Body-Insecurity, Depression, & The Journey of Being a Wholehearted Woman with Molly Ho
Molly, tell us a little bit about yourself - hobbies, weird quirks and passions. Give us the full scoop!
Hi Ashton! My hobbies include sleeping, eating (especially when there’s hot sauce involved), traveling, and sometimes cardio. As far as passions go, I’m wildly passionate about going on the path less taken, although sometimes it feels like everyone else is now taking that path! But more importantly, it’s all about taking (or sometimes creating) a path that aligns with you, your vision, and goals. In all honesty, I’m just another 20-something-year-old trying to figure her life out, while documenting and sharing along the way.
Your online platform, Wholehearted Woman, encourages women to live a more whole life. What inspired you to create this space, and what was it like to actually take that leap?
Growing up, I’ve always struggled with body-image and mental illness (depression). For almost two decades of my life, I didn’t talk about it with anyone (in real life). When Tumblr came out, I talked about it (kind of anonymously) but still felt alone and confused. It’s exhausting to feel like you’re going through something alone, and I think shame and insecurity starts to build up that way as well. It’s so important to share your story, not only for yourself, but for other people as well.
My intention was to create a community - a space for people to share their stories. But a few months in, I think what I really needed at the time (and even now) was for me to share my own. I know as a content creator, it’s important to put your audience first, and I try. But honestly sometimes I struggle to. By sharing my story, I’ve helped others to do so as well and that’s what’s really inspiring. Seeing people share the hard and messy stuff, the stuff that may not get you as many likes but will help people understand and know you beyond the surface level.
I didn’t start Wholehearted Woman until I was 23, but I wanted to since I was about 14. Taking the leap was scary. People think it’s just one barrier and it’s smooth sailing after that, but it’s actually not. I try not to sugarcoat things because I don’t want people to get a false reality of what actually is often the case. But I will tell you it’s worth it. It is SO worth it.
Related: 5 Ways to Tap into Your Creativity
You chat a lot about embracing the messy moments in life - the ones that we don’t put on display in our highlight reels. What are some tips you have for embracing those moments?
When these moments happen, the last thing I want to do is embrace them.
But the truth is… messy moments happen. All the time. Every day. And it’s important to share them because when we go online or when we talk to our friends, it can often feel like everyone has it all figured out because we’re all trying to paint this picture of ourselves (even I do it sometimes).
Your messy moments are the moments that allow you to have a deeper connection with other human beings. The things that make you cry or make you stay up at night. The things that make you think or make for meaningful conversation.
They may not be beautiful or glamorous in the moment, but they teach you a lesson that you can learn from and share with others. Don’t be afraid of the messy moments in life. Growth doesn’t happen when all we know is comfort and ease.
I think one of the hardest things for women to embrace fully is their bodies. What has your journey looked like in that department? Any advice you might have?
First, I loveeee that we both talk openly about this.
Growing up, I hated my body. My arms, my face, my stomach, and especially my thighs. For years, I cried in fitting rooms and avoided them all together. In the summer, I would wear sweaters and sweatpants to cover my whole body. We live in a society that constantly bombards us with messages that we’re not good enough in “this” way and “that” way… But you are enough, and that’s the most important thing: YOU have to believe that you are enough.
A few tips:
1) Set boundaries - if you don’t want other people to talk about your body, SAY SO. It’s not their place to talk about your body, even if it’s “for your health.” I people don’t respect your boundaries, you might need to cut them out of your life - for your own sanity and well-being.
2) Find things you do love about yourself. Physically, mentally & emotionally. I’ve always loved my hair, but I also love my honesty and willingness to be transparent. I love my ability to connect with other soulful human beings in a deep way. What do you love about yourself?
3) Your body is your home, and you only get one. So treat it well. Be kind and compassionate. Remember your body is here to help you, not hurt you. It is here for you, not against you.
Wholehearted Woman places a huge emphasis on sharing your story. Why do you feel that it’s so important to embrace and share our story with the world? How does this affect your business?
When we give other people permission and the space to share theirs as well. Storytelling is both healing and empowering, not only for yourself but for everyone around you. Whether they realize it in the moment or not.
We’re all wildly passionate about something. We’ve all struggled with something. For me, it’s body image and depression. For someone else, it could be moving to a new country far away from everything they’ve ever known. Our stories are uniquely ours, but at the same time, they aren’t.
I don’t think we’re at the point yet where the majority supports businesses being open with their lives, especially in our political climate. People buy from people, and so people buy from you. We all make purchase decisions because of something. Maybe it’s the quality of the product or the amount of marketing a company has done or maybe it’s because of the brand philosophy, but it’s something. When it comes to Wholehearted Woman, I want people to buy the products I create and services I offer because of my brand philosophy and beliefs. Because they’ve connected with it in some way.
What does a Wholehearted Woman look like to you?
Being inclusive. I think sometimes we want to compartmentalize things and only focus on certain areas of our lives, but we are not just one thing… we are WHOLE human beings with a past, a present, and a future. We have dreams, goals, struggles, pain points, hobbies, dislikes, friendships, and so much more. Being a wholehearted woman looks like living a full life that feels aligned to you, your values, and your beliefs.
Lastly, how do you want to impact society? What change do you want to create in the world?
I want to encourage people to live more full and aligned lives. To have honest, real conversations with themselves about where they’re at and where they want to go. I want to be the person they needed as an example when they were younger.
Do you want to grow in confidence, love the reflection you see in the mirror and walk unashamedly in your identity? Click here to download our FREE e-book, EMBRACE, all about loving yourself well.
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Molly Ho is the founder of Wholehearted Woman - an online blog helping soulful women on their personal growth and personal brand. She talks about mental health, body image, storytelling, and building a community. Her mantra is “be the voice you want to hear in the world" because the change starts with you.