This anti-bullying activist co-founded Canadian Curvies and has a powerful message for her 8-year-old self.

Catherine’s powerful message speaks to all of us who have been bullied as children and/or adults. As a co-founder of Canadian Curvies, her aim is to reach those who are still suffering from the affects of bullying.

Instagram: @hourglasscath

Meet @hourglasscath.

Cath is a curvy model with @bnmmodels and a full time advertising account director. She’s a confident, stylish and loving person but she hasn’t always felt this way. Having grown up with serious bullying throughout her young adulthood, Catherine was profoundly impacted by the verbal abuse she was subjected to. This is why she co-founded the #CanadianCurvies – she wanted to make a positive impact on how women see their bodies and share her journey of body positivity.

Here’s what she wanted to share with you, in her own words:

Love yourself. Life is too short not to love your body and the person you are… I wasted years of my life beating myself up. I wish I’d loved myself enough in those years to forgive and love myself. It still hurts today to talk about it – that you can hate yourself so much that you can punish yourself for decades… that from the age of a child, who shouldn’t have a care in the world, that I was acutely aware that my body wasn’t ‘normal’ and that I needed to change… it’s heart-breaking, it’s wrong.

Every day I mentally hug that 8-year old Catherine; I tell her she was and is perfect the way she was and is now. That she never deserved to hate herself and didn’t deserve that torture. She was worth the world then and she is worth the world now. It sounds like the simplest thing, loving yourself but it is not something we are taught – and for plus size women/men, it is something we have to teach ourselves amidst constant criticism.

So if I can leave one message with you, it’s that loving yourself will be the best gift you can give to yourself and anyone connected to you. Accepting your body allows you to focus your energy on positive things, and allows your heart the room to love freely. It will change your life, so start today because you don’t deserve anything less. This is what #CanadianCurvies means to me, and I hope it will inspire you to love yourself today.

On finding her self confidence: 

“Ever since I fell in love with my body, I’ve felt the need to share my story with others to empower them to see the beauty in who they are… just as they are. Life is too short to be spent hating yourself, when there is so much to love and embrace. In this love, we can achieve things we never thought possible and take back control of our confidence… making us unstoppable.”

Goals for Canadian Curvies:

“We’ve seen an underrepresentation of Canadians in the North American plus size industry, and felt strongly about creating a group to give a voice to Canadian Curvies and bring more awareness to the amazing talent that we have here in Canada.”

Pushing through, against all odds: 

“I’ve never gotten anywhere by people being nice to me. Simply put, I’ve thrived off the shit people gave me, like a flower blooming in manure. I pushed aside all the hate and the judgment, and I fought for me… I fought to preserve who I was and what I deserved out of life – and that was to love myself and to be free to have my body look as I liked it.”

You can follow Catherine on Instagram here and see more about the Canadian Curvies here.