Photography by Elias Tahan
Occupation: Co-Founder of Amore & Vita
I am passionate about life and self discovery, learning and growing and try to be the best version of me…learning the hard way the entire time. I tend to live by both extremes: Fiercely independent but the social butterfly always up for a good time. I’m beyond hardworking but love to relax and kickback. Spontaneous and adventurous but a homebody and creature of comfort. I am creative and visual but am business minded and analytical.
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know?
The people closest to me know this all too well but I am a very sensitive and a gentle person. I may have a tough exterior and wear this “armor” per say, but when you know me, you know that sometimes I just need a hug!
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Physically? My boobs! Hahaha joking! Honestly, it’s my personality, I love my sense of humor and ability to make others laugh and enjoy the moment, even allow others to laugh at me, with me!
What is the most amazing thing your body has done?
It’s resilient. I have had all sorts of ailments and weight fluctuations but when you treat it right and give it what it needs – you will be amazed at what it can do and how it can change and heal.
What is your biggest insecurity in regards to your appearance, if anything and where do you think it comes from?
My weight – I got teased a lot when I was younger when my body was changing and I was becoming a “woman”. I was always the biggest of my friends but that didn’t necessarily mean I was big. After that it was always an issue and when I look back there was nothing wrong with me. I wish I could tell the 14, 16 and 20, even 24 year old me I was beautiful.
Do you think there is more pressure to meet a certain standard of beauty living in LA than in Vancouver?
Yes and no. There are very vain and appearance driven people in every city. Vancouver is just such a small and saturated demographic where you know everyone and are always trying to impress everyone I have found, but the “prettiest” aren’t always the most talented. LA has made me become the most confident and beautiful woman I have ever been. I am not an actress, or a model so for me I don’t want to compare myself to them – sure I have moments when I do but realistically speaking that isn’t my reality. I would rather waste my time comparing myself to someone with a blog. I have the most successful, strong, beautiful and rad group of women from all over the world in all different careers surrounding me that literally want nothing more than for all of us to do well. I would way rather the pressure to do and be my best then the pressure in somewhere like Vancouver, to look my best….looks fade.
Dieting. Yay or nay?
Both – I am big into cleansing. Not for weight loss for your bodies overall health (but I mean it doesn’t hurt the waist line either) and work closely with a nutritionist down here. I try to eat well most of the time but you can bet your bottom dollar I won’t be saying no to pizza…I LOVE food. I used to have a very terrible relationship with food but now I don’t…I have healed from the hatred and blame I felt towards it and have healthy outlook on what I am consuming by listening to my body…I have the control. Sure I am like, “I didn’t need 4 pieces, but you live and learn”.
Several research studies have shown that photo editing the bodies and skin complexion of women in media (magazines, advertisements, websites etc.) has really detrimental effects on the confidence of young girls and women resulting in increased depression, anxiety and eating disorders. What are your thoughts on Photoshop? Is it an expression of art or have we taken it too far?
This one is a sensitive question that I will tread lightly on. I obviously am in an industry where some of MY photos have been retouched here and there. When I have to look at a photo that is the BEST representation of me, I want it to be my best: Unfortunately I can’t control a good hair day, a blemish in the middle of my forehead or water weight from “that time of the month”. I won’t sit here and lie and say I don’t partake but I am not extreme about it. I never want to be that beautiful person in print and a complete stranger in real life…
In addition, I feel like there will always be something…too sexy, no pores, an offensively skinny model…we live in a world where only one thing is constant: and that’s change. We have the ability to make a change, so if there wasn’t things to change where would that put all of us? I now have a voice, on this powerful and educational platform, where these rad women can be frank and honest and hopefully adjust one persons way of thinking with their struggles by feeling acceptance or the ability to relate. If it wasn’t photoshop it would be something else…so we need to use something we can’t photoshop, our brains, and try make a difference.
If you could give one message to women of the world what would it be?
Everything is going to be alright. Literally. My best friend Shay would gladly vouche that I am the BIGGEST worry wart in the world. And when I sit back, take a breathe, or go for a workout within moments the solution presents itself in an ideal way most of the time. I am Mrs. Worst Case Scenerio and it is something I am continually working on.
Stay connected with Michaela:
Instagram Handle: @michaelablaney
Twitter Handle: @michaelalblaney