Rowan

1. If you wear makeup, why do you wear makeup and how often do you wear makeup?

Not often now.  When I'm going on a night out or if I'm trying to be respectable. When I’m going somewhere where I feel other females might be particularly competitive or judgmental. 

2. What made you want to participate in this portrait series?

When I first saw the project, I was feeling a bit down about my appearance. I had put on weight, or felt I had, and there were days when I couldn’t look in the mirror. I know that isn't a healthy way to think so I thought this would be good to push me out of my own self pity and get out of my own head. And get a nice picture of myself too. I think I'm a closet narcissist, really. 

 

3. Is being completely makeup free something that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable?

Not usually. But I must admit, seeing the photograph did make me feel incredibly vulnerable, exposed even. Every flaw I see in the mirror seemed magnified, to the point that in the first second I saw it I was horrified. There was nothing to hide behind, not even a smile. I love it now but it's difficult to see past your own insecurities that you think are so obvious to everyone else.

4. Are there specific factors (positive or negative) that have influenced how you feel about how you look?

It really depends on my mood. If my confidence in other aspects of life is high, I think I look good. If my confidence in other areas is shaken, then that has an adverse effect. 

5. If there was one piece of advice for the future you could give your younger self, what would it be?

Have more adventures while you still can.

6. When have you felt most empowered in your life?

When I’ve got out of a particularly bad relationship.

7. Is there a woman fictional or real that you admire? Why? 

Ginger Rogers - beautiful, talented and overlooked

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

Not being afraid to do things on my own.

9. In daily life what are the pressures you feel most exposed to specifically as a woman? 

My complete lack of control of my emotions, which affects my professionalism (what little I have) Fortunately, my bosses are very forgiving and understanding. Usually after one of these episodes I feel foolish and guilty that other humans have to deal with me.

10. If you could change only one thing to improve life for women worldwide what would it be?

I would stop them thinking of themselves as inferior. It’s easily done, even in the western world where we have some equality (or almost), to let yourself be passed over for men to deal with a situation. More often than not it’s subconscious.