Photographer : Kyrani Kanavaros
Occupation: Executive Director, CKNW Orphans’ Fund and Founder NetworkinginVan.com
Describe yourself in under 100 words.
A loud laugh-er with a huge heart. Genuinely interested in connecting with people and helping others along their journey. Dedicated to my community and family. Lover of U2, books, boggle, chocolate and Prosecco.
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
What surprised you most about the experience?
Even though I woke up with eczema all over my eye, I still really wanted to participate. I was very open to it and enjoyed it immensely.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
A warm heart and genuine smile. Kindness, compassion and understanding.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I have a gorgeous full-length silk nightgown. At night when I have taken off all my make-up and my hair is up and I am reading a book in bed in it, I feels pretty beautiful.
What part of aging scares you the most?
I know it’s bad but I sometimes I think, the older you get, the greater the chances you have of getting sick and anything that potentially takes me away from my children scares me so much.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
Life experience and personal development. I am in constant pursuit of evolving.
Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?
Maybe more so when I was younger. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was in my 20’s and most of the time I thought it was because I wasn’t pretty enough.
What kind of relationship did/does your mother have with herself in regards to beauty, confidence and self-love? Has this had any effect on you?
I think my mom has a healthy sense of herself. She is beautiful from the inside out. Beauty isn’t something we overtly discussed growing up. Much more emphasis was placed on love, faith and compassion and that has affected me greatly in a positive way.
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.
On average about $150.
Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life? If yes, please share your story. If you have any advice for people going through the same thing please feel free to share your thoughts here.
Most definitely. Growing up I was not the prettiest girl in the class, far from it. I had really bad teeth and a heavy lower jaw with a major under-bite. In Grade 12, I found out I was “Most likely to replace Jay Leno” as decreed in our school yearbook…and it wasn’t because I was funny! I suffered from some major insecurities about my teeth and like most girls struggled with my weight for years.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
I had braces and jaw surgery in my 20’s. They broke both of my jaws and reset them – brought the upper forward and the lower back. It was partly cosmetic and partly functional. I remember feeling at the time that I was succumbing to this pressure of what ‘normal’ was but to be honest I would do it again. I went through 15 years of smiling with my mouth closed because I hated my teeth. I am happy I did it. I am not judgmental when it comes to surgery, I think whatever works for you is important. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I think that Photoshop is creating a culture of young girls seeking something that is totally unattainable and I shudder about the future conversations that I know I will be having with my daughter about this. I don’t mind the odd filter.
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 don’t think we can ensure it. It’s tough. It’s going to be about open conversations and movements like Raw Beauty Talks and more to help our girls wade through the abyss of messages. I think a strong foundation at home with positive female role models is very important.
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