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'Don't look for happiness in abs or a b***'

By Rediff Get Ahead Bureau
Last updated on: January 16, 2019 10:16 IST
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'If you use me as inspiration to motivate yourself to keep fit and healthy than sweet!
'But please never aim to look like me -- we can't all look like each other, aim to be the best you, not me,' says Stephanie Claire Smith.

Melbourne-based Stephanie Claire Smith is a model and fitness influencer with 1.3 mn followers on Instagram.

Steph joined Instagram so she could document her fitness journey and share her struggles, anxieties and inspire others.

A few months ago, the model who has covered for magazines like Women's Health stopped using Facetune, an app that models use to cover their flaws.

'I went through the stage of using apps like Facetune years ago and it was damaging to myself, let alone people who follow me. So I stopped,' Steph, 25 told Daily Mail Australia.

Check out some of the inspiring messages from her Instagram.

Stephanie Claire Smith

IMAGE: Steph is a model and fashion entrepreneur. She is co-founder Soda Shades, Midnight Co and co-author of A Girls Guide to Kicking Goals which is also a fitness app.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Stephanie Claire Smith/Instagram

Stephanie Claire Smith

In January 2019, a follower sent her a message requesting her to stop posting photographs of her abs.
Steph shared this picture and explained why she would continue doing what she was.
'I apologise if I ever offend anyone with these types of posts or stories but I am incredibly happy in my skin and I have always been one to confidently flaunt it. Call me c***y but I call it proud and happy. Believe it or not but my abs use to be an insecurity of mine in my younger years... I thought they always made me look like a boy and now I love how strong they make me look. I will always continue to also post and show you times where I'm not feeling it too! Never bring someone down when they're feeling good.'

Stephanie Claire Smith

The successful bikini model isn't afraid to talk about her insecurities and body issues, but is very clear that people shouldn't ape her blindly.
Sharing this picture, she wrote 'I'll tell you what I have in my favor... genetics, a tan, 5 pm sunlight and a nice filter. I'll tell you what else gets me there though, hard work, consistency and I listen to my body. I know when to push harder and when to settle a bit, I know when to relax with my diet or clean it up a bit. Learn what works for you and your mind and body with thank you for it. We all have different healthy weight ranges... I could be skinnier, but I wouldn't necessarily be as happy in life due to what I'd have to do to get there... I could be curvier too but that would require me to change up a routine that makes me happy. We can all change, but only change to find happiness in a lifestyle, don't look for happiness in abs or a b***.
'I get a lot of messages or comments that say 'I want to look like you'... If you use me as inspiration to motivate yourself to keep fit and healthy than sweet! But please never aim to look like me - we can't all look like each other, aim to be the best you, not me

Stephanie Claire Smith

She likes to spread positivity to her followers.
Talking about her successes and failures, Steph said, '2018 you were a rollercoaster. 2019 no doubt you will be too, and I am so ready.'

Stephanie Claire Smith

While most models wouldn't share unedited pictures, Steph happily posts pictures of her flaunting cellulite on her thighs and legs.
'I'd like to admit that although I love myself, I am proud of myself, and I love my body -- I still have insecurities, one of those is my legs, my cellulite,' she wrote.
'These pics were taken in the middle of the day when the sun was at its highest and it's never really flattering on anyone!
'But all that aside, I wanted to share it with you because I don't want you to think I'm perfect, or that I think I'm perfect.'
'What I've learnt over time is that nobody thinks that. It's okay to have insecurities, but it's important to appreciate your body and focus more on what you love than those insecurities that seem to stick out to you. Next time you go to put yourself down on something society has told you is a 'flaw', compliment yourself instead.'

Stephanie Claire Smith

'This before photo is when I was 19, 10 kg lighter than I am now,' Steph wrote about her transformation journey.
'I made the most of my quick metabolism at this age, ate a whole lot of junk food and did barely any training.
'It was the year I went over to America to get signed, the year BEFORE I fell into restrictive eating and binge eating and hating my body because I wasn't skinny enough for my agent in NYC (New York City). 'Although the change in my body was scary at first... measurements went up, stretch marks and cellulite appeared.'
'I'm now healthy and happy in my own skin.
'How did I get to this point? 1. I look after myself and 2. I do that for me, not for anyone else'
'Working out and eating well sure does make a positive physical change to anyone's body but it's not my main goal anymore.'
'Don't let your mind play with your body too much, and certainly do not let anyone else's judgements whether it's on social media or anywhere else in life make you question yourself or your body.'

stephanie claire smith

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