To her 1.2 million Instagram followers, bikini model Sjana Earp is totally at peace with her body. Posing in endless bikinis and showing off her mind-blowing yoga moves, the Aussie blogger has no problem showing off her amazing figure.
But that hasn’t always been the case. In a post titled “The truth about body confidence” on her SMYLE blog, the model admits how she battled for years against body insecurities.
“I have the exact same body size, shape, and weight [from when I was] 18yo as I do now at 22yo – but I have COMPLETELY different confidence levels. At 18 I was insecure, self conscious, self critical and negative towards my body. I would exercise to punish myself, not to love myself,” Sjana revealed.
“I was SO deeply concerned about what others thought of me, and based not only my self confidence but also my overall VALUE purely on my appearance.”
Sjana, who has modeled for brands including Nike, Myer and David Jones, as well as walked at Fashion Week in Sydney confesses the focus on her looks left her feeling empty and alone.
“I used to show off my body, seek attention and words of affirmations around my body, because that is what I thought gave me value and worth,” she wrote. “Ultimately, it just made me completely miserable, self-critical and feel incredibly empty.”
It’s not the first time the 22-year-old has talked candidly about her struggles with mental illness.
In 2015, the model revealed how a battle with depression that saw her label herself “pathetic, worthless and useless” every single day resulted in her being treated as an inpatient at a Sydney specialist psychiatric hospital.
“It was not until woke up in hospital one morning… that I decided I did not want that dark life for myself. I wanted to LIVE not simply survive,” she wrote in an article for news.com.au.
“I wanted see the world through clear lenses of reality. I wanted to touch, taste, smell and hear the world around me. I wanted to absorb everything. I wanted to be HAPPY AGAIN.”
Now, Sjana's in a much better place and she wants to use her platform to help other women feel the same.
My body hasn’t changed, but my mindset has. Now, I respect and love my body," she writes. "I keep myself active because it makes both my body AND my mind feel good. I speak well of myself to myself. And don’t allow others to speak negatively of me either."