Photography by Melissa Gidney
Occupation: Founder and Editor in Chief of Miss604.com & Published Author
Born and raised in Surrey, BC I began my online publishing career when I was in high school and it eventually took me to live in Boston, MA and back to Vancouver, BC. I have been blogging since 2004 and started my own company with my husband, John Bollwitt, in 2008. I love to write about local history, adventures, events, family fun, and travel. It has taken me years to call myself a “writer” but with two published books under my belt, and another on the way, I need to start.
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
What surprised you most about the experience?
Everyone seemed so nervous heading into the photoshoot, based on the chatter online and Facebook status updates. However when I arrived there was nothing but warm, smiling, welcoming faces and everyone was so relaxed.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Beauty is something that moves me. It can be emotional, visual, or physical action, from a kind gesture or a friendly smile, to rolling waves crashing into the West Coast shoreline.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I eat well and when I have clear skin, basically when I also feel the healthiest.
What part of aging scares you the most?
I feel as though I am not physically active enough in my day-to-day life and that it will come back to bite me as I age.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
More experiences, more opportunities, the unknown possibilities that the future holds.
Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?
Oddly enough, it’s women who intimidate me the most even when they don’t mean to. With top of the line fashions, slim bodies, killer pumps, handbags, and perfectly white teeth. I don’t feel as though I have to compete but it makes me wonder if I compare.
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 mother is beautiful but she’s really hard on herself and I find that I do the same. My husband always stops me from being too hard on myself and I pass on to her the advice he gives me: It doesn’t matter what size you are on a measuring tape or what number pops up on a scale. If you feel good about yourself (by eating healthy, being active, etc.) then you’re golden.
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 think I purchase makeup or beauty items on a monthly basis, perhaps every 2-3 months. I am not on top of trends or have the latest colours and shades. I have my trusty go-to cosmetic items that I simply replace when they run out. I don’t have any other treatments except a mani/pedi and haircut/colour every 6 months or so.
In high school, at the peak of my physical fitness, someone on an opposing sports team “insulted” me by calling me “skinny little bitch”. The word that pierced me the most was “skinny”. This was the first time I thought of myself as skinny since I have never had a low weight on the scale. I was mostly muscle at that time and didn’t even realize that I had a slim figure until I bought my first 2-piece bathing suit when I was 18.
Throughout my 20s I was very confident, well aware of my curves and 6-pack stomach. When I hit 30 things changed. I worked from home, I was no longer in an office, no longer walked to work, and my physical activity plummeted. As a result, I had more “lumps and bumps” as someone once told me. This was hard to take. I felt triumphant years ago when I discovered my body shape and now I felt defeated.
However, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I have so much more to fulfill me and to occupy my “happy thoughts” than the thought of looking good in a 2-piece. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more fit and be more active — and honestly I could use it — but I am also perfectly content with my changing body. I have worked more on the “bitch” part of that insult than the “skinny” part throughout my adult life and that makes me the most proud.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?
No, I haven’t. I think it’s a very personal decision and I shouldn’t be one to judge anyone’s motivations.
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 so common to see in magazine, and it’s been so exposed, that it’s seemingly an accepted part of pop culture. Where it hits me is actually when kids’ school photos get airbrushed so much that it looks like they have cartoon skin. I understand not wanting to be immortalized in the yearbook with that pimple on your nose (I’ve been there) but I think it sends the wrong message to future generations who might look at those images, of real people they know – not just models in a magazine – looking so retouched. I have a mole/birthmark on my cheek and it was once retouched/edited out of a photo. I was crushed since it’s really a part of what makes me unique. I think there’s a line, and it just doesn’t need to be crossed.
Connect with Rebecca:
Instagram Handle/ Miss604
Twitter Handle/ Miss604