Q1) Tell us a little about yourself!
My name Preslava Ivanova and I’m 21 years old. All my life I have struggled with body image and it the ability to love and appreciate myself. These things have affected my confidence and personal life in a negative way.
Q2) Tell us about what you do, and why you do it
I am a business student in the Netherlands. I have always been quite active on social medias. Recently I have began to use then in order promote body positivity and to raise awareness about mental health. As mentioned earlier I have struggled with accepting myself the way I am and it has been a long process for me to reach the mindset of loving and appreciating myself in and out. Knowing how hard it is to achieve that I want to motivate and encourage people to see the beauty and potential that they carry. Last year I fell into severe depression with suicidal thoughts. It was the scariest and hardest period of my life. For a while I didn’t know that I was depressed because there isn’t enough information and awareness in the media about the mental issues that people go through. Many people that I talked to also didn’t understand what I’m going through and I managed to go out of that spiral by myself driven by the beauty and love in the world that I still haven’t but want to see and experience. Because of what I went through and how it affected my life I found an Instagram page called “ Let’s break the shame” where people can share their mental health experience. I shared my story there and later on I decided to contact the girl behind it and we started organizing events where people can come and listen to others who share their mental issues and how they manage to deal with them or have already overcame them. After the first event I had a really positive feedback by some of the people present which made me feel like that’s my purpose. Sharing my experience and helping people deal with their problems. Promoting body positivity, natural beauty and mental health awareness has changed my life and has given so much confidence and I am at the peak of my self love. I will continue sending that message to people and we will continue raising awareness about topics that people are afraid to talk about.
Q3) What makes you feel courageous?
I believe that what makes me courageous is the fact that I can publicly address the things that I stand for with no shame or fear of not being accepted or understood. I can say that I love myself and call myself beautiful even though I’ve been called the most awful names during my life.
Q4) What is one thing you wish you could tell your 16-year-old self?
You are so beautiful, talented and capable. You can conquer the world. Believe in yourself and don’t give up on your dreams.
Q5) What is one piece of advice you can give a fellow lady who might be lacking courage?
If there is something you believe in and stand for make sure everyone hears about it. Make small steps everyday and one day you will notice that the fear is gone.