The Deep End with Charlotte Emily
Introducing our new mini-series — The Deep End — where we shine a light on inspiring people in our community and dive deeper into the way they think, live and swim. Meet Charlotte Emily, digital creator and podcaster. Charlotte’s mission is to subvert the idea that self-worth is determined by what you look like, and to help others accept their body as it is — their lifelong home.
By Charlotte Emily, Chelsea Covington, Frankie Glace
Can you tell us about your journey with self and body acceptance and your experience sharing your story online?
My body acceptance journey truly started in lockdown, I had a lot of time to think about my previous toxic habits and my view of my own body. I realised that I spent way too long battling and criticizing myself and that I wanted to make a change for myself, and then in turn share my story with others to make them feel safe in coming closer to themselves.
The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important. So I started to unfollow accounts online that I negatively compared myself to, found accounts that inspired and uplifted me, started making time in my days for self-care activities and nurtured that broken bond with me.
I found journaling has been most helpful in my journey with self-love - and my mental health - it's kept me in tune with my mind so that I can figure out exactly what I need to do to feel on track again. I felt the need to share my progress and realistic journey with others because that's what I wanted to see online - to make people feel good about themselves rather than tearing them down.
You're the host of the podcast, It's Your Life, which 'delves into different walks of life, breaking taboos and unlocking uncomfortable conversations'. Could you tell us a little bit more about this?
Similarly to my acceptance and mental health journey, I wanted to create another platform but instead give my audience a voice. My followers will write in to tell me what they want to discuss or raise awareness for then I'll plan a whole podcast episode centred around that topic.
So far we've raised awareness for breast cancer charities, hidden disabilities, shared stories surrounding grief and loss to help those feel less alone in their struggles, mental wellbeing in schools and a mix of deep/light-hearted conversations.
I thought it was so important to create a safe space for people to come on and talk about their life experiences and connect like-minded people with one another. I hope to keep growing this platform to reach as many people and make them feel enriched, educated and/or connected.
How has thinking about your body as a 'home' helped you with body acceptance?
Thinking about my body as my lifelong home has brought peace and acceptance into my life and body neutrality. I realised that my body isn't the centre of everything I am as a person, and that's helped me steer my focus towards my other amazing qualities aside from my appearance.
In answer to your question, I think visualising my body as my home made me realise that I need to look after it not just physically but verbally too. Talking to myself in a positive way, nurturing myself if I'm having a bad day, letting myself feel the emotions I need to when something happens. Just being less strict with my body so that she can react in a way that she needs, then we can carry on through life together!
What is one thing you would say to your younger self?
I would tell younger Charlotte to treat herself like someone she loves. I'd never criticise or pick apart my loved ones, so why would I do that to myself? The person I'm going to be with for the rest of my life? If I was kinder to myself as a teenager, I feel like I'd be more confident, know my worth and be sure of myself more so now.
Where is your favourite place to swim?
My favourite place I've ever swam has to be this summer in Lake Geneva. The water was so fresh, clean and relaxing. I just felt completely at peace with myself and the world!
What's your favourite Youswim swimsuit?
My favourite product is the Eva One-Piece - I feel like it suits my body shape perfectly and makes me feel super confident whilst I'm on my holidays.