We are PUMPED to have interviewed @lovingelliesbelly aka Ellie Haines.
We asked her "What beauty means to you" for our blog series. And she gets real answering our questions about why she started her self-love Instagram and what it's all about. What impact her relationships have had on her self-love, and advice for women struggling to love themselves!
She is hilariously honest and open about her daily struggles which many of her followers relate to. We were lucky enough to have her involved in our very first indigo & iris shoot where she applied levitate mascara oh so beautifully to her lashes.
Ellie is so inspiring and motivating to me, I have included some of the captions from her instagram with each photo, to give you a taste of her quality gram - Han
Ellie applying our levitate mascara in our first ever shoot!
What are you all about?
I used to be able to narrow down exactly what my page was about, but now its spread around a huge amount of different topic conversations, we have self-love, mental health, life as a woman, friendships, KFC addiction, sex, comedy, struggles etc etc. So maybe to narrow it down we can say LIFE.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up in a wee town that is no longer on the maps since the earthquakes. Brooklands! Absolute BEST place to spend my childhood, we had a river right behind our house, so would swim in that so much that I started smelling like duck crap. I always had friends over, in-fact me and my two siblings did - was a very busy, fun, loving household. However mum was stingy with food in the pantry… we still give her crap about that to this day!
Ellie embracing the curve. Ellies Caption - “To all the girls that think your fat because you are not a size 0. Your the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” - Marilyn Monroe 🌞
What started your journey with @lovingelliesbelly?
It actually originally started YEARS ago and as Losing Ellies Belly (here I am sounding like I’m 50), but I started Losing Ellie Belly as a weight loss platform to hold myself accountable. I ended up having great results but was OBSESSED with weight loss and the number on the scale. SO, my bf at the time made me delete it. Then 3 years ago, I dumped ...well he actually dumped me on my ass so I created the page again, this time on Facebook & Instagram. It was about weight loss again, before I was going on my big trip to the UK by myself, so I had to get the bod right?
Anyways, many burgers missed later I went to a movie release called ‘Body Image Movement’ and WOW. Me and my mum were balling our eyes out, it is a doco you must see. I got chatting to Tarryn who was the founder of this doco and she was full of wisdom! We then jumped in the car and I said to my mum ‘I’m changing the name. I don’t want it to be Losing Ellies Belly, I want to promote self-love and inspire women of all ages, shapes, sizes so I'm changing it to ‘LOVING ELLIES BELLY'.
I dug into my analytics of my platform and saw my following – 98% women, aged from 10 years old – 60+ - I realised at that point I wanted to be the change, at that stage there weren't many ‘body confidence’ or ‘plus size’ bloggers in NZ so I stripped off my clothes and embraced my body and changed my name to ‘LOVING ELLIES BELLY' and it was the best decision I had made not only for me, but for the women that were following me.
I was constantly talking about losing weight' when it shouldn't be about that at all. So changing my page to 'Loving' was such a powerful change to take. I love to make people laugh, as I have ALWAYS believed its the best medicine, so to be able to make someone laugh is my ultimate goal! ‘I felt that I had to take a step in the right direction, and help guide women (especially young women) who were following me.
So that’s how we got to where we are today, Loving Ellie's Belly now has an amazing online community (hate the word followers) of in total 120,000! My main platform now is Instagram, and that has enough ‘followers to fill the Vector Arena 3 times and nothing makes me more proud to know that I have constantly pushed across self-love and stayed true to myself!
Ellie's first post on her gram.
When you were 15 what did you think you would be doing now?
I changed my mind on what I wanted to be every week when I was younger, I wanted to work in a supermarket, then I wanted to be a flight attendant, then I wanted to be an actor (still do, Shortland Street I’m coming) then I wanted to be a film director then I wanted to work in a Zoo…
I think it’s my star sign... Gemini! We chop and change our minds all the time! And still, to this day, I have no idea about what I want to do as a career!
What does a normal day look like for you?
Lately, I'm watching every Instagrammer show ‘a day in the life of me’ and wow. It's not me hahaha. I hit my snooze about 15 times, roll out of bed, don’t make my bed, have a long shower, clean the Susan, get ready and leave to work, late, every.day. (Brett just said ‘i’m a shocker for that’), do my job, get home, Brett has dinner cooked (he's bloody great like that) and then I have another shower and jump into bed & watch crap t.v!
I’m quite lazy actually… but I absolutely love my life.
Ellie loving life in Queenstown.
Ellies Caption - GOOD MORNING ☀️ Iv been thinking lately, and boy oh boy is late 20’s a hard age. You realise a lot.. you grow. You go from having a huge friend group to realising only a hand full are true friendships, you go from thinking you need all the money and all the materialistic things to be happy only to realise that all you need is good friends, family, being healthy & that makes you richer. Since moving away I have realised so many things, I’m 30 in 3 years, I don’t want to have people in my life who don’t provide me with happiness, who don’t support me, who don’t actually care all just for the sake of having them in my life...."
Tell me about how the relationships (with boys) have affected your life?
When I originally created ‘Loosing Ellies Belly’ I was dating this wank knob at the time, and the one good thing that came from that relationship was him making me delete my website and stop ‘Loosing Ellies elly’. He saw how obsessed I was with losing weight, to the point that I was wishing that I had an eating disorder to lose more weight. Which is disgusting of me to wish that and really sad as this is something that many men and women truly do suffer from.
I truly thought that if I was super skinny, I would be happier so I was trying to make myself sick after I would eat, reading up on eating disorders, screenshots of women’s figures I wanted, would try to get really drunk just so I would vomit.
