“I had no idea that this would happen but deep down, I knew I was supposed to do something that was good.’’
Those are the words of fitness queen, entrepreneur and recent inductee of the AFR Young Rich List, Emily Skye.
A quick glance at Skye’s social media activity and her Instagram account is populated with bikini-clad mirror selfies, workout videos and inspirational quotes about how to get up, get moving and get fit. In an era where where our social media feeds are saturated with inferences we’re doing life wrong – we’re not active enough, positive enough, fun enough – it would be easy to lump Skye in with a group of influencers who photoshop, preach and post their photos to social media with little thought about impact.
But for Skye, who today debuted on this year’s Financial Review Young Rich list with estimated wealth of $32 million, her success comes from her transparency: For dulling the shine that is social media’s propensity to focus on the glossy.
Bullied in her teens and 20s, Gold Coast-based Skye has been candid about her struggle with body image and depression.
At the end of last year, a single composite photo she posted – a before and after shot – found itself in headlines across the world for flipping the weight loss, fitspo narrative on its head.
“This is before I started strength training,” Skye wrote of her ‘before’ image on Instagram which dated back to 2008.
“I was only doing cardio and I was obsessed with being as skinny as I could be. I was starving myself and was really unhealthy and unhappy. I suffered depression and had terrible body image.”
In the ‘after’ photo, Skye said she weighed 13kg more.
“I lift heavy weights and do a little bit of HIIT. I don’t do ANY long cardio sessions and I eat more than I’ve ever eaten in my life. I no longer obsess over the way I look. I eat and train to feel my best, for overall ‘health’ and longevity. I love having muscle and I feel more confident than ever.”