Julianna Mazzei, who goes by Jewelz, hasn’t stepped on the scales for year.
She refuses to lose weight. She has no issues with posing in a bikini on a beach. She feels sexy and she loves her body.
So basically, she’s managed to shut out all the pressure to lose weight and look a certain way, and be entirely body confident. We could all learn from her.
Jewelz hasn’t always been body confident, mind you.
When she was younger she was regularly on the receiving end of nasty songs and name-calling, and was even dumped because of her size.
‘I hated school,’ says Jewelz. ‘There were so many times where I skipped school, the bullying was so bad.
‘I can give you probably a whole dictionary of names. Fatty, tub of lard, whale.’
It wasn’t until she hit 23 that Jewelz discovered body positivity online and began to love her body instead of being ashamed of it.
‘When people are making snarky comments about you behind your back or under their breath it’s harder to stand up for yourself and say what needs to be said, that’s one of the reasons why I got my “F*** Your Beauty Standards” tattooed,’ she explains.
‘Until I was 23 years old, I hated myself. Through finding inspiration online, and coming to terms with who I am and what I need to do, I knew I needed to start accepting who I was.
‘I knew I was good in the inside but I felt who I was on the inside didn’t make up for what I looked on the outside.
‘I got there and I found self-love. And being confident is the greatest gift that I have been given.
‘To be a bigger girl and then be thin and then be unhappy it was kind of a wake up call for me and I realised that being thin isn’t going to make me happy.’
Jewelz stopped worrying about what she wasn’t ‘allowed’ to wear, and started wearing whatever she fancied. She wasn’t covering up her body anymore, but celebrating it.
With that came a vow to stop obsessing over her weight. Jewelz refuses to step on the scales or measure herself, and wants to reassure everyone that she’s perfectly healthy, so her weight doesn’t matter.
‘Since I found body positivity I haven’t stepped on a scale,’ Jewels notes. ‘A scale doesn’t define who you are and it doesn’t define your health what so ever so.
‘I definitely think that I live an active lifestyle and I think that that’s the term that people should definitely use.
‘I’ve never had a doctor tell me to that I have to change my diet or that I need to lose weight. I’ve had a doctor tell me that I was fat for sure but they were never immediately like, well you need to lose weight like your health is at risk.
‘You’re not automatically unhealthy being a bigger person and you’re not automatically healthy being a thinner person.
‘Even if you were unhealthy you’re still entitled to self love. People need to remember that.’
Discovering body positivity completely changed the way she treated her body – and she wanted to help others do the same.
So Jewelz started sharing photos of herself on Instagram, along with inspiring messages about self-love.
She now has thousands of followers who thank her for motivating them to start loving their bodies and stop worrying about dress sizes.
‘I feel sexy in my body and I feel like everybody should,’ says Jewelz.
‘There is nothing like feeling beautiful but the main reason I do it is to remind women that they can feel beautiful to that you don’t always need to see one standard size in model modelling for lingerie or for cars.’
A big part of Jewelz’ mission is to reclaim the word ‘fat’, taking it back as a positive word instead of one flung around as an insult.
‘I definitely think that we have to reclaim the word ‘fat’ as positive,’ she says. ‘As a negative word for so many years, it is about time we take it back, and realise that it is not a bad word, it is not a bad thing and it shouldn’t be shaded in a negative way.
‘I realise that hash-tagging and coming up with word or phrase was super important, people would see it and they would catch on to it. It would give them hope to see somebody just living a positive life and being happy. That’s why hash tagging is important.
‘My two biggest hashtags are #BigandBlunt and #IGot99ProblemsButMyFatAintOne.’