In the past few years, the body-positivity movement has finally started to make an impact on our culture. But the journey to self-love can be a tumultuous and sometimes lonely one.
This is why local blogger—and self-proclaimed merriment maker—Mary England started Uncustomary, a blog-turned-community where England offers everything from one-on-one coaching and e-courses to metaphysical services such as tarot readings and guided meditations.
“Uncustomary is like my alter ego, she is like my highest self, and I put forth what I want to attract,” she says. “People are looking for true connection, and sometimes I get more transparent about something deeper that’s going on.”
Born and raised in Baltimore, England was diagnosed with mental illness at the age of 8, which led her to major in psychology in college. Fittingly, it was receiving her own cognitive behavioral therapy that inspired her to document her journey of self-acceptance.
After five years, she has now reached more than 10,000 followers on Instagram and written a self-love book titled This is About You. “At times, I do struggle with wanting to have some things stay private in my life and then also living my life as a brand,” she says. “But I use the internet to reach people all over the world and teach them how to fall deeply in love with themselves and start leading the happy life they crave.”
Most recently, England has been helping her readers combat body shaming, negative comments, and low self-esteem. “In today’s political climate, it’s important for us to make sure that we are practicing radical self-acceptance in a time where institutions are trying to intimidate you to do the opposite,” she says.
Through her own experiences, England has turned her personal challenges into fuel to help others—whether they have been diagnosed or not. “Not everyone has mental illness, but we all have mental health,” she says. “It’s never something that hasn’t been important, but it’s something we’re shining more light on currently.”