I love Marina Diamandis. Seriously, I LOVE her. She’s one of those people who isn’t afraid to be different, and not in the Lady Gaga sort of way. Everything from her fashion sense to the way she is so honest with the media to her lyrics with song titles like “Bubblegum Bitch”. Not often a fan of modern pop, I was skeptical when a friend of mine told me to check out her band Marina and the Diamonds, but the tunes are catchy and ring of female empowerment, and her interview with Glamour rings of body and self-image empowerment as well. This curvy and busty but slender punk-chic beauty is all for taking control of your appearance — looking how you want to look, dressing how you want to dress and simply being who you want to be…actually, that sounds simple but we all know it’s really not.
Back in April, Marina told Glamour that she has become self-assured, trusting her instincts and representing her own ideas. This is something I think we all struggle with, and I know as a plus-size woman it’s often difficult to come out and say “I love my body this way.” People just assume if you’re bigger you are unhappy with your body, that you MUST want to lose weight. Speaking about your ideals when you know so many around you are against them is never easy, so it’s always encouraging and hopeful to see someone who does so proudly.
Though Marina focused her most recent album on love and what we all think that four-letter word is supposed to be, she also questioned identity and thought about body image whilst producing it. “I changed my look so radically,” she said. “I was interested in the power of image – it’s what pop stars are built on. And how weak that image simultaneously is. For example, you take it all off when you go to bed at night.” It’s interesting, that. I don’t think it’s just pop stars who are built on image — I think sadly a ton of people judge others based on aesthetics and apparel. We all know that to be true, and I myself am guilty of it constantly. But like she said, all it takes to create an image is to change what you’re wearing, and almost just as easily you can remove it and be someone totally different. It seems to be, though, that her message is that we should judge people by their stripped down selves — by who they are before bed, when the makeup comes off and the clothes are thrown to the ground. Clothes don’t make a person (as much as I may love my dresses), makeup certainly doesn’t (as much as I find amusement in experimenting with different shades of lipstick) and body type doesn’t either (as much as I tend to automatically love curvy women). You’ve all heard it before…judging a book by its cover doesn’t ever work out. So why would we allow ourselves to be judged by our covers in turn?
The final piece of Marina’s interview that really hit home for me was her take on how our perceptions of ourselves change when we are around people who disapprove of us. “I think when you’re with the wrong person in a relationship, you start to see yourself differently,” she said. “I felt very ugly when I was with a certain person because he made me feel ugly inside. He wouldn’t even touch me in public. And when I look back at those photos I feel like kind of sad because I looked just fine.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed friends and relatives either become exceedingly self-conscious when they’re with a significant other or a friend or a relative who makes them feel inadequate, ugly or useless. I can’t tell you how many times the opposite happens, and you see someone in an amazing relationship whose confidence and self-worth skyrockets from being around someone supportive and loving. This is why when it comes down to it, your self-worth and aesthetic confidence should come from you. From knowing what you have to offer — from knowing you are beautiful and thus becoming bold — from being yourself and feeling pride in that fact.
I’m lucky. I have friends who tell me I am beautiful every day. My boyfriend is one of the most loving people I’ve ever known, and consistently showers me with compliments. But at the end of the day, as much as I love my friends or my family or my boyfriend…I love myself too. And self-love, like the darling Marina says, makes all the difference…starting with making YOU feel way better about…well, everything.