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Amy Sheppard On Facetune, Body Positivity And Her Latest Single

"Some of the face-altering apps are so scary they should be illegal."

Ahead of her new Ep Nothing But Wild and her appearance at BODfest—a celebration of self-love and body positivity—Amy Sheppard sat down with marie claire to talk about how her relationship with her body has evolved, the potential for toxicity on social media, plus, her inspirations behind her new music. 

maire claire: In 2019 you released the song Kiss My Fat Ass, what was the inspiration behind it?

Amy Sheppard: Kiss My Fat Ass was inspired by the accidental Instagram movement I began, #kissmyfatass. In a nutshell, it’s a song about my realisation of how so many of us are curating our lives, our faces and our bodies to meet an impossible beauty standard. The song was a shout out to anyone who needs a reminder that they’re perfect as they are—we are so much more than our bodies.

MC: On Instagram, you are transparent about only posting untouched photos of yourself. Why was this important to you?

AS: One day I caught myself tweaking a photo which to that point was normal for me. I struggled with it for quite a while before posting the original photo. I felt so exposed but also it was a very liberating feeling. I don’t feel that just because I had that moment, that everyone needs to come to that conclusion… but I do feel an obligation to my followers and fans to let them know they can post just as they are without all the apps.

My first “unedited” photo went viral and began the #KissMyFatAss movement. It opened my eyes as to how much of a negative impact social media and editing apps are having on everyone’s body image. Some of the face-altering apps are so scary they should be illegal. I don’t have an issue with filters that create a beautiful aesthetic or vibe, but I cannot support apps that make you appear skinnier or smoother under the belief that you need to be something you’re not.

Amy Sheppard

MC: How do you feel about being told you are ‘inspiring’ or ‘brave’ for embracing body positivity?

AS: I don’t see it that way at all. I am still learning; I still have moments when I don’t feel good enough. I think anyone who shares their life online in an authentic and vulnerable way can be inspiring, however, I wouldn’t say it is an act of bravery to show up in the skin you’re in. Your airbrushed face or thighs are not what I am at all drawn to. I want to know who YOU are and what you do in the world—the good and the bad moments. If we made this “normal” we could truly improve the online experience for our next generations.

MC: How would you describe your relationship with your body growing up and what was the catalyst that changed your perception of self.

AS: I never had the greatest relationship with my body growing up. At some point I became aware that I wasn’t as small as the other girls and it was drilled into me from every angle that “skinny is better”. I was 10 when I tried the “Atkins Diet” for the first time.  I mean, when so many kids feel that way, they are already on the backfoot for all of adolescence and beyond. I think that day I made the call to not tweak the photo I was about to post on Instagram was the catalyst for change. I’m not sure at that moment what specifically motivated me, I just knew it was the right thing to do.

Amy Sheppard

MC: Do you think the music industry has changed in terms of inclusivity and what change would you still like to see?

AS: In some ways, I think the music industry is leading the way. Aussie artists like Tones and I, Delta Goodrem, Jess Mauboy, Sia, Missy Higgins, Amy Shark… these incredible women are leading with incredible vocals, song writing, stage presence, personalities. The fact that Kate Bush is number one all over the world this year… It tells me that maybe we are once again putting the music first. How it should be.

MC: There’s been a recent discussion around the retitling of ‘body positivity to ‘body neutrality.’ Do you feel that the term ‘body neutrality’ better captures the movement?

AS: The thing I love about the term “body neutrality” is that it’s all about accepting and respecting your body rather than loving every part of it. The idea of loving our bodies can be a lot for some and impossible for others, but let’s simply respect our bodies for all they do for us. Let’s focus on the million other interesting and wonderful aspects of ourselves. The body-positive movement was created by and for plus-size women of colour so I also acknowledge that although I am far from perfect, I am still in a body with privilege in our society. All I want to do is be as authentic as I possibly can and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Amy Sheppard

MC: What’s one thing you wish we would talk more about and one thing we would talk less about with regards to our bodies?

AS: Universally, I wish we spoke more about women’s bodies. For example, there’s still so much taboo surrounding periods. It’s one of the most normal things in the world, they affect half the entire population but even still in 2022 there’s tiptoeing around it. Less – I wish we spoke a LOT less about weight loss as a positive. Little comments like “you look great, have you lost weight?” may come from a good place but only reinforce the belief that a lower number on the scales is better. Comment on someone’s happiness, achievements, or better yet—simply ask them how they’re going!

MC: Tell me about your new solo single Blue Guitar and what inspired it? 

AS: The storytelling aspect of country music is one of my favourite things about the genre and on this debut EP, I wanted to write at least one track that was pure fiction; and Blue Guitar is it. The storyline follows a woman who returns to visit her small hometown. When she enters a local bar, she is taken aback by a familiar voice. The man singing on the stage is her former lover who never quite made the big time. She notices he is still playing his blue guitar- the same one he used to write love songs to her on. She is filled with the same old feelings she had for him and begins to wonder if the songs he is singing today are still about her.


Tickets for BODFest are on sale now—grab yours here.

Amy’s latest EP ‘Nothing But Wild’ is out Friday Sept 16.

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