Q&A with Self-discovery Coach Calypso Barnum-Bobb
By Ellen Downes Saturday 3rd September 2022
Calypso joined me for an Every Body’s Instagram Live. We spoke about her relationship with her body – the journey it’s been on and her hopes for its future.
She is an LGBTQ+ self-discovery coach, a business mentor, a workshop host and a content creator.
In her words, “I help people discover their superpower, build their dream business and create a life people with freedom”. After a 7 year career working as a fashion buyer with global brands like Nike and ASOS she/they burnt out hard, realising that she had been living life according to society’s standard of success rather than her own.
She went on a personal self-discovery journey to find her truth and purpose, documenting her journey along the way and building her/their coaching business, which is grounded in authentic self-expression. A certified NLP practitioner and Hypnotherapist, Calypso now supports others in creating lives and businesses that centre their individual joy. Calypso works with her clients in both a 1:1 and group setting and also shares free content both on Instagram and TikTok (@calypsobarnumbobb).
I first heard about the wonderful Calypso through seeing her do an Instagram Live with Project Galentine. If you don’t already know about Galentine, they are a sexual wellness startup on a mission to destigmatise women’s pleasure by making it an essential part of self-care.
It was so beautiful for her to join me on the Every Body’s Story page for a Live. She shares her wisdom, personal journey, insights and just all round great energy. Here’s my interview with the wonderful, powerful woman that is Calypso Barnum-Bobb…
3 words to describe your body:
Strong, soft and solid.
What do you love about your body?
I love my skin. Growing up as a young black girl in a majority white suburb of London had an impact on me. I’ve been on such a journey learning to love and accept my skin. Now I’m in a place where I love it… I love its colour, I love its tone, its texture.
I have a real love-hate relationship with my boobs. From one day to the next they can be my most or least favourite part of my body. Something that I’ve come to accept over the years is that our relationships with our bodies aren’t linear, and that’s ok.
What would you like to love about your body?
My back. I’m a sporty gal. I really like going to the gym and I used to play a lot of sports. I can sometimes get conscious of my back looking too athletic or of having back rolls. It’s funny because I’ll look at someone else with a similar back to mine, and I’ll think they look beautiful. But when it comes to myself it’s different. Yeah, it’s a part of my body I want to give more love to for sure.
I definitely feel affected by the beauty standards we see set by the media. I remember as a teenager I spent a lot of time focusing on my body image and my weight. It was something that I battled with a lot from such a young age, I even remember taking slimming tablets at school.
As a mixed race girl growing up in a white area, I was comparing my body as a black woman to white women’s bodies, which just looked different. I was so aware that my frame, bone structure and muscle density were different. When I deep it, and really think about it, I think I wanted to have a ‘white’ body.
You know, there was also a huge shift when I went from being in a relationship with a man to a woman. It has felt so freeing to not be viewing my body through the male gaze. I’ve got a lot more comfortable in my skin over recent years.
What would you say to your 10 years younger self?
Wow, I was 18 10 years ago. I want to say to her…
You are beautiful! Stop comparing yourself to others around you. Your body doesn’t define you. It isn’t everything. You can find joy in so many areas of your life beyond your appearance.
And… seek companionship and friendship in others who look, sound and live like you.
What are your hopes for your relationship with your body in 10 years’ time?
Ooh I love this question! Well I hope to have and carry children. If I’m lucky enough for that to happen, I know my body will change so I hope I will love it through that journey.
I’d say overall I’m a body-confident person. I like being naked, I feel confident. I just hope that in 10 years’ time I will be continuing to feel comfortable in my skin. I hope that I’ll still be happy being nude and topless on the beach. I hope to love to love my body even more than I do now.
Her words to you:
Be naked more! Be. More. Naked.
I used to shy away from looking in the mirror naked. But recently I’ve been really dismantling this thing that so many women feel, that our naked bodies are inherently sexual.
If you’re feeling yourself, allow yourself to dance around naked and embrace being free in your body. And if you’re not there yet, start to build a relationship with yourself in the mirror with no clothes on. Or at least try to imagine… think to yourself, ‘what would I do and how would I feel if I was someone who loved their body?’.
Every Body's Story Book
The stories and golden body casts of 1000 women and non-binary people.