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Lily Dean, 23

I'm 5 feet 2 inches and I’ve always liked being short, because I think it’s cute. I would like to be thinner, but then I also think that a curvy body shape looks nice. It depends what’s natural for your body and, you know, I could starve myself and go down to a size 6 but that wouldn’t be natural for me.

When it’s just me and the mirror and I only see myself, sometimes I’m like, “damn I look good.” Most of the time though, it’s just as I am…and I’m happy with it. Being a figurative sculptor and using my own body as a subject has helped me learn to celebrate the body for what it really is, and to put less emphasis on the individual bits. - Lilly, 23

As an artist, I do figurative sculpting and life drawing and when you’re looking at a body – translating it into art – it stops being a body in the way that you, I, or society would look at it. It becomes forms of flesh; you get to know its muscles and bones when you take it out of the subjective. So I think it’s nice to disassociate the body – it’s a more interesting way to look at it rather than just ‘I’m fat’ or ‘I’m thin’, or ‘they’re fat’, ‘they’re thin’. 

I think beauty is everything, because for me everything is aesthetic and really visual. Though, right now, I have bigger things on my mind than how I look like relationships, jobs, the future; things that aren’t a guarantee for me at the moment, whereas my look is a given, a constant. For me it’s a source of fun and expression.