“When I was growing up, my body was changing quite early compared to a lot of other girls,” she said. “I was in primary school and I hit puberty around grade five and I was getting boobs and my period came in early grade six and I was one of the first girls to get it.”
Developing so early left Elyse wanting to change how certain parts of her body looked.
“I was the tall girl with the boobs, my body was changing and I was becoming more curvy,” she said. “One element that did get to me a little bit was my hips and I think if I was going through that time of the month, or just feeling a little crappy, I would go ‘I wish I didn’t have the hips that I did’ but it’s a part of me. I’ve become a curvy girl with nice hips and I’m broader at the shoulders and I’m proud of it now and I don’t know why I thought that way.”
Looking back now, Elyse realises just how redundant it is to compare yourself to others when everyone is so diverse.
“I wish I knew back then that everyone is completely different,” she said. “Everyone has elements of their body that they don’t like which is silly, we should love ourselves sick about everything that we have.”
When asked what advice she would tell her 16-year-old self, Elyse replied: “Don’t compare yourself to others. You’re completely different to everyone and you’re absolutely beautiful.”
From Me to You: Living life with positivity, passion and purpose by Elyse Knowles is out now.