Getting intimate with: Hannah
Born in Evesham, Hannah describes herself as a ‘country bumpkin’ and ‘not a city person at all’. Now at thirty and living in East London, she recieved her undergraduate degree from The University of Birmingham, and is now studying her MSc in physiotherapy at Kings College London (she is soon to graduate).
‘From a young age, I have always wanted to help people get better. Giving people the best quality of life and helping them feel better is something I have always been invested in’. For Hannah, her degree is a gateway to working with sports teams and athletes. Currently, she is completing her placement, recalling how she has learnt ‘so much more from being hands-on, rather being in a lecture’. We begin to discuss how a knowledge of the body has changed her relationship with her own. ‘It has reiterated the fact that every single person is different’, says Hannah. ‘Yes, we have the same joints or number of bones, but everyone is slightly different. That has helped me massively to stop comparing myself to others.’
Self-love and the journey of body positivity resonates with Hannah. She talks in great detail about the comparison she faced growing up, looking to others success as a marker of her so-called failure. ‘Love yourself more, love everything about yourself’, is what Hannah would tell her younger self. ‘It sounds really cliché, but I look at everyone else my age who’s having kids, buying a house, and I am back being a student. But it does not matter. We are all on our own path. Just because someone is doing one thing, doesn’t mean you should be doing it too.’
As we begin to talk about the topic of womanhood, Hannah is quick to note how her experience has been elevated through female friendships. Speaking about her roommate, Hannah discusses the friends she holds in high esteem and that they taught her to be confident in her body and what she wears. The importance of normalising body image, sexuality and sharing vulnerabilities is of importance to Hannah. She says, ‘the more you talk, you realise you don’t have too much to worry about.’ However, that journey is a process and one that does not have a clear end. ‘I am, and will always be, on that journey of loving myself and my body. But I feel in a better place at the moment’.
When it comes to lingerie, Hannah has reached a place where she is wearing underwear for herself, rather than someone else. ‘I have never had a huge amount of body confidence, but I have found that wearing the right underwear really does increase my confidence a lot.’ Hannah wasn’t always on this path with underwear. Recalling her first bra purchase from Tammy Girl at the age of twelve, she describes wearing it and being ‘terrified’. ‘I developed a lot quicker than everyone else … I hated wearing bra’s and everything about it’. Slowly transitioning into sports bras she found them to be ‘comfortable and practical’. More recently, however, she has found a new love for bralettes, as though it’s an ‘in-between that feels like a second skin’. Her go-to brand at womanhood is Nette Rose, for it's 'laid back and chilled’ vibe, whilst also having the versatility to be ‘sexy’.
Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of Hannah’s book. A couple of years ago she had a year of saying yes to everything. ‘It meant I could do what I wanted without having anything too set in stone.’ Taking each day as it comes and not planning too much, she adds, ‘you’ll always be surprised’.