In what might be the most literal interpretation of "shedding baggage," full-sized British model and single mother Olivia Campbell stripped down to her bra and underwear during an emotional interview for Stylelikeu‘s "What’s Underneath Project," a documentary series in which women simultaneously expose their truths and bodies on camera.
"For me, fat’s not a bad thing," Campbell insists during her progressively naked – and at times, tearful – interview. "I am fat. Like, I am fat," she says, patting her thighs and opening her jacket as if trying to prove her point. "It’s just a descriptive word."
But Campbell wasn’t always as comfortable identifying herself as such. "For years, it was possibly the worst thing you could say to me," she says, remembering the boy she crushed on at age 11, who would mercilessly call her a buffalo.
Having dropped out of school at age 15 to protect herself from the sexual and emotional abuse that went on there, Campbell credits the most difficult time in her life – when both her mom and her stepmother were simultaneously diagnosed with cancer – for helping her gain perspective, battle depression, and finally accept every inch of herself. "These people don’t affect me now," she says, breaking down. "But I cried for years, and years I spent thinking I was worthless and useless. Words are powerful, powerful things, as are actions."
Proudly armed with newfound confidence, the model has no interest in losing weight to conform to societal standards, she explains as she takes off her clothes. "I probably would [be able to change my body] if I worked out for 13 hours a day and ate celery," she said. "But I have a life, I’m a mum, I’ve got things to do."
Now Campbell embraces what she sees in the mirror she once avoided. "I walk in front of the mirror naked and I’m like, damn," she says.
"I’m happy with my body, I’m happy with my madness," she concludes.