Name: Danae Mercer
Height: 5’8” (173 cm)
Can you share more about yourself and what you do?
I’m a freelance health and travel journalist and content creator. I’ve worked as editor-in-chief of Women’s Health Middle East, and as editor of a luxury travel magazine. But these days my life is pretty strongly focused on the incredible online community I’m lucky enough to be a part of.
When did your journey start? Was there a certain event or situation after which you decided to change?
I started talking about self-love and body confidence back in April 2019. At the time I was doing a lot of traditional content, but I was feeling really separate from it. It wasn’t me. So I decided to show something I was traditionally pretty insecure about — my cellulite — in a photo. The response stunned me and really made me feel less alone, and I haven’t looked back since.
What inspires you to keep going?
The incredible women who are part of my community inspire me to keep going. They make me feel more brave and more confident every day. Also, I constantly ask myself ‘what would 13-year-old me need to see or hear or know?’. In a way, I’m trying to be the person who could have helped me, and I hope it helps someone else.
As a body confidence coach, what are you aiming for? What is your purpose?
I just want women to know they’re not alone in their struggles, and at the same time to realize just how wonderful and special they really are.
As a health journalist and Influencer media is a big part of your life. Do you see a change happening on social media?
I hope so. I’ve seen amazing publications like Women’s Health shift how they approach diet talk in the last 10 years, and at the same time I see social media opening up all sorts of new and exciting conversations. I’m really hopeful for the future.
You also overcame an eating disorder. How can your open conversation about this help women and girls who are affected by such disorders?
Eating disorders are really complex, but they’re often fueled and nurtured by shame. By talking about it and pulling the ED conversation into the light, shame shrinks. That’s a big part of my goal: just to let anyone who is struggling know they aren’t shameful, they aren’t broken, and they definitely aren’t alone. Eating disorders are difficult but they’re strong and healing is possible.
You grew such a powerful and great community. How did you do this?
I’m really grateful, honestly. I think women just want to know they aren’t bad for having wobbles or jiggles or things they’re insecure about, whether it’s emotional or relationship or anything else. My community is all about creating a safe space for women to embrace these sorts of topics.
Do you feel that some topics like an eating disorders are more relevant for teens and other topics such as bloating or cellulite are more relevant for adults? Or is it just really mixed? How is your community engaging with you about these topics?
I think the content goes across all sorts of different ages. I had teens (13 and 15) messaging me today about stretch marks, and an adult of 49 messaging me about her binge-eating disorder. These things span generations.
Fun question: What about men? Do they ever reach out to you, get inspired by your content or ask you for advice?
I definitely get asked questions by guys, OR I get women asking if I know any guys like me that they could direct their partners to. Like a male body confidence page or a male eating disorder recovery page. I also am really lucky to have incredible non-binary and trans members who resonate with the content, and that makes me really happy.
A big part of your Instagram feed is the Instagram vs. Reality approach. What impact do these comparisons have on your community?
My goal is to pull back the curtain and help people understand that not everything we see online is real. So, through my content, I hope I uplift and inspire folks, and make them just feel a little bit better.
You decided to collab with Women’s Best. Taking into consideration everything you stand for, why did you choose to be part of the community?
Oh gosh. Women’s Best is such an incredible and supportive brand, and they’ve always been so lovely. I’ve worked with them for a while now, and even when I started doing body confidence stuff — which honestly is a bit newer and maybe less accepted in my region — WB were really supportive. Even when a lot of other brands just dropped away. Plus, I love the kit and I have for years. It’s my favorite. So, between the workout wear and the brand ethos, it was an absolute no-brainer.