Fearless, beautiful and determined, Katie Piper is a true inspiration to us here at Pink Parcel. She suffered a horrific acid attack in 2008 which left her blind in one eye and permanently scarred, but the 33-year-old decided to "choose confidence" and follow her dreams.
Today, not only is she the founder of her own charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, a TV star and a presenter, but an author. Her brand new book 'Confidence: The Secret' is a touching look at her journey from recovery to empowerment and a self-help guide to achieving your own inner strength. We couldn't think of anyone better to offer us advice.
Here, we speak to the mum-of-one about where her confidence comes from and how we can achieve it too.
Congrats on the book!
"It was really nice going on social media over Christmas and New Year. Everyone's always really positive in January and seeing how many people have bought the book and how they're going to use it and apply it is exactly what I wanted."
Tell us a little about it...
"Traditionally you would say it's self-help, but it's peppered with aspects that could be seen as an autobiography because I talk about personal experience, anecdotes, things that have happened to me. It's the first time I've interviewed other people and featured them in the book too. I've met people through my charity, TV and a project I did - my first catwalk using models of all disfigurements and disabilities - and interviewed them for the book as well. It's quite a wide reaching book so different people can relate to it and apply it to their lives."
You must have met some inspiration people along the way...
"I get to meet so many people that have been through the unthinkable and I walk away thinking 'if they can get through that, that's pretty amazing'. These are the sort of things that motivate me and keep me going. I'm aware that they're very unheard of things that most people would give up on, fail and not get through, so I actually thought it would be an amazing thing to share and give people a sample of what I see on a daily basis."
What is confidence to you?
"It's almost doing people a disservice to say 'well, I'm just positive' or 'I'm just happy' because there is no one word answer. I think writing a book was how many words I needed to answer that question! For me, I think confidence is made up of many different characteristics and traits that make us a well-rounded, balanced person."
Where does your confidence come from?
"Many people say confidence is being pretty or being slim and I don't want to stand here and say 'no it's not' because the truth is people do feel more confident when they look good, but that's a fleeting moment. That wouldn't keep them in a long successful marriage, it wouldn't keep them in a flourishing career - it's only a small aspect of confidence.
"I touch a lot on appearance and aesthetics, social media, selfies and say it's ok to want to look good - I want to look good, I go to the gym, not just for health but for vanity - but I want to look the best version of me that I can be, I'm not trying to look like Cindy Crawford. That's setting myself an unrealistic goal that's never going to happen."
What advice would you give to people who are trying to become more confident?
"I suppose the biggest, modern kind of thing draining our confidence is social media. It's all about putting that into perspective and classing social media exactly how you'd class magazines, films, soap operas - they are edited versions of what people want you to see (and are usually the best bits!) So rather than looking at Facebook and Instagram as someone's real life and thinking 'they're a great mum' and 'they're successful at this' or 'they're so skinny', 'they're exercising every day', take it as you would a movie, take it as you would a magazine and that helps you put it into perspective. I think that's a really healthy thing.
"Also, see confidence as a choice, not just an exclusive club that only some people are members of. I've talked to so many people and I've done it myself where I've gone 'if I only had a bit of what she had, if only I was as confident as her, if only I was as outgoing as her...', there's no difference between you and her. People always say to me 'do you think you're a really amazing person to have got through what you got through'. I'm the same as everyone else, I just chose to have the ending I have, I chose to have the recovery I have. Choose confidence!"
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