When you look at Miah Carter’s Instagram account it oozes confidence, sass and sexiness.
But a few years ago she wanted to do nothing other than shed the pounds.
The 19-year-old, from Reading, first went viral for trying to squeeze back into her old jeans.
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Miah, who first started her TikTok page around two months before the Covid pandemic hit didn’t used to have a lot of confidence in herself.
But now, she uses her platform of 2.8million followers to teach other women how to love themselves.
Miah explained: “I was trying to lose weight at the time.
“I call them my toxic videos now – I was trying to fit back into my jeans.
“You shouldn’t try and fit into jeans – it’s toxic.
“I didn’t love myself – I wasn’t being true to myself, and I wasn’t being true to my followers. I had to get away from that.
“I thought I shouldn’t be trying to fit back into my jeans – they should be fitting me.”
There was a turning point when Miah posted a video of herself crying because she felt so unhappy.
She attracted a massive following within a very short period of time when she started opening up – but also experienced some “backlash”, which was difficult to deal with.
Miah, who now also has 69,000 followers on Instagram, said: “The hate came really fast – a lot of it I didn’t understand.
“I’m autistic, so I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it. It made me suicidal three times.
“I didn’t care when people called me fat, because I had that throughout school.
“It was when people started talking about my skin condition.”
Miah has a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which results in dry, dark patches of skin appearing on areas of the body.
In her own words, she said: “It looks like dirt, but it’s not dirt.”
When she began posting videos she said people started to comment on it, which is something she struggled with, but she’s slowly learning to accept it’s a part of who she is.
When she realised she needed to stop worrying about her body image, she started creating videos to help other women feel more confident in their own skin.
This involves her posting fashion inspiration for curvier women and candid bikini snaps to show all bodies are beautiful and should be celebrated – no matter the shape, size or whether there is cellulite or scars on display.
Miah has had “massive support from her boyfriend”, who was the reason she started creating content for social media in the first place, and she now does it full-time.
Miah has had 17 jobs in retail since she was 15, but now she’s now able to focus all her energy on creating uplifting content to inspire other women.
She said: “Some days I care a lot about how my body looks – I have those days sometimes – but now I don’t care at all. Nobody is perfect.”
And when it comes to what advice she would give to other people trying to overcome body issues, she said people just need to step outside their comfort zones and give things a try.
She said people shouldn’t hide their bodies or dim their sparkle – instead they should wear what they want, and pack a punch.
“‘The most beautiful thing you can carry is confidence’ – I love that quote,” she added.
“My main message to people is to give it a try.
“There are so many people who are scared to wear a skirt or a crop top or cycle shorts, but you can – you just have to try it.
“I have stretch marks all above my arms, and I would wear a jacket to cover them.
“It’s all about teaching yourself, and looking up to people like me, and other people who just get stuff out there.
“I looked up to a lot of people, and that’s how I learnt.
“Stand in front of the mirror, and tell yourself you’re beautiful two times a day at least – you will see a massive change.”
As someone who works full-time as a content creator, she said we now need to see “normal bodies” featured in advertisements.
She said bodies of all shapes and sizes need to be represented in the mainstream, as well as people with skin conditions.
“If they used normal bodies – the amount of positivity they will get,” she added.
“They advertise about how to clear your skin, and they they use someone who has clear skin.
“I won’t work with brands who do that.”