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‘I’m very aware of my body changing in lockdown’

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Katy, Ursula and Rosy

Despite the lockdown, you’re probably still seeing photos of perfect manicures, fillers and toned-abs on social media.

The reality for most of us is there’s no access to the gyms and beauty treatments we might usually rely on.

And this can leave people with a totally different image of themselves.

Katy, 23, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat that it’s taken time to get used to being without the fillers, nails and lash extensions she usually has.

She says lockdown has made her think about why she gets some treatments done in the first place.

„Over this time period, you’ve got a lot of time to yourself, it makes you think,“ Katy says.

„Why am I actually doing this – is it for me? Is it because I feel like I have to look good to other people? What is it I am actually doing it for?“

‘No choice but get used to it’

Katy was due for a top-up of her fillers in March, but her beauty technician in Tamworth stopped working in March because of coronavirus.

Without the top-up, some parts of the filler break down, which can create an uneven look.

„I’m sort-of looking at myself thinking ‘I can’t wait to get this done when lockdown is all over’,“ she says.

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Katy says she’ll be first in line to get her nails done when lockdown ends

As well the as fillers, Katy gets nails and eyelash extensions. Usually, she says, she’d „never be caught dead without acrylics“ – which make her feel „more feminine and dainty“.

The first thing to go was her lashes, which she had done consistently for more than eight months.

„Without them I just felt so ugly,“ she says. „It’s almost like training yourself to get used to what you actually look like.“

But it’s also given Katy time to reflect.

„It’s sort of helping me realise that I don’t actually need them as much as I think.“

To take her mind off the treatments she was missing, Katy stopped following Instagram pages showing fillers or beauty treatments and started following pages about self-love and self-reflection.

Looking at old photos of herself has also helped.

„I didn’t have all of the stuff then and nobody thought of me any different,“ she says.

„I’ve had no choice but to get used to it but I’ll definitely be first in line at the nail salon.“

The gym is my ‘therapy’

Ursula, 26, has also had to deal with a major change to her routine. Before lockdown, she was at the gym five days a week.

„Not having the option to do what I usually use as therapy is really tough,“ she tells Newsbeat.

She can’t keep to her usual exercise because she is staying in a small house with family.

Ursula’s passion is fitness. She’s competed as a body-builder and is now studying to be a personal trainer.

Before the lockdown she got to a point where she felt content, healthy and „light on my feet“.

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Ursula has spent lockdown finishing her personal trainer course

Not being able to go to the gym has affected Ursula’s mental health a lot. She has struggled with feeling „really stuck and caged“.

She’s been using yoga and meditation to stay calm.

„I would love to say I’m still content but I’m a bit heavier than I want to be.

„But I also feel very lucky for this time, before this all started I was at a point where I was feeling very burned out.“

Fortunately, Ursula’s able to spend lockdown completing her personal trainer course.

‘I’ve learned to love myself beyond measure’

Rosy, who lives in Shropshire, says she’s been spending her time in isolation practising self-care.

Going without her fillers, lashes and hair appointments has been „mildly frustrating“ but she’s „hyper-aware“ of the situation.

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Rosy says she likes fillers because she can change her appearance without committing to surgery

„I’ve learned to love myself beyond measure, it doesn’t bother me if I haven’t got the extras I can cope without,“ she says.

Managing poor mental health in the past has helped Rosy build resilience, so the lockdown hasn’t affected her too much.

„I’m able to use all that experience to get into such a great place I am now.“

Rosy says she likes getting fillers as a way to change her looks without having to commit to surgical procedures.

„I love the fact I still have the opportunity to change.“

‘Don’t judge how you’re feeling as wrong’

Psychotherapist Danielle Sandler explains that the lockdown can bring a lot of conflict in people’s self-image.

She says lockdown has „stripped back people to their bare essence“ and „removed their masks“.

Danielle’s advice for dealing with body image issues is „not to judge how’re feeling as wrong or unacceptable“.

„Whatever you’re feeling is OK and be careful not to minimise it.“

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

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