YouTube vlogger and beauty, style and body-confidence guru Loey Lane is a modern-day social media princess. With hundreds of thousands of followers, Lane, 23, uses her many platforms to exemplify self-love and break down rigid standards of what it means to be beautiful.
In October of last year, she posted a clothing haul video to her YouTube channel, where she tried on an adorable "Little Mermaid"-inspired bikini, prompting some of her followers to contemplate the idea of a plus-size princess on the comments thread.
"Who am I even kidding? I'm going to be a mermaid princess for the rest of my life," Lane says in her video, as she shows off her take on Ariel's classic look.
She later posted a gorgeous photo of herself in the bikini to her Instagram account (and lived out every girl's dream to channel Ariel on the beach).
"Forever my happy place," she captioned the photo.
In March, Lane posted a video in response to the comments titled 'The Not So Little Mermaid,' where she reflects on her past as a "chubby kid."
In the video, she discusses going to Disney when she was a little girl as part of a youth trip. While there, she and her peers were told they could write the name of a Disney princess on their name tags.
"I wanted to be Ariel so badly because I loved The Little Mermaid," she said. "Someone literally stole my name tag before I stuck it onto my clothes that day, and they crossed out 'Ariel' and pencilled in 'Ursula.'"
She goes on to explain how, as child, she remembers associating villains with being unattractive and mean.
"No one ever idolized them or thought that they were pretty. The fact that the closest thing to my body I could get was Ursula just hurt me so badly."
More Shopping videos
Jewelry holders, leather pouches and other Steals and Deals to organize your life
Steals and Deals to kick-start your day: Juicer, treadmill, more!
Best subscription boxes to suit your taste buds (and your closet, too)
Boxed app CEO is changing how millennials shop while offering employees generous gifts
From then on, she says she grew up "never playing 'princess' with the other girls" because she didn't feel like they reflected her self-image.
"I know it would have boosted my self-esteem so much if I had had someone that I could relate to, or someone who I felt looked even remotely like me."
Now Lane, also a partner with StyleHaul, is using her voice to speak up for little girls of all shapes and sizes everywhere who are still waiting to see a princess that looks like them.
"We need to empower young girls and women to feel beautiful in their bodies," she said. "And that does start when young girls can see figures of themselves, whether it's a Barbie, or a princess."
"All of these ideals that we have set by society...when you say a big fat 'no' to that, and that you're beautiful the way that you are, it can influence so many people."
Can you say 'princess goals?'