With a daily radio show, TV presenting duties and her own YouTube channel under her belt, Wellington native Megan Annear is quite the busy woman.
Fans of the fast-talking radio personality know her as a confident, self-assured presenter – but it hasn’t always been this way for the bubbly brunette.
Megan, who hosts The Edge Workday show and also presents on their Edge TV channel, started her YouTube channel earlier this year as a way to spread a positive message about loving the skin you’re in.
In an exclusive interview with Woman’s Day, the 26-year-old reveals she struggled with body image growing up and felt that she was “always the ugly duckling” of her group.
“My friends were gorgeous and I never was. I was very much a plain Jane; I struggled with weight a lot as a teenager… I had a lot of self-confidence issues,” she tells Woman’s Day.
Battles with her weight saw Megan retreat into herself, trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts.
“I was so mean to myself. I would never go to parties, I would never go out. I didn’t go to the beach for, I feel like, 10 years. There was just no way you were going to get me in a bikini or togs.
“So many opportunities were missed because I was so scared of showing my body. I didn’t know what to wear, and if I put something on I would hate it on me.”
It took a long time for Megan to learn to accept her figure and realise that she was happy with her body the way it was.
Now, she works out regularly, is a vegetarian and tries to be as healthy as possible, but gone are the days when she would beat herself up about her weight.
“Change the things that you can change and forget about the things you can’t … [that] was a really powerful thing for me [to realise],” she says.
Today, at the age of 26 and happy at size 16-18, she hopes to be able to use her YouTube channel to reach out to young girls who were in the same position she was.
“I found myself thinking, at this age, that 15-year-old me needed somebody to be open about it and needed somebody at that age to be happy about it, and I didn’t feel like there was somebody in the media that did that for me,” she tells.
She started putting her videos online in March, and since then, she’s gathered a loyal community of just over 14,000 subscribers, as well as fans who interact with her on other platforms such as Instagram.
The positive response to her off-air channels has blown Megan away.
“I just had no idea how many people wanted it, or needed it - how many people wanted somebody to be honest that they were plus size and weren’t saying, ‘I’m on a diet to lose it’. They weren’t plus-size now, but hoping to lose weight, they were just plus size and that was it,” she says.
“I’ve had such great feedback from women of all ages, it’s been insane.”
While Megan’s been forced to deal with some negative comments as well, she says she mostly takes it in her stride and refuses to let it rattle her.
“If I feel bad about what they say, I give their opinion more respect than the people that say good things and I don’t think that’s fair,” she reveals.
“I haven’t had it in bundles and bundles of amounts, but the ones I’ve had have been really, really nasty words – but it can’t affect me because I don’t understand why someone would do that,” she reveals.
She prefers not to respond to the trolls, but instead takes some of the comments and reposts them on her social media, because she believes it’s important to show her followers the good and bad reactions she gets.
“I will post about it and say, ‘Look, I get bad things said about me, it doesn’t affect me but if it affects you and you get bullied online, talk to me about it, because it can be really awful.’”
While her YouTube channel is still in its early days, Megan says she has hopes it will continue to reach a wider audience and potentially allow her to help more people.
And as for her 15-year-old self, looking back now, Megan says she has plenty of advice.
“I would have told her to just let go and enjoy life a bit more. It’s not the end of the world that you’re not the best looking person in the class!
“I wish I could have told her more of that, and what’s why I’m doing this now, for the girls that need it now.”
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