We love everything Mia is about. She is a mental health advocate currently studying Psychotherapy and is a strong advocate for body acceptance, body neutrality and body love (did we mention she looks stunning in her Mimi Kini!). We sat down for a chat with her and discussed everything from loving your 'flaws' to living with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Check out our Q & A with Mia below.
Mimi Kini: You have been diagnosed with BPD. How does BPD affect you every day and what tips do you have for others coping with mental illness?
Mia: Borderline Personality Disorder affects my every day through relationships, friendships, my thought processes and the way I process emotions – sometimes my emotions are too extreme because I never learnt how to regulate them. Often, BPD can affect my identity as well. Sometimes, it can be hard because I am questioning every thought and I need to make sure that I’m not responding in a way because of my BPD so I need to take an extra moment or two to process things before I respond. I want to tell those who are living with mental illness to define recovery for themselves – recovery is a personal journey and often, you only get told one type of recovery and that’s symptom free when that’s not the case at all. It’s a personal journey and recovery means something different for everyone – for me, it means living a happy and successful life even with symptoms.
Mimi Kini: Do you believe you need to love and accept your flaws to be happy?
Mia: I actually believe it’s important to change the way we think about flaws – what is a flaw? It is something that society views as an imperfection but what is an imperfection? If we start viewing these “flaws” as merely differences in ourselves, we will have a better time accepting and loving ourselves.
'...all I needed to do was to listen to my body and treat it well. That really showed me that dieting didn’t work'
Mimi Kini: When did you decide to say no to dieting for good? Any tips for anyone stuck in the diet cycle?
Mia: I decided to say no to dieting when I realised dieting didn’t actually work. I was in recovery for my eating disorder and I had realised I had lost a bit of weight and I was a little scared at first because I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. I remember saying something like “but I’m eating I swear!” because it was an automatic response when you’re recovering and it was then when I realised, hang on, I’m not dieting at all yet I’ve lost weight? It was such a shock because I had spent years trying to diet to lose weight and improve my health when really, all I needed to do was to listen to my body and treat it well. That really showed me that dieting didn’t work.
Mimi Kini: We’ve come to really understand the word “fat” as nothing but a descriptor word. How did you come to accept the word fat?
Mia: I started accepting the word fat when I started thinking about the word fat differently – I stopped associating it with negative things that diet culture and fatphobia tell us like laziness, unattractiveness, unworthy, unattainable, etc. Once I started thinking of the word fat as merely just a word, I found it didn’t have any power over me, it didn’t define me.
Mimi Kini: How do you remind yourself of your true worth?
Mia: I remind myself of my true worth by realising what truly defines me – what I do, who I am, what I love, what I’m passionate about and my values. I think it’s important to remember that our worth isn’t defined by how we look like diet culture says.
If you want to follow Mia (duh, why wouldn't you!?), you can do so on her insta.