eating disorders. TV stuff takes so long to process so give me a couple of years to get there!
As a body image campaigner, what’s your relationship with London Fashion Week, which is just around the corner?
I’ve been twice and I didn’t really enjoy. Big girls aren’t really celebrated and I personally felt quite out of place. As a lover of fashion, I would love to go more often I just don’t find the body types displayed relatable.
How do you find time to fit it all in?
I don’t! I often fail to upload regularly and my flat can sometimes be a bit of a tip, but that is real life for you. I have a great team behind me but I like to do a lot of things myself. I would definitely be open to having an intern to help me out.
You’re the internet’s big sister. Who do you turn to when you need advice, support?
This may sound strange, but I often look inside myself for support. I have had the strength to get through tough times in the past so I call on that and utilize it. We are all stronger than we think, and usually our gut instinct has told us what we know already. I am not afraid to lean on loved ones and my therapist too.
What’s your daily beauty regime?
I love skincare! I use the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleanser, Charlotte Tilbury Moisturiser and then Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my lashes and brows. That is my routine EVERY single night.
What’s your favourite store for fashion?
ASOS. ASOS is my life!
Have you ever been star struck?
I like to think I keep my cool when meeting celebrities but I think if I met Rihanna I would completely lose it.
Do you have a phrase or mantra that gets you through tough times?
‘You may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust I’ll rise’.