The world has been in somewhat of a rut within the past two years, with the global pandemic seeing people turn recluse and lose some happiness within them. However, model and advocate for body positivity, mental health and other causes, Hayley Hasselhoff still sees the beauty in our world.

Hayley Hasselhoff

Hayley Hasselhoff

We got the amazing opportunity to speak with Hayley for a second time, the first being about her Playboy experience being the first ever plus size model to grace the magazine’s cover; this time we discussed mental health ahead of World Mental Health Day, which is today (Sunday 10th October, 2021).

Hayley, as well as being famed actor David Hasselhoff’s daughter, is a fighter for body positivity and a positive mental attitude; she chats with us about how she looks after her mental health, and how society has become more inclusive yet still has a fair way to go in terms of acceptance.

“I’ve always been a body activist...” begins Hayley as she explains that, despite the love we try to give our bodies, “you can have good body days and you can have those bad body days, and that’s okay!”

When asked about how body positivity and mental health go together, Hayley spoke in such an uplifting tone and told us that “Our body image and our relationship with it has got to grow and evolve with it,” strongly inferring that a love for our bodies leads to a happier mind-set.

Hayley went on to say that “I know for myself, over the past two years, it’s been unbelievably freeing for me to say to everyone ‘actually, what I want people to understand I’m working on... is people being able to find strength in their vulnerability.’”

“Working on your body image, or working on your mental health...” states Hayley, “is not just a thing that clicks; it’s a daily practice.”

When asked what daily activity would be beneficial to others in order to boost their mental health, Hayley replied “Why don’t we talk about the three Ms... that’s mindfulness, movement, and mental engagement.”

“Mindfulness is about being able to feel grounded in the day you have ahead of you,” Hayley explains to us, “movement is just about getting the blood circulating... and then mental engagement... is about validating yourself in a place where you feel passionate... heard.”

Hayley went on to say that we should all try to “connect your body to your soul”, because in doing so, it’s easier to “wake up in the morning and go straight to getting to work.”

“Validating yourself,” Hayley said when discussing the power we all have within us, “on a daily basis in a very small, or big way, I think allows you to start to gain your power back.” This, in turn, paves the way for us to begin to love ourselves the right way, a way that will let us know we are heard and loved.

“I think affirmations are beautiful, beautiful things...” Hayley replied when asked what manifestations and affirmations can do for our mental health. “The way I look at affirmations is being able to... gain that power back...”

“I started a new practice of being able to write five affirmations in the morning “, says Hayley, “or say them.” Both things the model and body positivity activist claims help her to be more of herself, and be happier with who that person is.

In regard to how she uses affirmations, Hayley told us that they help her in “making myself feel secure in moments where I might have a flare up; so, say I’m going to do a live show and I’m getting nervous... I try bat that away with ‘I am’. ‘I am loved, I am beauty, I know I’m worthy of where I am.”

The model has achieved so much in recent years, and her pride for herself is incredibly motivational, as basking in your success is such an important and necessary thing for us all to do in order for us, like Hayley, to be at one with the things we’ve accomplished.

Many of us adore the world of crystals, as we believe they can better our quality of life. It seems that Hayley is also one for the healing properties they hold, “I’ve travelled around the world with different crystals, so I’d have a rose quartz crystal or an amethyst crystal...

“I would put affirmations in my crystals,” explained Hayley, as she stated that having something such as this with you can help some of us manifest the feelings we need.

Essentially, Hayley believes that manifestations and affirmations are “super, super important.”

When asked about how, in recent years, society has become more accepting of body types, disabilities, mental health concerns and so on, Hayley shared her thoughts that society has changed in a “beautiful, beautiful way.”

“...seeing curves on the catwalk,” Hayley stated was a wonderful thing for her (and us) to see, but “there is still a little bit of a way to go... it shouldn’t necessarily be a conversation we have to have, but we do.”

Hayley recognises the different inclusivity around the world with the “amazing strides we have made”, focusing on the UK and the “multiple different covers that have come out... different projects that really highlight the beauty about being naked, about being you.”

Hayley spoke with such raw, unmatched passion, and it was evident from not only this interview, but from her years of campaigning and work towards body positivity; her impact was felt on all of us.

Hayley went on to say that she can tell society has changed because women are “being able to be represented in the beauty that they already are, without having to be defined...” which is pivotal for everyone to love themselves the way they are.

The Playboy model then began to discuss how the fashion industry has empowered her to “feel comfortable and confident in my skin.”

“I want them,” explained Hayley when talking about curvy women such as herself, “to celebrate themselves with a good outfit on.” To Hayley, having a small collection of outfits you feel good in is essential, as the clothes you wear can be a beautiful way to both express yourself, and make yourself feel good.

Despite society becoming more of an accepting place, Hayley knows we still have a way to go before bigger changes happen. We asked her what she thinks society could do to move this along; she replied with “To simply put it: open the conversation.”

“Have the conversation with your friend, your peers, with your family, a stranger!” implored Hayley, who believes that without communication, things are less likely to change.

“When you start to open the conversation”, she lovingly explained, “that’s the best thing you can do.”

Hayley passionately stated that if we can “fearlessly speak to our friends and our family about how we’re actually feeling, I think the closer we will be to a society starting to recognise and understand that there’s so much more strength in being able to come forth in your story.”

“You can struggle and still succeed,” stated Hayley, something that resonated with us here at Female First. Our struggles, in fact, do not define us, and we can both battle hardship and adversity while living our best lives and accomplish things daily.

Quite simply, when discussing how she looks after her own mental health, Hayley said that “Meditation is my way of really connecting...” As an avid lover of crystals and a believer in their power, Hayley claims that having a deep connection with yourself can really motivate you to deal with the day or events that lie on front of you.

Essentially, Hayley Hasselhoff’s loving, caring advice to us all, is to “Connect your body to your soul.” In doing so, we will feel better within ourselves, and society can continue its journey of acceptance, love and strength.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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