Iskra Lawrence shares side-by-side photos of herself before and after weight gain: 'We are all so much more than our bodies'

·2 min read

Iskra Lawrence wants you to know you're more than the number on the scale. 

The British model and body acceptance activist took to Instagram Tuesday to share side-by-side photos of herself in 2015 and 2021. Lawrence, who gave birth to her first child last year, used the photos to talk about how our bodies don't tell the whole story of our full lives.

"When all we see is weight gain we negate all the life we’ve lived," she began her caption. "As a society we perpetuate an obsession with physical appearance by judging one another and commenting on weight change. I’ve had hundreds of comments over the years about the size of my body — especially postpartum. So when I look in the mirror and see weight gain I choose instead to see all the other things I’ve gained from living life."

Lawrence, who is an eating disorder survivor and is a National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ambassador, added that not being "consumed" by the thought of weight gain has allowed her to thrive. On the second slide in her Instagram post, she offered non-image-based compliments people could give one another as encouragement instead of focusing on one’s physical appearance.

"We are all so much more than our bodies," she continued. "As you go through life cherish all the moments you collect that make you who you are today."

Lawrence's message resonated with her followers. One wrote, "You're one of the biggest influences in my life and I'm so thankful for you. To see the things we gained in life instead of seeing the weight we're gaining or weight we can't lose is so so so important." Another shared, "Powerful words of honesty that speak volumes. Thank you for this post." 

Lawrence, whose TedX talk "Ending the Pursuit of Perfection" now has more than 1 million views on YouTube, previously spoke to Yahoo Life about how self-acceptance is an ongoing journey.

“When you talk about being recovered from an eating disorder and you post these photos of you in a bikini looking confident and happy, I think people assume or hope that that's it, she was fixed. It's all perfect now. It's all happy," she explained. "And of course that isn't the reality and that wouldn't be human. So I think what I've learned is the more I share that things aren't always perfect, that's helped me because that illusion of perfection has robbed me from a lot in my teenage years and as a woman. It's robbed me by comparing my life, my size, so many things to others who obviously I can't be, and I'm not meant to be."

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