Queen Of The Week 15: With LEXIE MANION
Posted on 25 September 2017
We're back to introduce our new queen for our "QUEEN OF THE WEEK" segment on the Neon Moon blog.
Each week we will be blessing you with a different queen who is making waves in the feminist world and body positive community with 5 questions about her inspirations and dreams to advice.
This week we interviewed the awesome body positive and mental health activist, the amazing Lexie Manion. Lexie is an unapologetic, active and outspoken figure within the body positive and recovery communities. She is an advocate for body positivity and mental health, as well as an avid writer on the subjects she is passionate about. This queen is the founder of the #BoycottTheBefore and co-founder of the #FearlesslyFaceless Instagram hashtags which have racked up a combined 1000+ posts. The hashtags were created to show a different perspective of eating disorders and to give those in recovery a platform to tell their stories about what having an eating disorder is really like without those involved showing their faces and their bodies. How inspirational is this queen?
From her inspiring story to her activism, we love Lexie's contribution to the bo-po and recovery communities.
Adore Lexie's dedication? Read on for 5 questions with Lexie Manion? Keep inspiring us all Lexie!
Instagram / @lexiemanion
1. What or who inspires you?
Those who inspire me most are my closest friends and fellow mental health advocates in the online community (some of which are my closest friends!). I have several good friends I've known since childhood who continuously inspire me to be better and keep fighting. My friend Sophie is incredibly fearless. She fights hard if she wants something in life and has this 'takes no bullshit', yet still kind and encouraging attitude. My other friend Heather, a friend I also met as a teenager, is very genuine and honest, yet always approaches people with kindness and understanding. She's very non-judgmental, and realistic, and I think those qualities are very admirable. My friend Colleen (@leenahlovesherself on IG!) is a relatively newer friend - I met her on Instagram back in January, and she is very strong. She's open about her struggles, yet not apologetic (she relays to her following that struggles make us who we are and that it is ok to struggle). Colleen also works hard at everything she does. I admire her most for her ability to gracefully juggle work, school, her roles as a mental health advocate and her passion - dancing. Among these good friends of mine, someone I always have admired is a former teacher I had in high school. She's now more of a friend to me and I admire her family and work so much. I feel like she knows how to balance lots of stressful things, and while she gets stressed out time to time or has struggles with migraines or coworkers, she also has this piece about her that is so understanding and validating. I feel like I'm the same way in the aspect that I'm compassionate, but I struggle with being kind and gentle to myself. I see these close friends in particular doing well and successfully making their way in life, while simultaneously overcoming struggles and quite honestly, "slaying those dragons" (you know - climbing up those hurdles and mountains we face in life). I gain so much strength by trying my best to emulate what they do in tough situations, which is to do my best and keep going. Along with this external motivation, what also inspires me are my own goals and dreams for the future. Thinking about being an art therapist or working in the mental health field, having a family one day, caring for my own pets and home, and encouraging people on much larger scales one day is what inspires me to keep fighting.
2. What's the first thing you would buy if you won £1 million?
If I won one million dollars, the first thing I'd buy would likely be something for my mom. Paying off her bills and ensuring she'd be ok financially would be my first priority. Then I'd make sure I would be ok financially. While I had never been super close to my mom growing up, we have gotten closer recently. I'd want to help her out the way she has tried to protect me and helped me out by making sure I've gotten the proper help for mental health treatment. My mom has been in a really stressful financial situation and divorce recently. It's all been really ugly and heartbreaking. While I wish I could say a lighthearted, "Oh I'd love to buy a whole new wardrobe for a million dollars!", I owe it to my mom and myself to responsibly help ourselves out. I also would imagine my "save the world" self would say, "I would give the money to charity!". While some may see my answer to ease our financial burden as selfish, I'd challenge that with the oxygen mask analogy - "Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others". While I recognize people in this world are in much dire need of money than I am, I personally believe that one not only deserves to, but needs to help themselves first before helping others. If I get out of this bad financial situation and have the funds to help others, the first place I'd spend money on is charity. I lived beyond my means many years ago and not only is it unsatisfying to own those popular brands of clothing and bags and shoes and jewelry (it's fun in the moment to purchase or have them, but I always need more, because that happiness wears off and I realize material things don't buy love or happiness), but it's also made me feel guilty. Why spend $10 on this cool new nail polish when I could buy someone dinner who wouldn't have had a meal otherwise? While I don't do charitable work now, it's something I'd like to pursue in the future. People out there need help. And while I know my emotions and struggles are valid and matter, there are times we must also recognize people do have it worse, and we must have the desire to help change that if we have the means.
3. What's a piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
A piece of advice I would give to my younger self would have to be, "It's gonna get better". It might sound cheesy. The words, "It gets better" are thrown around a lot, I know. Those words are actually lyrics to one of my favorite songs - Better by Britt Nicole. Those words comfort me on days it doesn't feel like its gonna get better. I also had very little hope for myself or my life as a teenager. I began struggling with an eating disorder and other mental health issues around 15 years old. Just validating my younger self like, "Babe, I know it's hard right now. But trust me, it's gonna get better", right now feels so cathartic.
4. What is the big dream for Lexie Manion?
I have many dreams! For my personal life, I'd love to maintain a fulfilling and steady job. I'd also love to have a family of my own one day. Regarding my life online, I'd love to continue building my social media platforms, continue doing freelance writing, possibly branch out to do public speaking, and possibly even write a book one day! I've wanted to write a book since I was 15. One of my English teachers actually laughed in my face (for an uncomfortable amount of time) when I told him that was a big dream of mine. Though embarrassing and upsetting, I'd love to follow through with putting out a book one day as an "eff you" to those who didn't believe in me. My main focus for putting a book out would be to help, inspire and uplift others, and hey - overcoming those hard times and proving my strength and resiliency would be incredible too!
5. This is where you can put any question to our amazing supporters and customers. What would you like to know?
A question I have for Neon Moon's supporters and customers is: If you have any type of platform advocating for mental health, self love or body positivity, what is your message and are you proud of it? Why do you do what you do? I feel like when I started out with my Instagram profile, my message was a bit unclear, so I'd encourage anyone reading this to iron out the kinks of your message to this world, dive deep into your passions and why they are, and share freely and authentically. I also believe that as influencers - on social media or in the real world - it is our duty to always put those who look up to us first. We must know our intentions, stick to what we believe in, and never waver from our message. Being in an online community such as Body Positivity, I've found there are people - even those with similar interests and who claim to be here for the greater good of the community - who live to tear other people down. My message wavered a couple months ago when I was slandered by a couple of larger influencers on our platform - Instagram. I took time away from my phone screen to remind myself of what I do what I do, but for a couple days, I felt lost; I felt stripped of my message and all I did was try to defend myself against the bullying and incorrect statements about me. I learned soon after those few steps back that I needed to be strong - not just for me, but for the people who love me and look up to me. Paying attention to the haters and bullies will only exacerbate the problem. Rising above hate, though difficult in the moment, is taking steps forward. So my advice to you is: leave hateful people be and focus on what matters most to you and your community. If you are proud of and confident in your message, you are unshakable.
You've heard it lovelies, what is your mental health, self love or body positivity message, and why? Let us know in the comments section below!
Wear your crown with your head held high.
Love Neon Moon x