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Russian artist talks about how ice cream, flowers, and self-care create happiness

'Hot Girl Summer' is making its rounds again and so is the obsession with having a bikini ready body.  

An interior designer is taking a stand against the obsession with diet culture and physical appearance by releasing an uplifting photo series in which food is replaced with flowers. 

Alena Fedina, 28, of Kaliningrad, Russia, created images showing blooms sprouting out of ice cream cones, bowls and teacups after reaching rock bottom during the pandemic when she was left feeling suicidal after gaining weight. 

Alena Fedina, 28, of Kaliningrad, Russia, created images showing blooms sprouting out of ice cream cones, bowls and teacups after reaching rock bottom during the pandemic when she was left feeling suicidal after gaining weight 

The photos, pictured, are designed to celebrate the things in life that bring true happiness 

Alena Fedina, 28, of Kaliningrad, Russia, left her job as a interior designer to become an artist full time

'Any step on the scale had caused me to feel shame, stress, anxiety and anger at myself because of the fact that I am gaining weight,' she said.

Alena was later diagnosed with insulin resistance and prescribed medication that had an adverse effect on her mental health. 

She said: 'I became depressed from them, I could not do anything at all, I was constantly crying, and thinking about suicide.' 

After coming off the medication, Alena began an intermittent fasting plan and learned about psychosomatic diseases – diseases that are formed in the consciousness and can cause physical symptoms without any medical reasoning behind it. 

'I made this project as a reminder that diets, gyms, and the looks of fashion models don't make us truly happy. A bouquet, delicious ice cream, gift and personal care will do it,' she wrote 

She gradually began to lose weight and started to focus on her mental health. After working with a psychologist, she started to understand her negative view of her body was rooted in a troubled childhood.  

At one point Alena's parents struggled with alcohol addiction and she spent time in an orphanage. 

'In my youth, I sometimes painted brightly, because I wanted to be beautiful. And only after growing up, I realized that this is not beauty.' 

She now wants to use her art to celebrate the things in life that truly bring her happiness. 

'I made this project as a reminder that diets, gyms, and the looks of fashion models don't make us truly happy. A bouquet, delicious ice cream, gift and personal care will do it,' she wrote about the project online. 'Remember this.'  

As a child, Fedina painted brightly because she wanted to feel beautiful. After working with a psychologist, she became to love herself and took on being an artist full-time

Her photo collection, titled: Stress – NO And Happiness – Yes, was birthed after a trip to Turkey. After Russia opened its borders, Fedina travel to Brazil, Turkey, Lithuania, and Poland for three months. 

'In Turkey, I gained strength, began to draw and plan new things,' she said. 'When I returned, I made this project, started to draw. Now, I am learning to sell them.'

She started an Etsy shop, left her job as an interior designer, and began working on projects that inspired her.

'I was afraid to start all over again, but I decided that I want to live my life, and I hope that everything will definitely work out,' she said. 

Through beautiful 'bouquets, delicious ice cream, gifts and personal care' and her art, Fedina was able to take her friend's wish for her and start a new life of self-love. 

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