She has provided much-needed escapism from lockdown’s inescapable monotony and has become an advocate for body positivity and self-love. This is the story of Flo Simpson whose 60-second weight-loss videos helped her rise to fame.
Simpson’s daily videos recording what she eats in a day alongside her general affairs launched her into social media fame. As of now, she has reached an astonishing feat of 28.4 million likes in total and over 600,000 followers.
Bear in mind, this is someone who most of us had only seen for 60 seconds a day via a phone screen. So what made us warm to her so much? What was it about her journey that made her so inspirational?
In my opinion, she became a symbol of love and hope for many people stuck in a self-deprecating mindset caused by lockdown. Her story is an emotional and physical one, shining light into our lives through her videos that promote self-love and body positivity.
Many social media users have created this illusion of the perfect glamorous lifestyle. As such, followers can sometimes find it difficult to relate to the content because their lifestyle seems very different to this heightened version of normality.
In comparison, Simpson has always shown this down to earth emotional sincerity towards which many of us have gravitated. In a recent interview for Portsmouth News, she discussed the difficulties she faced trying to get over a break-up. “ It was quite hard going through lockdown and then I was upset about my ex-boyfriend. Posting these videos gave me a distraction.”
Dealing with the despondency of separation is something many of us have experienced at some point or another.
As a result of her commitment to daily uploads despite juggling a break-up, degree and weight loss, she turned such an overwhelming experience into something empowering.
With such a genuine passion for inspiring others, Simpson has grown into the perfect role model.
Media outlets have praised her down-to-earth nature. She was featured on Cosmopolitan’s list of recommended body positivity Tik Tok accounts. Simpson is all about balance and doing what makes her feel better – not because anyone has told her she should”. Simpson condenses this message into a simple, yet striking, motto – ” No scales and no worries”.
She is directing us away from daunting numbers on a scale and pressuring diet plans. Instead, she focuses on the idea of living healthily but happily. Consequently, video by video, she is inverting the ” unrealistic” and “ damaging” examples of diet culture that are sadly ubiquitous across social media.
But does Flo Simpson’s tremendous work stop there? No, it doesn’t.
Thanks to influencers like Flo Simpson, who strongly advocate body positivity and healthy living, TikTok has now introduced new advertisement policies. These prohibit any advertisements for fasting apps and weight loss supplements or promote harmful or negative body image. Simpson shared her elation on their page saying: “ I feel like this move is a massive step in the right direction on TikTok. There is a massive community on TikTok, so removing these ads is hopefully going to work wonders and help to reduce the impact unsafe and unhealthy weight loss methods can have. “
Simpson keeps shining across different areas. In addition to her weight loss journey, she has also gained attention for raising awareness about her Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She talked at length about her condition on YouTube. Many comments praised her for bringing light to an issue which “ people may not know about”.
When you think about how much she has managed to achieve in the short space of a year, it is truly astounding. She has captivated the hearts and souls of many of us on the TikTok app.
When lockdown started easing in summer last year, I remember one of the first conversation points was that Flo Simpson had fitted back into her jeans. It became apparent that her journey had piqued the nation’s curiosity. Upon seeing her reach her target goal, followers took to Twitter to celebrate such a proud moment. One user even went as far as to describe this update as “ the highlight of lockdown”.
Simpson offered us space that helped us learn to love ourselves and promote a safe and loving environment for important matters. After such an emotionally draining year, this was what we needed.
Words by Katie Heyes
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