Rachel

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

How often I wear makeup really depends on how I feel that day.  Some days I just want to be fresh faced and so don’t wear any.  However, I can have other times where I feel particularly creative and put on a full face.  Most regularly though, I do have some form of makeup on.  I just use it as a device to feel more confident.

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

I had seen previous portraits from the series and they were all gorgeous.  It helped me to realise that makeup doesn’t equate to beauty, and I wanted to be a part of that.

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

Most of the time, when I’m makeup free, I’m with people who I know and am comfortable around anyway. However, if I’m alone in public or I’m meeting someone new, I can feel very uncomfortable and self conscious. 

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

There have been many negative factors that have made me think ill of the way I look.  However, the positive factors have always come from those closest to me and who I love the most; always giving me genuine compliments and complete honesty.  I will always listen to those opinions; even if I don’t believe them, it’s very comforting to know that someone else genuinely does.

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

Don’t get so caught up in pretending to be interested in things you’re not, just for the sake of a little acceptance and popularity.  The sooner you let yourself discover who you are, the better it gets.

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

In 2012, I made a very close friend at a drama class.  This continued on to 2013 when, at the same drama class, we both formed a group with some other people.  I am still very close with these people and it feels as though I have known them all my life.  Any time I am with those people, in particular, I feel more empowered than I do at any other given time.

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

Jennifer Lawrence.  I feel as though this sounds like a very typical answer, but I still admire her nonetheless. She’s intelligent, funny, beautiful, very good at what she does and appears to always be herself in every situation - and people love her for that.   

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

My honesty with the ones I love.  I feel honesty is so important with those who are closest to us and so I try my best to be truthful with them - I’ve found that people appreciate and respect that much more than a, seemingly helpful and temporary, white lie. 

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

Getting into University.  It felt as though I proved myself wrong, that I am intelligent enough to pursue what I want to pursue.  And I got there by working extremely hard on the subjects I loved in 6th year of high school.  

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

Whether what I’m wearing is suitable for my body type, whether I suit it, whether people like it or if they’re just going to talk about it when I’m out of ear shot.  Whether I’m wearing an “appropriate” amount of makeup or not.  I definitely have days where I just feel very sensitive and vulnerable towards “societal expectations” and pressures.