Self-taught entrepreneur and artist Josie Devine doesn’t exclude any female form– as an artist, painter, and woman. Josie celebrates all female shapes, as well as female strength and beauty, through her artwork. Entering lockdown feeling unproductive (and by proxy, guilty), she started her “side hustle”, turning her passion for life drawing and painting into a business.
Josie’s work is striking. In an era that feels far removed from ‘heroin chic’ and the 90s’ skinny body aesthetic– and in spite of the continuing prevalence of plastic surgery and cosmetic injections– the mainstreaming of the online body positivity movement, the proliferation of ‘all sizes’ campaigns amongst high street fashion brands, and discussions such as those hosted by Jameela Jamil on her ‘i Weigh’ podcast, have meant women across the internet, and around the world, are revelling in embracing under-represented, diverse body shapes.
While many still stand in front of mirrors, pinching and pondering, Josie paints a huge variety of body shapes, in the aim of empowering those outside the norm. At the end of the day, we’re all just babes who would love to be painted byjosiedevine.
Of course, ‘body positivity’ shouldn’t have to be an enforced affirmation. We all have those rubbish days; we wish our bodies wouldn’t have to be political statements or social media content, and most of us don’t want to have to think about them at all. Even if we don’t feel positive about our body image– we can find peace with that, and still manage to love ourselves.
With a background in marketing, social media and e-commerce, it’s no wonder Josie’s company has been thriving. With hundreds of likes on Instagram, a stunning website, and over four thousand followers, Josie is onto a winner. And yet, she describes herself as a realist with a tendency to hinder herself, and a lack of natural self-belief.
Josie discusses how imposter syndrome created mental hurdles when starting the company, and how it affected her confidence as an entrepreneur. A massive obstacle to career progression, job applications, salary review requests and self belief; if you’ve ever struggled with imposter syndrome, this conversation is for you.
Originally identified by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, this inability to own accomplishments and internalise success impacts women on an individual level, when starting businesses and believing in themselves, as well as on a macro-economic level. Relatedly, according to the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, only one in three entrepreneurs in the UK are women.
Procrastination, lack of confidence to speak up in a meeting, failing to take ‘next steps’ towards goals, stopping yourself from making a funding application, or that nagging mindset which results in you doubting your abilities– that’s imposter syndrome.
How do we deal with imposter syndrome? Most articles, psychologists, and research suggest multiple different approaches– journaling, affirmations, reframing thoughts, and developing coping mechanisms. Above all else, talk to your friends, colleagues and family about it– and talk to us! We totally get it.
Our aim is to give you the knowledge, the facts, and the tools, to deal with in-built obstacles in the workplace. We’ve all had moments of self-doubt creep in, making us reflect negatively on our abilities. Let’s be aware of it and turn the focus towards our resilience, strength, intellect, and our unique selling points.
As Valerie Young says, “have an imposter moment, but not an imposter life”.
You can also listen to this conversation on Soundcloud, here: