(This interview was conducted in Portuguese.)
“#MyStory is about loving yourself, your heritage and your body. It’s about survival and having the freedom to be who you are.” —Mayara Efe (@mayaraefe), a body-positivity activist and plus-sized model from São Paulo, Brazil.
“For years, I suffered from depression. As a black, curvy and gay woman, I didn’t fit into any of society’s boxes. I tried to fit in. I tried to lose weight, and every month I tried to straighten my hair. Then, when I still didn’t feel like my life had any great possibilities, I tried suicide. During my recovery from depression, I discovered feminism and realized that I could do anything, regardless of my skin color or weight. I started to post photos that my grandmother would take of me. People began sharing these images, saying I was photogenic and recommending me for modeling jobs. This is how I became a plus-sized model.
I don’t want other girls or women to have to go through the same thing I did in order to learn to love themselves. I learned the hard way that the only way to be happy is to hold your head up high and have the maximum amount of love and respect for yourself.”