Real Talk Series | Infertility and body image with @amber.izzo

Welcome to our brand new Real Talk series, a four part exploration into body positivity and embracing your true self. We’ll be having honest conversations with four different content creators each week about body image, diet culture and the truth behind those ‘picture perfect’ Instagram posts. For our final instalment (sob) we’re going out with a bang thanks to @amber.izzo who talks us through her IVF journey and how it affected her body positivity. Grab a cuppa and get ready for some real talk with Amber …

Tell us a bit about yourself and your body positivity journey

My name is Amber Izzo and I’m an infertility and lifestyle blogger from the East of England. I started my blog after my infertility diagnosis. After two failed rounds of IVF I became really resentful towards my body; I saw myself as a failure and less of a woman. My body positivity journey has been exactly that – a journey – rather than a destination. There are days where we all wish we looked a little different, but I’ve come to learn that ‘beauty’ is a social construct and what is important is how I feel. My body is not anyone else’s to critique, but it is all of mine to love.

Did your journey with IVF and infertility change the way you view your body?

Absolutely! Over the course of both operations and 2 rounds of IVF, I had gained nearly 4 stone. Initially I was so angry at myself for it however, after my second round of IVF I came to realise just how much my body had been through. I had put my body through the mill, and all I was doing was tearing it down. My infertility and IVF has now completely changed the way I view my body, and rather than seeing it as a failure, I see it as a warship and my biggest weapon. My body is amazing; it is capable of so much and is not defined by its ability to procreate.

What pushed you to start posting ‘Insta vs Reality’ content and how have your followers reacted to it?

To begin with, it was for myself. I would spend SO long trying to get an ‘Insta worthy’ photo and then just criticise it. I decided I was going embrace how I looked and started using my page to talk about body confidence. My followers have been such cheerleaders whenever I talk about it and I think it’s a conversation that needs to be had so much more. We all love a hot selfie, but it’s so easy to compare yourself to photoshopped and perfectly posed photos online. I think it’s so important to keep it real.

Who are your body positivity role models?

My favourite account on Instagram for body positivity is @effinitupfaye. Faye is a ‘Free From Diets’ teacher and I absolutely adore her, her content and just how accepting she is of her own body. I also love @jessontheplussize and @mollyjforbes. There is nothing better than seeing people being their authentic selves on the gram, and I LOVE these women for loving themselves.

Why do you think society is obsessed with perfection?

We live in a society where we have idolised ‘beauty’ for so long. We have had years of beauty magazines force feeding us the ideal of ‘skinny’ and shaming celebrities for their ‘rolls’ when in fact they have normal bodies. We forget that people only upload their highlight reels on social media but still compare it to our behind-the-scenes. We have been sold an ‘ideal’ for so long that it has become toxic. We value our worth based on how many likes we get on a selfie, and because society rewards those who fit the ideal, we begin to believe we aren’t worthy if we don’t look the same.

When was your body positivity light bulb moment?

The real light bulb moment was after my second egg retrieval procedure. My husband had taken a photo of me in my knickers and sports bra as I got ready to be sedated, and I looked at that photo and hated everything I saw. It was then I really realised just how obsessed I was with how my body looked and how if I cared that much about what I looked like before being sedated then there was an issue.

What outfit makes you feel like the most confident, badass version of you?

A bodysuit with a pair of mom jeans and a fabulous pair of heels paired with hoop earrings and a red lip. It doesn’t matter what I wear, a pair of hoop earrings will always make me feel like a total badass.