Multi-talented comedian and Trending SA co-host Nina Hastie may be petite, but her charisma is on the large side. The bubbly 35-year-old media persona has overcome her fair share of life’s difficulties and has not only grown wiser, but also into herself after recovery and healing.

In Marie Claire’s New Naked campaign, made possible by American Swiss, Nina gets vulnerable once again as she shows off her inked canvas and writes this letter to her body:


To my stomach,

I’ve started being kinder to you, not putting you under so much pressure to digest – digest the pain, the anguish and the need for constant validation. Now, I just let you do your job – gently, lovingly, so that you can help me feel strong and healthy every day. I want you to know that I love you, you are enough, you are part of me and you don’t have to hurt to know you’re alive.

Your standard setting is joy, and anything interrupting that conversation is not from God – and you are from God, a divine organ of love that gives me the opportunity to be great, and empower not only myself, but whomever I encounter every day. YOU’RE ENOUGH! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU EXIST! AND THAT IN ITSELF IS A MIRACLE.

On experiencing alopecia:

Dear Nina,

I’ve called you so many names, you fat, bald Oompa Loompa. I would use these terms in jest around friends, using my comedy as a shield from the pain and shame of not loving you. Losing my hair was the biggest transformative image shift for me. Could I look at this face without the fear of thinking no man would ever love me like this? That I would die bald and alone because I was so grotesque? I used to wake up and stare at this round face with nothing to frame it – bare, vulnerable. I considered wigs. I considered scarves. And then one day I decided to get a tattoo on you, for decoration. And look what happened! Because I didn’t suffocate your little follicles, the hair grew back – rich and thick and lush. My crown returned after about two years, and look at it now. But the thing that saved this face is the smile. I smiled through it all – the patches, the loss, the growth, the waiting, the not knowing. I learned how to love my face no matter what framed it. Keep smiling, my Queen. Keep smiling.


If you were moved by Nina Hastie’s #DearBody letter, read more of the celebrity letters here.