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Photography by Melissa Gidney


Age: 51ArianaC-3

Occupation: Writer, designer, photographer,

Describe yourself in under 100 words.

Fun, spirited, honest, energetic, focused, inventive, sincere, and a seeker of quiet moments in our busy world.

If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?

Relaxed and thought-provoking.

What surprised you most about the experience?

How at ease everyone was!

Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?

The energy that emanates when someone walks in a room and you just can’t put your finger on it, but that person is glowing from every pore in their skin.

When do you feel most beautiful?

When my husband is holding me.

What part of aging scares you the most?

Potential health issues slowing down my stride!

What part of aging is the most exciting?

Slowing down my stride!

Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?

Nope. They either accept me for the non-heel-wearing gal that I am, or don’t.

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 mom was always fit and pretty, but a rocky marriage with my father made doubt creep in, and later stress. I think she aged a lot quicker than was necessary, though she still looks beautiful at 79.

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.

Hair colour and clothes- about $75 every couple of months on hair, about $250 twice yearly on clothes, another $250 on shoes, as needed.

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.

I’ve always had an issue with weight. When overweight, I always want to lose, and when I was skinny, I was rather fanatic about getting on the scale daily. I’d advise getting to a comfortable weight where you can enjoy daily life, eating out when you’d like, and keeping active. There’s not much you can do once you get older as metabolism slows down – fact.

Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?

Wow, you’re talking to a photographer here. It’s hard NOT to want to go in and help along a wrinkle or spot on someone’s face, but I feel that magazines go way too far in hiding every little imperfection. It makes women very much aware of how imperfect they are, and keeps the beauty industry stinking rich.

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 think it starts at home. If you have loving, accepting, nurturing parents that can bring your inner beauty out and KEEP it shining without showing the need to compare to other girls (including siblings), that would be a great start. I’ve only one brother, but had I sisters, I’m wondering whether our looks would be compared by both family and outsiders.


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