On International Women's Day 2018, we speak to Felicity Hayward, founder of #SelfLoveBringsBeauty and outspoken advocate of body positivity and diversity, to get her thoughts on nurturing the next generation and forging a healthy relationship with yourself

If you could give 12-year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?

Your body is about to change and it might not look like everyone else’s, or like girls in magazines. But, believe me, one day it will be your power and strength.

What would she think of the woman you have become?

I think she would have been so incredibly proud. She would have laughed at some of the silly mistakes I've made with men, but felt empowered by what I have achieved, being the size I am, in the fashion industry.

You’ve achieved so much already! If you had to pick one thing you’re most proud of, what would it be?

Career-wise, being in the latest L’Oreal Hair campaign, because of my hair, not because of my size. Do you know how incredible that feels? That’s equality.

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Can you tell us about Self Love Brings Beauty?

Self Love Brings Beauty is a hashtag, a movement and a body confidence brand I started in my best friend's bedroom back in 2015.

I believe the perfect body does not exist, and you have to aspire to be the best version of yourself, not someone else.

Over the last few years we have done DIY fashion workshops, collaborated with charities, talks with River Island, and spoke at Beautycon to name a few. We have some exciting projects coming this year, which we can’t wait to share with the world.

Why did you decide to create Self Love Brings Beauty?

In 2015, I was sick and tired of being asked about my weight and health in interviews, rather than the subject in line. I believed if that interviewer had self love within themselves they wouldn’t have targeted me with their own insecurities.

I also have a younger sister who I wanted to make sure understood her body was perfect just as it is. That was my initial inspiration, even if I could just influence one young mind into appreciating her beauty.

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Why is it so important that women support other women?

We are such powerful creatures, we literally give life to the world! Imagine how we could rise against sexism if we all stood with each other.

What can we do to make sure we raise the next generation to have a healthy relationship with themselves?

Make sure you show a healthy balance of everything on social media. I make sure I promote the unedited pictures as much as the campaigns which have been retouched. It’s so important to not feed young people an unrealistic body image. If you have a position of influence, don’t lie to people.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

I’m looking forward to more diversity in the media, fashion and the advertising world. It’s been happening at a slow pace, but I think this year, it’s going to really kick off!

You can follow Felicity on Instagram: @felicityhayward and Twitter: @FelicityHayward