Pictures Brianna Barry took on self timer during lockdown, we are using them for our woman of the month article

Woman of the Month: Brianna Barry

With this month’s theme being self-acceptance, I could think of no one better to feature as our woman of the month other than the lovely Miss Brianna Barry.

 

Brianna is an Instagram goddess and student nurse from Limerick who centres her brand around body positivity, mental health awareness and self-acceptance. I was so lucky to have had the chance to interact with her as we discussed her journey to self-acceptance and her advice for those struggling to accept themselves.

Pictures Brianna Barry took on self timer during lockdown, we are using them for our woman of the month article Photo by Brianna Barry (bribblogs)

Feeling self-conscious is something many of us can relate to. Brianna is no exception to that. Brianna recalls first feeling self-conscious at age seven, when her aunt from Brazil stated that boys don’t like girls who are too skinny. As she began to grow up and hit puberty, these feelings only became stronger. 

 

As Brianna reached thirteen, she began to struggle with her eating habits. Brianna so kindly shared her memories of barely eating during school. A bread roll was her only source of nutrition for the whole day. 

 

When she moved to America at 14, she gained weight rapidly. Her grandmother blamed it on the processed American food while Brianna began to count her calories and steal her friend’s sister’s diet pills. Her weight continued to fluctuate along with her eating habits as she got older and moved back to Ireland.

 

Her journey to self-acceptance began at age 18. Being on antidepressants and birth control made her rapidly gain weight again. Brianna took this as her wakeup call to realise she was worth more than what she looked like and began embracing the qualities that make her unique instead of trying to hate them away.

 

Brianna recently started in college, choosing to study Nursing in Trinity College Dublin. This isn’t the first time Brianna has started college. She began Nursing in the University of Limerick when she was fresh out of secondary school, but realised she wasn’t ready to take on the workload of college and chose to go into the workforce instead. She spoke about how she felt as she hadn’t accomplished anything, 

 

“It really hit hard when all my friends graduated and I was still behind my reception desk working in a job I hated feeling like I’d missed out on an important milestone.”

 

Since going back to college this year, Brianna has become more focused, and allowed herself to not care about being older and being in first year. She’s thriving in her studies and is enjoying everything overall.

Pictures Brianna Barry took on self timer during lockdown, we are using them for our woman of the month article Photo by Brianna Barry (bribblogs)

Brianna has over ten thousand followers on her Instagram account. Often, having a larger Instagram following can lead to a lot of negative comments which can cast a damaging light on the way someone may see themselves. Brianna is no exception to feeling the strain of the negative Instagram comments. 

 

“I’m my own worst enemy and harshest critic,” she said. “I try to stay positive and self-aware but it can be hard.”

 

Having a large following on social media can lead to many opportunities. Brianna created her own opportunity with her good friend Reece Creed and created a podcast called ‘The Confidence Cast.’ The pair have also hosted ‘The Confidence Class’ events together, promoting self-acceptance and self-confidence. 

 

“We held ‘The Confidence Class’ because we wanted to host a safe space for people to share life experiences and to inspire others.”

 

Brianna advises anyone who struggles with body image and self-acceptance to, “Accept your individuality step one. Once you accept who you are, start picking things you do like about yourself. Explore them, embrace them, be proud of them.”

 

Everyone’s journey to self-acceptance is different. No two people will walk the same path but we all one day will end up at the same destination, self-love and self-acceptance.

 

Brianna continuously reminds her followers that their worth is not determined by the size of their clothes or what others think. She instils love and acceptance into the hearts of her followers and always offers up her wonderful advice to anyone who needs it through her question boxes.

Pictures Brianna Barry took on self timer during lockdown, we are using them for our woman of the month article. Photo by Brianna Barry

"Remember, comparison is the thief of joy and your worth has nothing to do with how you look. Only your worth can be determined by you.”