Michelle

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

I wear a little makeup every day because it make me feel that I am ready for the day. I wear eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara because my eyes look tired without. I only wear a dab of foundation sometimes.

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

I wanted to help you with your project because it's about women and seems interesting. My partner had her photo taken and you captured her essence perfectly. I would like to have mine taken to see my bare face around the same time as she had her bare face captured. To capture this time in our relationship.

 

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

If I have no eye makeup on I feel bare and self conscious. Only around my partner, best friends and family can I be bare. Out and about and at work I need to at least have eye make up on! Although abroad I'll not wear makeup or do my hair!

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

I think growing up with painfully shy old fashioned parents , has made me self conscious. I never saw an adult naked body until I was about fourteen and my female relative that I spent holidays with was comfy enough to walk around naked in the mornings. I was in awe! I have never felt comfortable with my body unless through truly being built up with a partner. However even then I am not comfy walking around naked.

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

I would give advice to eat healthier and less! To look after myself better but to celebrate the curves I have and also I would have said don't start wearing eye make up at twelve as it's set me up for feeling like I need it for life!!

After mulling over these questions I realised that would be the body advice I would give myself. However, the emotional advice I would give myself would be to slow down and enjoy the moment , pay attention to the moment and stop ruminating or planning as the best moments are being missed.

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

I have felt most empowered when surrounded by family and friends on my wedding day in 2014. I felt so much love for Jen and then everyone's else's love just seeped into me, I soaked it up like a sponge and felt so loved and happy and lucky.

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

I admire my birth mother who died in 2014. She was only 52. She died of lung disease. She was born into chaos herself and had a difficult childhood and upbringing and then lost us when we were 3 and 6 and suffered her whole life subsequently. However she was stoic until the end. I admired her strength when facing death and feel grateful my sister, Jen and I could be with her when she passed away. She brought us into this world and we were with her when she left this world. That feels poignant.

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

I am very thoughtful. I take care of my relationships with family and close friends.

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

I did at 26 mile kick scoot from Leith to North Berwick to raise funds for my friend who has just been diagnosed at 28 with breast cancer. I feel proud as I raised 2.5k and I am also organising a fundraiser in July where I am doing a Silent Auction, where I have asked locals for donations and feel grateful for all the amazing donations. This will help my friend with the financial consequences of being ill, with two young babies. This makes me proud as I didn't think I could do that scoot and I have been proud how focused I have been on getting donations for the auction.

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

I feel pressure I suppose in several ways , in all my roles, but one pressure is people wondering about children. This is something I want but may take time.