Malin Andersson opened up to MirrorOnline exclusively about her battle with grief, body positivity, along with some advice for women who are experiencing domestic abuse.
The former Love Island star recently spoke out and bravely posted horrifying photos of injuries she says she received at the hands of her ex boyfriend.
“It’s something that isn’t really spoken about”, she said.
“You don’t see women speaking about it or reaching out for help.
“I know first hand it can takes months or years to start to feel comfortable calling for help.
“I just hope people can see what I am doing and pluck up the courage to seek help.”
Malin, 27, is no stranger to trauma, and she gave birth to her daughter Consy prematurely in January.
Consy had a heart defect and tragically died just weeks after being born.
Malin was still grieving the loss of her mum, also named Consy, who had died from cancer in November 2017.
“Like everything else I’ve gone through, it just takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight”, she said.
“Trauma is trauma”.
But when asked how she was really doing now, Malin said firmly: “I’m good.”
She reflected: “It’s my mum’s two year death anniversary in three days, and it would have been my daughter’s first birthday next month. So this time a year ago, everything was fine.”
She opened up about how she has changed over the last year, remaining positive even after everything.
“After going through what I’ve gone through, I see life completely differently. Trauma destroys you as a peson.
“I’ve been heartbroken. I find some days harder than others, I do struggle to get up some days. I don’t see the point in life sometimes.
“But that’s me being a victim. I’d rather see what I do have around me and be grateful for what I’ve got.
“I count my blessings every morning”, she explained.
“I write down a list of what I’m grateful for, to remind myself.”
Malin has recently become a huge advocate for body positivity, posting photos which showcase her real, un-airbrushed body.
“Helping others is a for of therapy to me”, she said.
Post Love Island, Malin said she was using social media for “selfish things” like adverts and sponsorships, things Malin brands “fake s***e”.
“Going through trauma really evolves you as a person, and I wouldn’t do that bulls**t ever again.
“Life is about living and being authentic, and helping people. Even if you help just one person”, she said.
Malin explained she’d overcome a life long battle with eating disorders, which only dissipated when she became pregnant.
“I’ve had a long struggle with eating disorders my whole life, from the age of 15 when I started beauty pageants, every day I’d wake up crying, wanting it to go away. Counting calories, weighing myself after drinking water”, she said.
“I would track all of my calories on an app, it consumed my life, then I developed binge eating, where I would buy loads of food, eat it all, then make myself sick because I felt so guilty.
“My body is not built for that. My frame will never be that.”
When Malin became a flight attendant, she was then weighed before every flight as the airline was so strict about the image of its cabin crew.
Then as Malin moved into TV and did Love Island, her body was once again under scrutiny as she appeared in a bikini in front of millions.
She said she never got rid of the voice in her head that said “Malin, you’re fat and you’re ugly.”
So Malin then resorted to surgery, undergoing liposuction and a breast lift. But this still didn’t make her feel better.
She said the change came when she got pregnant and she had a newfound respect and love for her body and what it was doing.
“I’m carrying this beautiful little girl”, she said. “Why would I be obsessed with what I look like?”
Malin recently took part in a stunning lingerie campaign shot on the underground and in a cab, which she said was a very chilly experience.
She says a few years ago she would never have done it because of self-consciousness of her ” cellulite and saggy boobs” but “there’s no point being a fraud on social media” she said.
“Slowly fall in love with yourself and be kind to ourselves. Start the process of loving yourself. Society drums into us expectations of what you should look like.
“Be kind to yourself. It all starts within.”
Malin recently visited the Bliss Sanctuary For Women in Bali for a women-only retreat to help her mind and body recover from everything she’s been through, which she highly recommends.
“It’s a place of healing”, she said.
“We get caught up in our busy schedules and we don’t take the time to look after ourselves. And that’s the most important thing to do.”
Winter Love Island is coming up early next year, and Malin says she still doesn’t believe there is enough diversity on the show, so she hopes that will change in the future.
She added that she thought it was “oversaturated” having two series in a year.
Malin also revealed she isn’t watching I’m a Celebrity, but she knows “awesome person” Jacqueline Jossa, who she hopes will do well.