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We chat with body positive activist Marciel Hopkins

We chat with body positive activist Marciel Hopkins

Discover how body positive activist Marciel Hopkins conquered her self-esteem issues and now inspires others to love themselves.

We are all our own worst critic. It’s so easy to point out our flaws without realising that our quirks make us who we are. Europe’s leading model agency MOT Models has recently signed Marciel Hopkins to their Curves Division. Marciel is all about being body positive, which is why she spreads this message far and wide as a body positive activist. She has over 55k followers on Instagram and was a finalist in Miss South Africa 2016. On top of her impressive modelling credentials, Marciel also works as a life coach. Adopting the right mindset can help you overcome your insecurities and recognise your inner and outer beauty. We chatted to Marciel about the impact of social media, banishing your inner demons and surrounding yourself with positive influences.

You have an amazing following on social media. In your experience as an influencer, what would you say is your most and least favourite thing about social media?

My most favourite thing about social media is that it enables me to reach so many people across borders and from different continents. I am grateful for this platform from where I can inspire and encourage people on a daily basis.

My least favourite part of social media is the impersonal side to it. You can’t see someone’s eyes or facial expression when they read a post or look at a picture. I wish there could be more real life interactions through social media platforms.

Why do you believe that so many people struggle with self-esteem issues? 

We’re so used to seeing perfect images of men and women in the media from a very young age. We are brainwashed to believe that cellulite and stretch marks are something to be ashamed of. The beauty and fashion industry bills off our insecurities that they have created in the first place. Girls struggle with low self-esteem because there is a lack of positive (role) models that represent more body and beauty diversity.

As a body positive activist, what do you believe is the first step people can take towards building their confidence? 

Clear up your social media platforms! Unfollow all the pages and people that make you feel unworthy. You have control over what you feed your mind with. It makes a big impact on the way you think about yourself.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem issues? How did you overcome them? 

Yes, I was always the bigger friend in higher school. I was so insecure about the cellulite on my upper thighs that I didn’t want to go to athletics practise anymore. I have overcome most of my self-esteem issues, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle every now and then.

Comparison is the biggest thief of joy. The first step to overcoming body insecurities is to stop comparing yourself to others and to focus on your own health and happiness.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your work as a life coach? 

Seeing clients transform in front of my eyes. It’s magical to see people start believing in themselves and their dreams again. I am absolutely in love with being a life coach!

Who do you look up to as positive role models in your life? 

Tanya van Graan is a South African model and actress who’s an amazing mentor and role model in my life. She’s my go-to person when I have any questions or concerns about the industry.

On Instagram I love following Ashley Graham, Chrissy Teigen and Iskra Lawrence.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. What do you think is the key to finding balance between having fun and being healthy?

Do things that are maintainable for your lifestyle! Find a form of exercise that works for you and your weekly routine. I don’t like running, so I prefer to do spinning or weight training. I don’t like tomatoes, so I find other healthy options like broccoli or carrots that work for me. Too many people force themselves to do and eat things that they don’t like.

What’s your ultimate sweet or savoury treat? 

I die for a moist piece of carrot cake!

What’s your favourite form of exercise? 

I love spinning!

What’s your go-to inspirational motto when you need a bit of a boost? 

‘My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me, and that which misses me was never meant for me’ – Imam al-Shafi’i

For more…

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Nutrition for everything you need to know about making healthy choices every day.

Yogi Julie Montagu knows just the thing to get you going in the morning. Check out her tips for waking up happy.