Laura

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

I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, it's quite minimal. I've always had this habit. Over time, I have come to completely appreciate my body and my skin, especially face for what it naturally is. To be in a society where makeup is practically a woman's uniform and where we are essentially force fed claims that makeup is quintessentially part of our identity, makes us beautiful, age defiant, etc, is in my opinion a total scam. Completely shallow and missing the point of a woman's beauty. I feel empowered knowing that natural beauty is something I like to embrace. Not wearing makeup doesn't bother me. I think that it's in our most natural state that we are most exquisite. 

 

 

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

I've recently become good friends with Kristie and an instant admirer of her work. Through conversations over photography, art and edinburgh, she brought up how she wanted to pursue a study of natural portraits. Her approach and philosophy behind the concept was on point and well put together. I admired her for that. Later, she asked if I would participate. I was honoured and sort of bashful at first, considering my lack of portraits taken. I'm not used to being photographed. I much prefer living on the other side of the camera. I wanted to be involved-because of all the portrait series one could involve oneself with, this one struck me as an enriching and with a wholesome ethos. Something I would be proud to be associated with. 

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

Not at all. 

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

Having been told I look beautiful by some highly esteemed individuals in my life has been enough to give me the boost of confidence desired and appreciated. Also, to be told specific compliments about certain features of mine, such as eyes, has over time made an impression. To be given words of affirmation on character and natural elements rather than comments on how good your sense of fashion is or your expertise on makeup application is to me-light years more important to me. Why cover up skin or embellish with extra unessentials when you are lovely just as you are? 

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

My piece of advice would be to start saving money for my lifelong film photography fetish that has become the most prolific part of my life. And to not waste so much of my time and emotion crushing on certain silly boys. 

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

I felt the most empowered when I finally got dual nationality for the United Kingdom and the United States. It was a day I will never forget. It was the day my world got a little bit bigger and my dreams became achievable. 

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

I admire the women who believe in themselves, their abilities-and understand what it takes to achieve their goals and dreams-and make them happen...all with poise. Never making themselves out to be more than they really are. The grounded yet passionate, gentle and eloquent-those are my lady heroes. 

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

I admire my fearlessness. I've also always been a go getter. Always finding one more project or collaboration to participate in. To pair that with a spirit of compassion and equal parts determination, those are qualities I appreciate about myself. 

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

I'm quite proud of making my permanent move to Scotland. Every single day I find myself so thankful and extremely happy to be living in my true home. It feels like the circle has been completed after spending my entire life coming here to visit family on holidays and falling madly in love more and more each visit. It's a massive accomplishment to have properly moved here after longing for it for so long. It's a very special treasure and milestone that I think will aid to a never ending appreciation for this beautiful country. 

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

I think women are unfairly faced, on a daily basis, with the notion that there is more to mend, more to cover up, more to enhance, more to be ashamed of...I hate that our modern day society decides to profit off of women who are fed with nonsensical adverts, magazine icons and clothing imagery that paints a false assumption of how women should look. Rather, there should be more encouragement for how someone naturally is. But of course, most of these formerly noted sources wouldn't make much money off telling women to be okay with who they are. Every single woman is unique and beyond beautiful just how she is. I read a comment one day, a while back that made me laugh and also made me think...it went something like this-we never see adverts encouraging men to wear makeup, so why are women constantly reminded they need it? Simple, yet profound. I encourage all women to stop listening to silly presumptions of how they should look. Take matters into their own hands and embrace themselves for who they truly are. I genuinely think that everyone looks the prettiest and most honest with no makeup at all.