Thursday Thunder: Marianne Nykjaer

Marianne Nykjaer - interview

‘You will never be able to love your body as long as you cringe at the thought of looking at it’

It’s Thursday again, so you know what that means: time for some thunder! There are so many inspiring women out there and this is my way of celebrating them – and asking them all about their body confidence. This weeks Thunder comes from student, model and blogger Marianne Nykjaer (26). She’s from Belgium – give me waffles please!!- and absolutely gorgeous. And she got some pretty damn good advice for us too!

“I have not always been body positive. Especially growing up, I was so incredibly insecure and desperately wanted nothing but to fit in, to the point where I would try and alter parts of my personality and appearance just to be more like the popular girls- which ofcourse didn’t work. Then in my early twenties, I went through this phase where I was learning to be body positive towards myself but judged other people, and their bodies, very harshly, which ofcourse isn’t body positive at all.”

‘Anyone who lives their life unapologetically, without compromise, and isn’t afraid to chase their dreams is a role model to me’

“Now, I think I can say I’ve reached that awesome fuzzy place where I’m fairly confident about myself, don’t judge others and try and get other women to that level too. I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of interesting people in my journey as a model and a blogger who had far more open minds than me, and I learned so much from them. Anyone who lives their life unapologetically, without compromise, and isn’t afraid to chase their dreams is a role model to me.”

Marianne Nykjaer Photo: Fanny Van Poppel

‘Spend time looking at all sorts of bodies, and learn to see the beauty in them’

“It’s important not to hide from your body, or other people’s bodies, for that matter. Ever noticed how you tend to avoid the things that make you insecure? How you don’t look in the mirror in ‘unflattering’ angles at the store, how you only like seeing yourself in the selfies you took but not in that unexpectedly-taken group photo? How you have probably put yourself on a social-media diet where you only ever see ‘perfect’ bodies? Don’t. These things add to your insecurity. Spend time looking at all sorts of bodies, and learn to see the beauty in them. Confront yourself with your own body: walk around in your underwear doing chores, look at yourself in that 3D mirror at the store. After all, this is what you look like to other people. Sleep naked, put body lotion all over yourself and don’t skim over those wobbly bits, wear clothes that show off your body instead of hiding it. At one point, I was rope skipping in my underwear in front of a mirror every day and loving it. You will never be able to love your body as long as you cringe at the thought of looking at it.”

Marianne Nykjaer Photo: Felicia Van Ham

‘True confidence means that you are working on building people up, yourself included’

“Seeing people make nasty comments about other people’s bodies used to make me angry, but now it just makes me sad. Only when you have no confidence in yourself, do you feel the need to bring down others just so you can feel you are above them. True confidence means that you are working on building people up, yourself included. It also means not comparing yourself to others, because their achievements are no threat to you: there is room for all of us to be happy. I’m with Nicki Minaj on this one: ‘True confidence leaves no room for jealousy. When you know you are great, there is no room for hate.’”

Marianne Nykjaer Photo: Felicia Van Ham

‘You can try to find flattering sex positions, but your partner knows what you look like. He, or she, has seen the belly roll and how you jiggle. And still loves and wants you’

“The best body confidence advice someone ever gave me, is this: People know what you look like. It’s so ridiculously simple, but it’s true. Most of the behavior we do when we try and hide something we’re insecure about. We avoid mirrors, only take selfies from certain angles, delete ‘unflattering’ pictures, cover up body parts. We do out of this weird notion that, if we don’t do it, then people will ‘know’ and judge. But you can delete that unflattering picture taken at the party all you want, your friends know what you look like. They have seen you dancing and moving. They have seen you from the side and from the back and bending over. And they still love you and want to hang out with you. You can try to find flattering sex positions, but your partner knows what you look like. He, or she, has seen the belly roll and how you jiggle. And still loves and wants you. So don’t bother with that kind of behavior, it really is a waste of time and energy. I felt an overwhelming relief once I realized this. When I first met my boyfriend we went on holiday, and I refused to get out of the pool before him. I always wanted to walk behind him in my bathing suit, so he wouldn’t see my cellulite and that super-unflattering angle of staring-up-a-butt-from-below. I have literally wasted hours and hours on that vacation constantly trying to avoid and alter situations where he would see me from certain angles, when I should have been just laughing and having a good time and enjoying his company. Then I would have also noticed how much he was enjoying mine, and how much he didn’t care about unflattering cellulite angles.”

Marianne Nykjaer Photo: Marieke Penne

‘I put on a cool outfit, go out and fake it until I make it’

“On the days I feel a bit down there a two options: I either accept that it’s simply not my day, put on a pair of old sweatpants and watch old episodes of ‘Friends’ while eating a bowl of cereal, whine a bit and go to bed early because I know things will be better tomorrow, or I put on a cool outfit, go out and fake it until I make it. While there is nothing wrong with option 1 -we all have those days, and that’s fine- I can highly recommend trying option 2 every once in a while. It’s funny how faking that a day is awesome will sometimes lead to a truly awesome day!”

Marianne Nykjaer Photo: Felicia Van Ham

‘I remind myself on a regular basis that I am good enough’

“Looking at myself I can say that I’m definitely a happy girl! I have a dark and broody side too, but overall you’ll see me going through life with kindness and a smile. It really doesn’t matter how beautiful or successful you are if you treat people like crap. I want to look in the mirror and always see that girl who sees the good in people and beauty in the small things. People will feel threatened when you’re happy, they’ll try and take it away from you. I try and remind myself on a regular basis that I am good enough. I am good enough, I am good enough, I am good enough: I repeat it until I believe it. And as a logical afterthought, that means I have the right to be happy and to do what I want to in life, and no one can take that away from me.”

Want to see more from Marianne? Check out her personal blog and follow her on Instagram for more awesome images!

Opening image: Arno Nieuwhof

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  1. Pingback: Interview – bodylove & confidence as thursday’s thunder | Marianne Nykjaer

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