Mandy

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

I like to enhance my features but usually just use very barely there make up, so very natural. I use it to even out and to cover blemishes. I use it pretty much every day.

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

I was drawn to the project first of all seeing the images which had been done already and how beautiful they were. And I wanted to be part of something that can be empowering to us as women.

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

It depends on my surroundings. Within close people, friends and family I feel comfortable without make up, but in general I would say it feels like a safety blanket when out and about.

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

Wisdom comes with age. Getting older and being more confident in myself (there are still days where I'm not) has definitely had an impact how I feel about myself and the way I look. Other things become more important. 

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

Don't worry about your hair! I used to get absorbed into hair style crisis while other girls would worry about their body shapes.

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

I think there have been a few situations in my life where I felt Im on top of the world. Moving to Berlin and making my own decisions regarding my life, giving birth to my two wonderful boys and moving to Scotland. I also feel empowered when other people recognize my potential, it gives me self believe and can do attitude. 

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

In real life that would be my granny Edith. She is a woman of such inner beauty, I have learned so much from her. She keeps inspiring me with her stories and resilience.  Another woman I admire is the artist Roisin Murphy, she keeps on reinventing herself but also stays loyal to herself and Im glad to be able to listen to her repertoire of music and love her real woman aspect.

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself? 

I am a good listener and a pretty good dancer.

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

Taking risks in my life are the things that keep me going. Living abroad, making music with one of my friends in Berlin, having art exhibitions with my friend in Edinburgh and generally not conforming to a conservative life style despite having children and being married. All these things empower me and make me happy.

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

We are still not equal to men and that needs to be changed! The acceptance of women as an individual and not just part timer, mum, etc...and woman comparing each other! Women need to support each other more, long live the sisterhood