Photography by Melissa Gidney
Occupation: Teacher, Education Blogger for Vancouverdesi.com
Describe yourself in under 100 words :
I think about change. Whether it’s rearranging, writing, or decorating. Something urges me to create. I was an only child so I missed not having a sibling, someone to slam the door in my face if I was annoying them. Thankfully, I have cousins who were just like siblings. But they lived in their own house. So when they’d leave, I’d cry at the door as they’d be waving goodbye from their blue station wagon. I value my family and friends. I am deep. Organized. Spiritual. I believe in karma, and higher powers. A good daughter, friend, relative, person. I love: coffee, books, magazines, music, color, jackets, and bohemian interiors. And so much more.
What surprised you most about the experience?
That it hasn’t been done before.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Lit by a bulb that is your soul. You brighten when you’re kind to others.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I have energy because I’ve slept well, exercised, and eaten properly.
What part of aging scares you the most?
Years from now, looking in the mirror and saying, “Why was I complaining in my 30s? Look at me now!”
What part of aging is the most exciting?
I’d be lying if I said, aging ‘excites’ me. I love being in my prime. When you’re older sometimes you end up depending on others, and I’ve always depended on myself. So I never want to lack that ability. I am excited about the unknown, and doing things I haven’t done yet. Life feels like a mystery novel.
Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?
I’ve never felt pressured by a man to look a certain way. If someone told me to dress a certain way, I’d be irritated. I would draw the line at, a loving suggestion from my partner, but that’s about it. People need to dress for themselves, and should have a sense of what looks good. There is no excuse to be seen in public wearing a pair of pajamas.
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?
My mother is beautiful. A 1000 watt light bulb inside of her. She’s confident, yet humble. And not fussy anymore with her looks. When I was a kid, she often wore sarees, with her hair in a bun. She looked like an air hostess for Indian Airlines when we’d go to parties. Her make-up was mostly maroon lipstick with matching blush. And she faithfully used Oil of Olay; the glass bottles with pink lotion inside. I remember the bottles in the medicine cabinet. Her thing for lotions and creams has rubbed off on me too. So I love to wander around in the beauty department to look at the latest creams.
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.
I don’t have the same monthly skin care expense. It fluctuates. I spend mostly on: moisturizers, sun screen, lip balms, eye liner, threading. Clothes, now that’s a different story!
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 this.
Yes! I think all women go through a period of self doubt. When you’re younger you’re trying to finish school, get a job, meet someone. And there are so many pressures. I believe you are confident when you feel good despite circumstances. I picture a confident woman stumbling on the stairs and laughing at herself, or fumbling in a presentation, but not allowing herself to feel like a failure. A confident girl makes mistakes but bounces back, after some self-reflection. My advice is, don’t equate appearance with confidence because looks fade. And there comes a time when even make-up loses its magic touch.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
No I haven’t had cosmetic surgery. I don’t think it’s for me. I think there are many other ways to enhance the face: eating right, exercising, sleeping properly, laughing.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
It’s tempting. You see a photo and say, “Oh that would be so much better if my forehead wasn’t shiny.” It’s amazing we can do that, but how real is it?
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?
Self defeating messages will always be there. No decade is better than the previous one. Our mothers dealt with pressure, we did, the next generation will. Sadly, it’s more competitive today. Everyone is a ten. So the only way to come to terms with your appearance is to honour the things you don’t like. I always wanted thicker hair. But once I accepted that no shampoo can change the DNA of my hair (maybe fluff it up a bit). Then I started appreciating it more.
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