It was a weird time that I have never actually admitted to, or spoken up about because I'm incredibly embarrassed by my thinking at that time and my level of desperate lengths I would go to JUST to be ‘skinny’.
So, Voldemort made me delete the page. Good on him. Then 2 years later the prick dumped me.
After nearly a year I ended up in another “outstanding” relationship, one that mentally morphed me into what I felt ‘a weak person’. I stopped my health journey and became so manipulated into helping this lost boy and his nasty traits, and completely lost myself.
I started to gain all the weight I had lost back on – because of emotional eating.
Once I finally dumped his sorry ass, I came to realise that at that point, my entire life was ending up in these relationships that were dragging me down, I was falling for people who needed desperate help, I wanted to save them, make them laugh, make them feel better all while they were not making me laugh, they were telling me I will never be good enough and I was the problem.
I truly believed I would never find someone who would just love me for ME. Someone who I didn’t have to walk on eggshells for, someone who encouraged me, uplifted me, laughed with me, inspired me and I could be 100% comfortable with.
I truly believed I would never find that. And that’s when I realised I have been spending so much time focusing and putting all my energy towards ‘loosing weight and getting skinny’ when I needed to just realise no, I am good enough, I am more than enough and I am fucking outstanding!
It comes down to that typical saying that every Tom Dick and Harry say, ‘you must love yourself first before you can love someone else’ and well… Tom Dick and bloody Harry are right!
I started to really love the inner qualities about me, I started to surround myself only with inspiring, fun, beautiful souls who we only ever uplifted eachother. I learnt that I am a freaking good person, with a beautiful heart, and that’s all that should matter – my extra beaf cheek was no longer going to define me.
And allowing myself to set myself free from societies standards opened me up to meeting my handsome hunkaspunk – Brett!
Who I could go into a whole other speech about, he is truly my soul saver, my best friend and an incredible person. I ain't the easiest women to be with but he does freaking well.
What was the happiest moment of your life?
Ohhhhhh this is hard… KIDDING. The day Brett proposed to me! We were living in Queenstown, and he went off to church and rang me saying ‘let’s go on a picnic’ so up I get (as soon as I hear food IM UP) and he picked me up after church, we went & got our favs... The one and only… KFC and drove to a place right on the lakeside, and just as I plonked my tooch on the rock he got his knee dusty, and gave me a card that said ‘How about this Wicki Wing’ (because obvs we got wicki wings from KFC) and asked me to marry him! I was on cloud 9!
What is something you think people don’t know about you?
I have a weird obsession with factories… I am a silent nerd you could say. I love watching documentaries on factories and how things are made. What the heck right?! Also, when I am confused, hungry, talking or thinking I touch my boobs and it’s the worst habit AND I love the movie ‘The Grinch Stole Christmas’.
What is your biggest fear right now?
Losing a loved one. Death scares the crap out of me.
Who or what influences you?
What influences me are the people around me. My partner Brett for taking leaps all the time with businesses, my parents for everything they have and continue to do, my best friends inspire me all in different ways.
In terms of online influencing, I follow a few ladies who I just love and after watching them I get inspired.
Are you excited about 2019? why?
I am! We have just moved back to Christchurch which is my home, we can finally start planning our wedding, I can finally start putting into place some amazing ideas I have and I can just feel it in me waters that this year is going to be great!
What is some advice you have for a woman struggling with self-love?
We sadly have become an image obsessed culture. We all focus so much on the things that we don’t like or we wish to change about our appearance and never spend time focussing on the things you do actually like.
There is nothing wrong with complimenting yourself. If you take a hot selfie, you upload that hot selfie and be frekin proud of that hot selfie.
If you feel hot on a night out – girl you feel hot on that night out and drop it like its hot.
If you are proud of your achievements then you post your achievements out to the world.
If you are proud of anything – you have every single right to boast and we as women, need to start supporting each other more, stop the judgement, stop the comparing, stop the nastiness, and stay in our own lanes.
You are the only person who can make yourself happy and you are the only person who knows what YOU want, what YOU need, what YOU want to do in life.
The problem, is we are focussing too much on how you THINK you look, not how you ACTUALLY look and a sad truth – only 2% of women find themselves beautiful…
The main question I get asked is ‘how do you love yourself’ and to be honest. I still have my days where I struggle, where I stand in front of the mirror complaining & throwing negative comments at myself, days where I make up a lie just because I don’t feel confident enough to go out, days where I just cry because I simply feel ‘fat’, nights where I skull my alcohol back to get wasted because then It takes away any of my emotions towards myself.
But I also have days where I embrace all of that, where I slap myself out of my negative thoughts and think yeah I'm actually not that bad and my tits are mint, days where I put on an outfit and this YASSSS QUEEN and I strut out that door feeling so much confidence.
I have learnt that my body is never going to look the same as what it was when I was freaking 18. Bodies aren’t meant to stay the same! We are supposed to grow and change, things will drop, things will loosen, things will crease but its supposed to happen! We need to stop this ‘ I need to get that body back’, because it aint going to happen!
One thing for sure is we are all in this together. And that is why its so important that we work together to uplift one another, snap our friends out of those negative thoughts, help each other and focus more on having a beautiful heart rather than a beautiful exterior – because that is MUCH more important! We spend so much time focusing on and worrying about our exterior beauty not realising that we are causing so much internal damage!
What does beauty mean to you?
Simplicity. I have never been a fan of intense makeup, I love seeing the beautiful impurities on someone, the beautiful lines, freckles, scars, redness etc I found it all amazing and natural.
I also am a huge person that believes that beauty is truly what is in the inside. You are a beautiful person if you have a beautiful heart.
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