As part of our We Are Sisterhood initiative, we're shining a spotlight on the women behind some of the most remarkable ventures; the businesses and passion projects championing everything from sustainable fashion to social activism, with one thing in common – they have someone identifying as female at the helm.
Having worked as a successful fashion, beauty and showbiz journalist for many years, Alex Light knows the body image pressures women face only too well. But it was her own battle with an eating disorder that prompted her to switch up the conversation via her Instagram channel @alexlight_ldn. Soon her candid posts and powerful images on anti-diet culture and body confidence saw her following soar – and rightly so.
Not content with simply talking about the industry's lack of representation, Alex recently decided to actively do something about it, too, with the launch of her very own swimwear line last month. Aiming to cater to sizes 6-30 and women of all body shapes, Light LDN has already received praise from fashion industry stalwarts and influencers alike.
Here, Alex opens up to Sarah about her work...
Where did the idea for your incredibly successful Instagram channel, and newly launched swimwear line Light LDN, come from?
As I was going through recovery from an eating disorder, I started to share glimpses of my journey on Instagram. This allowed me to connect with women all over the world who had been through or were going through something similar and I began to build a supportive community from there.
My aim is to make women feel better in their own skin. I have spent so much of my life feeling trapped by my own body issues and I want to free other women of theirs – because life is too short to not live it because of how we look!
Swimwear has always been difficult for women – especially because of society's narratives around being 'beach-ready' and having a 'summer body'. And it has always been difficult for women over a size 16 to have access to good-fitting, stylish swimwear. So Light LDN was born out of my desire to cater to every body, shape and size and make women feel good.
Which women have inspired you along the way?
Iskra Lawrence was one of the first women who inspired me to open up about what I was going through as was Sarah of The Birds Papaya. These women were so unapologetically themselves, and publicly embraced the features that society considers to be 'flaws' – it was so liberating to discover.
What are your top tips for other females dreaming of starting their own venture?
Persist. I have a very 'all or nothing' mindset - which I am constantly fighting against! - so when I don't see immediate success, I typically consider it to be a failure... But it's not.
Good things take time to build, nurture and thrive - and often takes years of laying foundations to see any tangible success. But if you are genuinely passionate about something, keep at it and persist.
We absolutely love your body confidence ethos but do you ever have days when you don't feel brilliant? If so, how do you turn them around?
I think everyone has bad body image days. I definitely have them, but less so nowadays and I know exactly how to pick myself up. Exercise is key - moving my body and doing something that reminds me of what my body can DO, rather than how it looks, is massively helpful. I also take a good scroll on Instagram because I have filled my feed with women who exude body confidence no matter their shape and size and it uplifts me.
Interviewed by: Sarah, Co-Founder, By Sarah London.
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