Photography by Chris Thorn
Occupation: Chef/Holistic Nutritionist/Certified Yoga Instructor
Describe yourself in under 100 words.
Fancy pants holistic Chef/business baker, sophisticated hippy, asana & sutra paramour, and architect of juicy dreams, Mother to a light filled scallywag.
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
What surprised you most about the experience?
I was really sick; had the flu all week, and when I arrived I forgot to feel sick, if that makes any sense (might have been the great flu medication…), I realized it didn’t matter and I simply needed to show up.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Authentic emotion; simply put, any feeling that comes up, shared in a meaningful way, generating intimacy either through empathy, or through acknowledgement of that feeling.
When do you feel most beautiful?
After a rigorous Sadhana (mantra meditation) practice, or Kirtan. Devotion in connection with the gods of my understanding – which happen to be many – it takes an army.
What part of aging scares you the most?
The degeneration of muscular groups and my organs, making it more challenging to stay fit and active. Oh and my butt, I like my round bottom and I am nervous about it’s decline.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
The sense of acceptance that comes with time and experience.
Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?
Yes. Men are great ‘teachers’, for me. What have they taught me? Well, first and foremost that I define what I want from my body and my self image. There have been times when I have chased men up the side of mountains, or benched pressed my body weight to seek attention, but what I learned emotionally and spiritually from those experiences was far more important than the kudos I gained from the physical appreciation I was rewarded from the man I was seeking approval. I am a closet feminist that leans heavily on the side of personal responsibility, which starts with demanding respect for brains, gumption, and perseverance versus physical appearance.
What kind of relationship does your mother have with herself in regards to beauty, confidence and self-love? Has this had any effect on you?
My Mother is beautiful and was always admired for her beauty inside and out, but she had far more self-esteem than I ever had as a young girl. She is courageous. She taught me courage.
On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.
$75.00. I mostly use homemade remedies these days – avocado, shea butter, lemon, ginger, mint, and coconut oil. And somewhere along the lines I grew weary of keeping up with the current fashion trends, instead I sometimes dress like a Motoguzzi, lumberjack, ballerina from the early 90’s.
Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life?
I was born with the, ‘fear of not enough’; not enough love, not enough food, not enough booze, not enough men, not enough attention, money, and so on… Body image has been a huge struggle for me over my entire life. I spent most of my younger life taking extreme measures to fill the void – overeating, over drinking, over exercise, over spending. I could never fill the void, that space that was filled with empty, a deep sense of inadequacy on the outside. I was never beautiful enough, or smart enough, just never enough. It’s been a long road and these days, I have a softer sense of what it takes to fill the void, through spiritual practice. I don’t act in extreme measures anymore – It was exhausting. The surrender happens when I let go of trying to control every outcome in my life and instead I settle into compassion for others and myself. I write beautiful love notes to myself on the bathroom mirror – expressions of the divinity within.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
I had laser hair removal on my bikini line.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I have seen photos of me photo-shopped (removed moles on my face, or under my arm, or on my chest), and I find it peculiar. I think it’s really challenging, because at first I like the idea of being retouched, but it just gives my “not enough” syndrome some clout, so I usually have to squash the negative self talk that comes from it and realign with my highest self.
I have stopped reading or looking at fashion magazines, as I am disgusted by the industry. What they are doing to women has no place at all in our emerging society. It’s time to take affirmative action against such falsification of self.
How do we ensure that the next generation of girls grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough?
I believe that for the sake of girls AND boys we have to keep the lines of communication about self-image open. It’s a deep and important conversation to have with all young children alike on a daily basis.
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