That elusive ideal of being ‘perfect’ is like a finish line that keeps moving further and further away, and is somehow always just out of reach. Ugh. One liberated lady we love and look up to is the inimitable Abbie Chatfield. From squillions of onlookers passing judgement on her appearance, opinions and TV persona, Abbie has had a difficult (but very important) awakening on what it means to embrace oneself. We sat down with the unapologetically honest, candid, and quick witted renegade herself to discuss society’s pressure to be perfect, body image, and periods.
It takes only a few minutes of trawling through Abbie’s h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s yet cleverly quippy and open TikTok reel, Instagram feed or podcast to feel a sense of relief. Like a beautiful breath of fresh air, Abbie champions the women who follow her to embrace their femininity in all of its weird, wild and wonderful ways. Maybe it’s rehearsing the WAP dance to a bunch of remixes in hotel quarantine, or sharing footage of her outgrown leg hair (mood) to promote some realism in this highly aspirational social media landscape we’re all navigating.
The confidence you exude is empowering, have you always been this comfortable in your own skin?
“Absolutely not! I still regularly struggle with different insecurities I have – whether they are physical, emotional or mental – but I have grown to love myself more in recent years.”
“I think it’s near impossible to be 100% comfortable with yourself at all times, but true confidence comes from the knowledge that you are not your flaws, your mistakes or your insecurities and that they can co-exist with a valuable human who is constantly growing and learning.”
At Libra, we’re all about so-longing the limitations to living your best life. What does being liberated from society’s pressure to be perfect mean to you?
“Being able to be liberated from the pressure to be perfect is something we should all strive towards. I believe if we were able to break free from shame, stigma and pressure, we will not only live happier lives individually, but also be able to inspire others to do the same. A huge reason why I try to not let shame change how I live my life is because I have learnt that being courageous and being liberated allows others to do the same.”
Periods are normal, natural and a part of life. What has been your relationship with your cycle?
“My cycle is pretty good. I am very lucky in that respect, but I do have the usual feelings of nausea and the “period poos”. It’s this insane time where you feel exhausted, cranky, sad and out of control emotionally. When I first got my period I was in year 5, so I was 10 years old, and I was too ashamed to tell mum! It’s so funny looking back, because there was no reason to feel shame, but it was such a taboo topic that I felt inherent shame and confusion. Periods are natural. And if you have a uterus they are here to stay. So, the more we speak about them, the better.”
It’s one thing to deal with our own personal, private, intimate insecurities, but how do you deal with online trolls, who want to stop you from doing you?
“Ugh! It is so hard. Trolling is constant when you’re in the position that I’m in. If it isn’t a nasty Instagram DM, it’s a mean Daily Mail article written about me or even a message on my personal Facebook page (someone even messaged me on LinkedIn once!). I think the main thing I have had to realise is that it is impossible for me to please everyone. There are certain topics people shy away from, usually trying to shame me into silence. When that happens, I know that it is a projection, and I am making someone feel uncomfortable because they are dealing with their own internalised shame. It does get to me some days, and it certainly becomes exhausting, but I think the good now outweighs the bad, and that’s what keeps me going.”
What are the best and worst parts about putting yourself on social media?
“Oh, I could list a million positives and negatives. Overall, the sheer accessibility is simultaneously the best and worst thing about being on social media. I would say the best thing is the community that it can create, both as an influencer and a follower. I feel like being able to post stories and have followers interact with me in a DM brings me so much joy, and constantly forces me to develop my own ideas and grow. The worst part is definitely the trolls. While the ability to interact on a personal level can be great, having strangers DM you their opinions on every aspect of your life is painful. Most of the time these people don’t mean harm, but bring unsolicited advice that makes you feel you’re not good enough. Clearly the outright abuse is awful, but increasingly rare (thankfully).”
On days where you don’t feel as confident, how do you build yourself up?
“I’m sure if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I often put on a favourite song like Jolene by Dolly Parton or Malibu by Miley Cyrus and have a dance. I live alone so this happens more often than I would like to admit. I also call my friends and family to have a chat with them about their lives. I find talking about other people is refreshing when your job is to talk about yourself. It makes me feel supported and loved to have such an amazing group of people around me who bring me back to earth!”
What advice do you have for others on breaking free from society’s pressure to be perfect?
“Just do whatever you want to do (as long as you aren’t harming anyone). There are so many things that I have missed out on because of being too nervous about how others would perceive me, and at the end of the day, all I was risking was temporary negative feelings in exchange for long term freedom.
What do you think needs to happen to change society’s idea of what is perfect?
“The best way to change society’s idea of “perfection” is through representation and through breaking down stigmas and “taboo” topics that usually come with shame. I think the idea of perfect can vary from person to person, but the current “perfect” idea comes from a place of privilege. We have a long way to go in terms of representation when it comes to races, body shapes, levels of ability, neurodiversity, gender fluidity and everything in between.”
If you’re anything like us and relentlessly refresh Abbie’s TikTok page for new uploads, virtual real-talk and god-tier creative content, you’ll be wanting to know what’s next for the comedic #Queen.
“I feel like I am constantly working on something new at the moment! I have my podcast, It’s a lot with Abbie Chatfield so that will continue, but I also have a new podcast coming out with Jessica Brody called Over Doing It To ‘Em, which is more of a chatty best friend podcast!”
We hope this exclusive chat with Abbie has left you feeling like you’ve just had a big hug from a bestie. Remember that when it comes to dealing with society’s pressure to be perfect, you’re not alone. The more we have these gritty conversations with the incredible people we look up to, the more we realise they’re juggling the same pressures, periods and internal predicaments as us. Now, that’s liberating.
Love, Libra x
Anything else? Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.