Colombians that motivate you to love yourself

Photo of a woman that proves you to love yourself and to break stereotypes.
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According to the Oxford Dictionary, self-love is “the feeling that your happiness and wishes are important.” Despite this, men, just like women, are still fighting the taboo of their behaviors, beliefs, and decisions that act outside the traditional gender roles in society.

It’s not easy to challenge stereotypes, but society doesn’t change if you don’t start changing yourself first.” Rina Kosovo, activist from UNICEF

Therefore, technology currently affects almost every aspect of our society. This has pushed us to change our mindsets for good. We are aware that our lifestyles, as well as our idiosyncrasies, have changed tremendously, but some traditional gender roles are still rooted in our mentality.

We are more than a gender, a religion, or a profession. We are human beings trying to find our space in the world and finally be happy. Stereotypes have been a part of our society for too long, but it won’t last forever.

Get to know 5 famous Colombian bloggers and influencers that have broken stereotypes in our country:

Adriana Convers

“I named my blog ‘Fat Pandora’ because I’m not afraid of the fat word.”

Adriana was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She is a Publicist specializing in Marketing and Fashion Communications. When she was a kid, she fell in love with fashion and has been ever since. At a young age, she knew that her purpose in life was to love her body first and then to help other women to do the same.

Everything started in 2012 with her blog Fat Pandora. She used the word ‘fat’ in its name because she doesn’t care about that label. She created this space to talk about fashion, beauty, trends, and how she adjusts them to her body.

She grew up in a society where people weren’t allowed to talk about beauty and size, and she realized that wasn’t right. With the help of her father– the person who influenced her background– she started fighting stereotypes around women’s bodies.

She doesn’t pretend to say that being fat is the best, but to Adriana, women with large size bodies shouldn’t hide them or let them be a limitation.  When people don’t accept who they are, they let others decide for them.

Adriana calls herself a ‘fatshionista’, and she’s proud of it. She found a powerful tool in social media, as well as her podcast ‘Talla única” where she breaks stereotypes by promoting self-love, tolerance, and acceptance. She’s conscious of the detractors, but she just sees them as the people who help her stay grounded.

Therefore, she is tremendously happy about her collaboration with Falabella Colombia. It’s a new collection that shows you how to love yourself and to break stereotypes around sizes, especially since they are such a big part of the shopping experience.

 

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Bella Castiblanco

“My story is not the only one, it is also one of many of you.” 

Bella was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She used to be an androgynous model. But since 2020 she has been a proud female dancer and model who doesn’t want to be labeled.

However, she has received a lot of criticism about her decision to walk away and said: “We’re not static, we can change our minds, the most important thing is to recognize ourselves and not fool ourselves.

Because of this, she has been suffering from depression and anxiety.  She didn’t feel that she fit in the environment she grew up in. Nevertheless, all her previous experiences have helped her become the strong woman she is today. Her past has given her the strength to encourage people to love themselves and fight prejudice for the voiceless.

Despite her process of change wasn’t easy, but she admitted that her family and friends were supportive and respectful with her decision. Her new name, Isabella, was chosen because of her mother.

Bella is aware that it’s not an easy task, she recognizes that society needs a change “not only for identities but also for gender equality.”

On the whole, she knows that living in a more tolerant culture, transforming stigmas, educating people, teaching how to love yourself, and becoming conscious are the keys to break stereotypes and change the world into a better one.

Daniella Álvarez

“Today I’m a living example of how adversity doesn’t define us.” 

Daniella was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is a social communicator, model, TV host and was also Miss Colombia in 2011. Furthermore, she’s an entrepreneur and brand owner of a boutique where fashion is her tool to send loving and inclusive messages to people.

Additionally, she has been UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador since 2016 and her message to support this organization and the community is to bring solidarity and love to our children. Daniella has been part of projects such as Somos Paz, Eso es cuento, and programs related to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

In May 2020, her life changed when she lost her left foot as a result of Ischemia (a blockage in the arteries). At the time she thought her career was over. Now, living through this experience has shown her how resilient she can be.

However, not everything has been perfect, but she found the courage and the strength in her family, close friends, and all the support that she has received from people around the world.

Moreover, social media allowed her to share her progress from the time she was operated on, until the moment that she could walk again. She is living proof that just as she said, ‘adversity doesn’t define us.’

Hence, she won’t give up on the new version of herself, not only because she needs it; but also, because she wants to break stereotypes and give hope to people in the same situation.

 

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Juan Carlos Rincón

“You deserve the chance to be better and help other depressed people to have a more bearable life. Remember you’re not alone, resistance creates magic.”

Juan Carlos was born in Cucuta, Colombia. He’s a lawyer with a master’s degree in Law, but he’s currently working as a journalist for a Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

Where he co-founded La Pulla, La Puesverdad, and Las Igualadas, three digital projects about politics, mental health, trends, culture, education, literature, and other topics. He has also participated in a Ted x Talk in which he talks about how the digital world has transformed our societies.

Additionally, his latest project was an illustrated book titled “Depression doesn’t’ exist”. A collaboration with the illustrator Cecilia Ramos Valencia. He decided to write it because of his own experience, as he knew he wasn’t the only one with depression and lack of self-love– a taboo illness. He was diagnosed with depression many years ago, and he realized then that it wasn’t an easy issue to talk about, not even with his relatives.

Hence, the purpose of this book is to break the stigma around depression and anxiety. This book was launched to help people to overcome the disease.

To sum up, he dedicated the project to his loved ones, people with depression, and anyone who wants to learn about it.  The purpose behind this book was to help society to become more tolerant and empathic.  As well as create awareness about the stigma of self-love.

Amalia Andrade

“You always change the love of your life, for another love or another life.”

Amalia was born in Cali, Colombia. She is a writer, journalist, and illustrator who has confessed that her passion for writing started when she was a child. One of her most precious memories is with her mother and uncle going to the national bookstore in her hometown every Sunday.

When it was time to start college, she decided to study literature in Bogotá. From that moment she hasn’t stopped and has written for a variety of different Colombian media.

Her most famous book is “You always change the love of your life (for another love or another life).” In this publication, she talks about how breakups can be hard to handle, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world– it can be the beginning of something good.

Because of this, she demonstrated that indifference is paramount. Amalia has also talked about anxiety; she was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, a condition that she has been learning to deal with.

During the pandemic, she said, “Now I’m surviving. I think I’m using all the tools to learn how to handle the anxiety…Although I think I have lived with it since I was a kid.”

In 2017, she published another book named “Things you think about when you bite your nails.”  There she talks about anxiety and panic attacks, based on her experiences with psychologists and physiatrists. So, people with the same diagnosis can feel identified, and know they are not alone.

To sum up, for Amalia it was important to talk about the taboo and make people feel confident when they speak about this matter.  Of course, her aim was also to break stereotypes and create a consciousness about anxiety.

Every person in this article has something to teach, they have proved that courage, resistance and promote self-love can change the world.

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