The best body in the business shares what she wish she knew.
To my younger self,
I’m writing this to you from your future -- sending you so much love and endless appreciation for all that you would go on to become and bring to the world. I want you to know, you were perfect all along… exactly who, how, where and when you were always meant to be.
There are many things I want to tell you but I’d like to start with enjoying the simplicity of your childhood. Spend more time basking in that Aussie, feel-good sun (perhaps just be a little more sun-smart than you once were!). Relish the ordinary: those bike rides with your neighbourhood mates, after-school swims by sunset, long days spent with your brother and sisters. You will some day want to go back to those precious, idyllic years growing up at home so treasure their beauty.
When you were a teen model, I know you felt like you needed everyone’s approval… yet it was simply your own that mattered most and would make all the difference. I know I wasn’t very kind to you at times, especially when it came to appreciating our own uniqueness. You felt the pressure to be a certain size, shape and look and this was often challenging and it took that extraordinary persistence you have by nature. I want all young girls, you included, to know that there is no benefit in punishing yourself in your quest for physical perfection.
So many of us ask too much of ourselves. I want you to know, it is safe for you to be your unique self. In fact, it is imperative. It is your strength. And once you lean into that uniqueness, you’ll see your career take off.
I know you notice that physically, your broad shoulders and sporty, athletic look isn’t considered very ‘fashion’ at the time. It‘s difficult to imagine right now that you could ever fit into a world of tiny girls, let alone on a runway. I assure you though that, little do you know, your uniqueness will go on to open more doors for you than you could imagine. That’s going to be almost impossible to believe as you read this, working those part time jobs and aspiring to be a lawyer!
It’s too late now to tell you not to spend hours in the gym honing the perfect body. You wholeheartedly believe then that fitness determines beauty. It will take you decades to realise that it has been from within you all along. And that wellness is the catalyst for real beauty.
I want you to know, you will go on to do things of much greater importance with your body than running that treadmill. You will witness its amazing strength and intelligence through pregnancy, revelling in all the incredible changes your body made to accommodate another life. Giving birth naturally and breastfeeding will birth your realization that the body, in and of itself, is so magical and no amount of training at the gym can ever match the mystery of pregnancy and childbirth.
You will also marvel at your body’s miraculous ability to heal given the right environment; your heart's beautiful knack of expanding when it feels moved and the natural intelligence of body to maintain equilibrium. You will spend your whole life in awe of the workings of your body. It will be your greatest adventure and a never-ending source of fulfilment.
You’ll understand later on, as I do these days, that beauty radiates from the inside. It stems from a natural, innate wellness that unites mind, body and soul, and enables you to do so much. It will take you some years to realise that, and that’s okay because you’ll also learn that good things, like dreams, do take time and persistence. I would have loved you to treat your body and soul like the miracle it is and always was, right from the beginning. You deserved better than all those three-hour sleeps and days spent snacking on coffee.
If aging has taught me one thing it’s confidence. I used to believe I wasn’t good enough. I understand now though and I am always working on being the best version of myself that I can be — physically, emotionally and mentally. Confidence is not only a reward for courage, it’s also a highly attractive quality. It’s another sign of that inner essence shining through; that unquestionable comfort with who you are; that ease; that grace and that inner essence that makes you beautiful -- magnetic even!
Contrary to how you see the world now, you will go on to find out that beauty is not determined by your fitness, or your youth. At 59, I feel more beautiful than ever; seen, loved and alive for all that I am - mind, body and spirit; one beautiful bodily orchestra playing in perfect harmony. Of course, wellness is at the core of this orchestra, as it is at the heart of the remarkable nature of life itself. When I live from this knowing - that I am one interconnected body, made from a trillion atoms – literally, a star – I relax into the ease and magic that exists in the lifelong dance that connects my ecosystem, my surroundings, and nature itself.
This connection to nature will go on to empower, inspire and inform all your relationships in life, some of which – like with your incredible boys -- will go on to become the highlights of your life. You have so much to look forward to.
So sit back younger self and enjoy the journey because I assure you it's going to be worth it.
Elle shares her advice to younger girls in the interview below: