Katie Meehan seems like your average 21 year old blogger: sociable, mad about fashion and makeup with bags of energy. We started following each other a while ago and I always remembered her because she made very thoughtful comments on my Instagram photos.
Fast forward a few months and I found out that she was the star of a BBC Three short film called Skin Deep. Katie was born with Cystic Hygroma – I honestly could not tell from her Instagram feed – and far from being the ordinary blogger I thought she was, she is fact an extraordinary woman with an awe inspiring attitude to life and the thorny issue of beauty and self-image.
You appear to be incredibly comfortable in your skin, something that so many women struggle with. What’s the secret to feeling good and making peace with your body?
Just accepting it. I know it’s not that simple, but I feel that you come to the point with yourself where you can either change it or accept it. I can’t change what I have, so accepting it is my only other option. If I keep battling with myself, I’ll be unhappy for the rest of my life and I don’t want that!
I’d like to know more about how you use makeup. Sometimes women are accused of hiding behind makeup and using it to conceal how they really look. I personally love it and feel better wearing makeup, what are your thoughts?
I love it too! Makeup is my life, I would spend every hour of the day using it if I could. It makes me feel relaxed, artistic and creative. I can’t draw and I’m not a very neat person in general, so I express myself through makeup. I use makeup to feel confident and pretty too, I like showing off my icy blue eye colour, so I’ll usually play on that.
Makeup is whatever you want it to be, if you want to hide behind makeup then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you want to use it to embrace certain features or create different editorial looks, there’s nothing wrong with that either. There’s truly no right way to wear and use makeup, it’s a personal choice.
You say that you started your blog as a place to chat about [beauty] products you love and a place to post photos of the products [you] photograph. Did you ever worry how it would be received?
Honestly, no! So many people would tell me to start a YouTube channel when I was at school and I wasn’t that confident so I started a blog. My first blog was on blogspot, and my goodness it was AWFUL! I look back now and laugh, so when I created www.katiemeehan.co.uk I was proud, not embarrassed. All of my friends, family and outer circle have been nothing but supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better support system.
What advice would you give to someone struggling with body image issues?
I believe that everyone, no matter who they are, will have at least one issue with their body. No one will ever be truly content with their appearance. There’s always something: a flatter stomach, smaller pores, less hair on your body… If you let it take over your life, it will consume you.
I also believe that there’s no shame in changing what you dislike about yourself, it’s a very personal choice. You just have to ensure you’re doing it for the right reasons and for yourself. We’re all our own worst critics.
Seeing myself on TV really helped me, not one single person commented on the thing I was most worried about: my teeth and jaw which I am actually currently undergoing treatment for.
So what’s next for Katie Meehan? What are your plans for the blog’s future?
I have a few little tricks up my sleeve, but they require funding and assistance so I’m going to pitch them to the big-wigs and see what I can do!
I also want to give my blog a makeover and focus on writing engaging content focused on beauty, fashion and posts about personal battle with my image and journey to self-acceptance. It’s not an easy road, but you can get there.
Oh! and You Tube. I recently started my channel, I hope it will become a place where people can connect with me in a more personal way. I’ve been practicing my You Tube makeup tutorial technique in front of the mirror since I was 12! It will be good to put those skills to good use, ha ha!
Last thing you bought – Ice cream. Does that count? It’s usually food.
Can’t live without – My beauty blender!
Style staple – A high pair of boots and some skinny jeans
Best piece of advice – ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’
On your playlist – Redbone – Childish Gambino or The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala!
Find out more about Katie Meehan here and you can see the BBC documentary Skin Deep here.
Thank you to Katie for taking part in The Inspirational Women Series.