Photography by Jamie Mann
Occupation: Business Consultant for L’Oreal Professional
Describe yourself in under 100 words:
I am a person who tries to live my days full of passion and gratitude. I believe it’s important to go through life with optimism and grace. What I value most in life includes my family, my career, nature, my man & my dog, and traveling the world. Yoga is a huge part of my life which has contributes to a healthy relationship with family, friends and most important myself.
What surprised you most about the experience?
I was most surprised by how much fun I had. I was so nervous going into it, but thankfully Jamie Mann who was our photographer had an incredible energy that instantly made me relax.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Healthy is beautiful. Taking care of your mind, body and spirit is one of the most rewarding things a person can do for themselves. I also think happiness is beautiful. When you see someone who is self-confident and comfortable in their own skin, I am immediately attracted to that person. Lastly, I think kindness is beautiful. Whenever I see an act of kindness I am instantly drawn to the beauty in that person, I can’t help but smile.
When do you feel most beautiful?
It’s tough to say, because I think feeling beautiful is an ongoing effort, and I don’t mean effort as in the time you spend going to the gym, counting calories or putting on makeup. To feel beautiful requires you to make a choice every day that you are going to live your life in a positive way. You always have choices, so what’s it going to be? You have a choice to wake up every day and pick yourself apart, or you can focus on the fact that you are beautiful just the way you are. It may not be easy at first, but my motto is “fake it til you make it”. Try to see what happens when you are kind to yourself. It’s exhausting for you and it’s exhausting for the people around you that love you the most when you aren’t. You are beautiful just the way you are.
…That or throw on a really great pair of shoes.
What part of aging scares you the most?
The aches and pains in the body. I see my Oma in so much pain dealing with her arthritis, her sore hips, and I worry that as I get older my body will ache in the same way or worse.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
Growing old with my man, exploring the world, starting a family, drinking expensive wine and becoming a wise old lady that giggles with her girlfriends about the ‘good old days’.
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 would say on average I spend about $150 a month. I am lucky that I work in the beauty industry, so the hair and skin care is at a huge discount. But even before working for in my career I wouldn’t spend a lot. Anyone that knows me would tell you that I am pretty frugal with my money, and I am totally OK with that.
YES, I have struggled with all of the above. Being a teenager isn’t easy. You begin to experiment with dieting, dating, sex, drugs, and anything else that will put you to a test. At this age, you are trying to define who you are. Are you skinny, dorky, ugly, popular, smart, stupid…? And when you label yourself as one of these things, then the real journey begins.
In your teens you are always doing things for other people. You’re trying drugs, dating the wrong guys, disrespecting your parents, and normally it’s because you are trying to fit in with some crowd. I did it all. But whenever I did any of these things, I never really felt happy or proud of whom I was. I realize now that it was because I wasn’t being my true authentic self (granted at that time I was too young to know who my true self was). But I realize as I got older that the more and more I stood up for what I believed in, the more I learned about my values and what I am worth.
Many people do not realize that self-love is a choice. You can stay stuck in your old patterns of telling yourself you aren’t good enough, or you can start to find something you are grateful of within the way you are. Become mindful and appreciate the tiny, positive things about yourself on the inside and out.
I have never had cosmetic surgery, but I have had laser hair removal which made my mornings much more peaceful now that I can skip shaving my legs. Not all, but most people get cosmetic surgery because they are unhappy with something in their appearance and they feel that if they change it, they will become happier due to the result. Sometimes it works, but most of the time I see people feel the complete opposite. People start to go too far with numerous procedures, they begin to pinpoint another thing they don’t like about themselves, or worse they are unhappy with the results and want to do the procedure over again. My thoughts are before you start having work on the outside, check in with what work might need to be done on the inside. You may find that your happiness is lingering right in front of you.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I get why it’s out there, but what it is difficult to understand is why there is so much out there. We are surrounded by visuals from magazines, internet, and television every day, but none of those visuals ever truly represent a person or a products real result. I want to start to see a shift in society’s reality of true beauty, but it is difficult to see how it’s going to happen when we are surrounded by every media outlet we have.
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?
Education. We need to teach these young women that they are not alone in their journey. I was instantly drawn to RAW, because I wanted to be part of a community of women that can share their stories for any woman of any age to go “OK, I am not alone”. Even if I just touch one woman with my story, I know it was all worth it to be vulnerable in front of the camera. We are in a time where change is so constant. So, why not change the way that people look at beauty? We need to change the mindset that it is cool to be smart, authentic and kind. The only way to do that is to live my own motto and share with the next generation that they are beautiful just the way they are.
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