Charlotte B

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

I wear mascara daily, but that's basically it. Now and then I wear a bit more. I have it all, spent lots of money on everything from foundation to glitter but wear it very rarely. Maybe on a night out (which is maybe if I'm lucky once a year). 

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

The photos I see are so real and strong and I doubt that I will ever look that pure and beautiful. I think I have very low self-esteem of my own looks. It's like I have given up. If someone tells me I look pretty I don't believe them, I would hope I would feel the same about myself as I see the others.

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

Yes, naked! Even if just mascara I need it. It's amazing what difference it make. To be frank I doubt anyone cares (it's only mascara) but it does make me feel more secure and strong.

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

Yes, I sadly grew up feeling fat and ugly and I never consider myself as beautiful or strong. I never felt happy about myself and I am not sure why. I was a bit chubby around eight and once a photographer who took a photo of myself and my siblings called me chubby, that is still in the back of my mind. That comment paved the way for how I viewed myself and I started to compare myself with the popular girls in school. Now as a mother I see my beautiful daughters and a big fear is that they too will have these feelings when they grow up.

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

Life is worth living, go crazy, travel more, explore the world and don't care so much about your appearance. If I could look down at myself age 15-20 I wish I would not have hidden myself so much in those horrible clothes. If I had felt more happy about myself maybe then I would have been a happier person and dared to do more things and enjoyed life more. Maybe this is what I should telling me now...

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

I think every woman who has given birth goes through a change in life. The love, the horror, being a mum is terrifying yet beautiful. The emotions never relax. That and starting my own business, running shops is a scary business yet there is nothing else in the world I would rather do.

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

My mum, at my age she had five children, gone through a nasty divorce and lots of other hard things in life that made her extremely lonely, yet she still managed to put food on the table and bring us up believing that we could become whatever we wanted as long as we believed in ourselves. Today she has five grown up children who are friends, with jobs and enjoy life. She did well which I sadly only see now as a mother and grown-up. I love her.

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

This is hard, hmm I believe I can be funny. My partner tells me he knows I am beautiful and clever (he is clearly lying), a staff called me a fair boss (thank you). But no I don't know, think it is easier to see what I don't admire in myself.

9. Is there an achievement you are particularly proud of? Why?

Opening my shops, but most of all my daughters. I am proud of them!

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

I consider myself luckily being brought up in Northern Europe where women are as equal as men (well at least I thought so as a child). Sadly this view feels different now as a mother. I am terrified that someone will do something to my daughter's or something bad will happen to them. That is a daily worry, being a mother is a daily challenge. I really try to be as natural as I can for them and make sure they will grow up feeling confident and strong about themselves but hard when it is not the natural feeling about yourself.