Fun, strong, interesting and inviting are but a few words I would use to describe Mandy the founder of The Empowered Woman Project. This woman is someone I wish had been around as a role model when I was younger. Mandy bravely decided to share with the world her mental health story and openly discusses about how trying to take her own life earlier this year was the turning point for her. Similarly to me, she wanted to share her experiences with the world and turn something negative into a positive. The Empowered Woman Project started off as a way of building up her own confidence and over the last few months it has gone from strength to strength with growing media coverage.
Those of you who keep up with the blog know that I post my new content every Wednesday but I’m so damn excited about this interview I decided to post it a couple of days early! So, grab a cuppa and get ready to read the heartwarming interview with Mandy Rose Jones founder of The Empowered Woman Project.
Firstly, would you mind explaining what the project means to you an why you initially set it up?
The project means the absolute world to me. I shared my story with the world via the blog when I was in the darkest of places with my mental health. My sharing has inspired many other women to share their own stories which have covered everything from motherhood to crippling anxiety. When I tried to end my life in March, I literally just wanted to disappear. I didn’t feel seen. Now that I see a small light at the end of the tunnel, I want the project to remind other women that they are seen, they are important and they matter. It’s a very personal project and the fact it’s helping so many people is really helping my recovery process. Writing things down, no matter who reads it, is so therapeutic.
Female Empowerment is becoming a popular phrase in modern society but what does it mean to you?
Female empowerment, to me, is the belief that we can achieve anything we want in life with the right mindset and support network. It means women supporting women and having enough empathy to support another woman in need. I think empowerment the notion that kindness and support from woman to woman (in this case, online!) is just so easily implemented and can make such a huge difference.
What advice do you have for women to use in their everyday lives to help them feel more valued and empowered in their own bodies?
In my opinion, women just need to speak a little bit kinder to themselves. Sometimes we aren’t in tune with our internal dialogue enough to correct it. My advice is to try and tune into those voices from time to time. Chances are you probably aren’t being very fair on yourself. For example, a follower of the project got in touch last week to say she had been shopping for holiday clothes and had a bit of a meltdown in the changing rooms during what should have been a fun experience. I can bet she was saying negative things to herself which was amplifying the bad experience. Slow down. Breathe. Compliment your curves, be thankful for your body and all the things it can do. Remind yourself that your body can take you on long walks, can cuddle other people. It can stretch! Try loving it for all that it is rather than hating it for all that it’s not. To someone somewhere, you are GOALS!
Speaking of body confidence, it means so many different things to different people. What does body confidence mean to you?
Personally, body confidence to me has always related back to weight. For years I associated being slim or lean with my capabilities of happiness. But as the years have gone on, I’ve had the same hang ups when I’ve reached the ‘goal weight’ as I did when I was just comfortably living life. As someone who has competed in Bodybuilding shows and also struggled with eating disorders in the past, I now just try to find body confidence in being proud of everything it can do. I have long legs to take me on walks, a strong body to lift weights and plenty of food to eat. It’s about being grateful for what you do have. It’s been interesting to discover it means different things to everyone. Some people lack body confidence due to a skin condition or even conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome which have a knock on effect to overall body confidence. It’s important to chat all about it.
Earlier you mentioned that you share women’s stories across your blog. I would love to know why you decided to use this format? Is it as a way for women to express themselves in their own voice?
I think it is. I like to think that the project, as it grows, is bridging the gap between mental health care medically that people just aren’t asking for and social media. It’s a safe and understanding platform full of support and encouragement where women can feel safe so share their own story with the world without fear of judgement.
The project is going from strength to strength and I really believe what you’re doing is making a difference out there. What are your future plans with it all?
The reason it’s called a project is because I’m not quite sure where it’s going But that’s the exciting part. It’s kind of driving itself at the moment! I see the blog continuing to grow and hope that guest contribution continues to thrive. The podcast and YouTube will be more lively in the coming weeks as I speak to inspirational women from all different backgrounds. I am also soon going to be seeking kindness ambassadors who I hope will fulfil some of the project’s goals in new cities. The internet is an amazing place sometimes with people from as far away as New York wanting to get involved!
Finally, Mandy, where can the lovely readers find you online so they can soak up all this amazing, inspirational work you do so passionately?
A massive, massive thanks to Mandy for sharing her time and stories with me. If you haven’t heard of her before then do please check out her work, she’s a fabulous woman, who deserves all the rewards of the hard work she is putting into this project. I am really interested in sharing other inspirational women’s stories across the blog so do stay tuned for more upcoming interviews promoting other female badasses!
Until Next Time,