At just 22 years old, actress, TV host and radio DJ Nomalanga Shozi has cemented her place in the South African entertainment industry as the It girl that all eyes are on – and with good reason. If you’re one of her more than 60K Instagram followers, you’re probably a fan of her unconventional style as she serves on-the-pulse, editorial-shoot-ready outfits on the regular.

But beneath those trendy threads is a body that’s had its fair share of exposure to anxiety and external pressures.

This is what Miss Shozi had to say to the body she loves so relentlessly now:

Dear Body,

Well, this isn’t awkward at all! Ha! I mean, we’ve only just been in an uneasy relationship with each other for about 22 years, with the latter part of those years being the most gruesome, but we made it! I am beyond proud of our journey and how far we’ve come.

Thinking back to about four years ago when I decided to leave home and move to the big city of Durban, I never knew the anxieties I’d have about you. I never knew the pressures we’d be subjected to, the amount of confusion we’d go through and the unrealistic expectations of perfection I’d hold against you. How foolish I’ve been! How do we recover all that time? I think our best and safest bet is to look to the future with excitement. I mean, we just fell in love! How much fun is that? I think loads! To set the tone for the future, I pledge to sing your praises as you deserve. You have carried me through the best and worst times in my life. You have been the best part of every moment, the perfect host for my bright and warm soul and the perfect complement to my personality. I am blessed to have you as my life companion. You are golden!

Thank you. I love you.

Your Eternal Flame

This year @marieclairesa saw fit to extend an invite for me to be a part of their #NewNaked2018 #DearBody campaign. A campaign that seeks to empower women by giving them a platform to write a special letter to their bodies. I need to Express how incredibly terrified I am as I write this post because dispite my unending energy, zest, and love for life and living out my dreams, I do suffer from every evil of the mind that women struggle with daily. I too feel insecure sometimes; mainly when my hair won’t do as I say , or even when I look into my closet and can’t decide on what to wear. Yes, even I sometimes look up into the mirror or down at the scale and think “WTF, who are you? ” . But the worst things I’ve said to myself were when I’d put my hands on my body and shame my rolls, my stretch marks and my breasts for being so tiny. Perfect, though they are (no, seriously, I have great boobs), I’d always wish they were just a little bit bigger… Anyway, I went ahead and wrote that letter to myself and my body. It was tough, but I did it. And, for the first time, I did something for myself without looking left or right for approval or applause. I said what I said and that was that. What is left is for me to believe it. And I think I do. If you had to write a letter to yourself, what would you say? I have an idea… start with #DearBody, tag Marie Claire and then just wing it! 😁 my letter will be in my stories. Xoxo, The Flame. #BlackGirlMagic Also: The Marie Claire New Naked Issue is out as of today! So many powerful women in this year’s issue whose stories are so inspiring! Get your copy today!

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Marie Claire’s 2018 #DearBody #NewNaked issue in partnership with American Swiss is on sale now.