Elly Mayday is a model from Saskatchewan. She’s lived in Vancouver too, right before she moved to New York City to take fashion modelling more seriously. A year after she began to experience success, Elly was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Today, Elly is a cancer survivor and public speaker on the power of having high self-esteem and confidence in yourself — especially when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. 

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When I spoke to Elly on the phone last week, she was in a café in New York City waiting for a friend. I was calling her to chat about her YouTube channel, and to say how excited we are to have her as part of the Notable Life family.

Elly is both a cancer survivor and a model in the “curve” camp. She’s part of a new documentary called “A Perfect 14” about the current crop of models who are re-defining societal beauty standards.

Over the phone, I got the feeling that Elly needed help. She didn’t need help describing what it was like to survive cancer publicly or to help set a new beauty standard — she already has those two in the bag. She needed me to understand that her self-esteem and confidence are even bigger than cancer and curves, and that they’re the meat of Elly Mayday.

“Sooner or later you’re going to get hit hard in your life, and something is going to affect you where your confidence is shaken so hard you don’t think you’re going to be yourself. But it’s confidence and self-esteem you need to survive; physical beauty may go away but it’s crucial for your self-love to stay.”

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Elly attributes some of her inner strength to country music. “Shania Twain was always singing about women being strong; leaving their guys and doing their own thing”, and learning to stand up for herself among her 3 brothers. When Elly was in grade 10 wanting to be a cheerleader, and not being the “right” body size, Elly realized she didn’t want to miss out on life because of her body —Shania, Oprah and her inner voice led Elly to start modelling.

Something I really loved that Elly said was her admission that “body positivity” is now used to market and sell so many things, and it’s not always helping the cause on Instagram. Elly wants the Notable Life community to know that she’s not selling anything: You won’t find any product unboxings, filters or materialism on Elly Mayday. “Sex after hysterectomies over unboxing lipsticks” is what you’ll find on her channel.

Touché, Elly!

Related:
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