Abi

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

Almost everyday but if I don't have to go out, usually I'll lounge about fresh faced with none on. I like the feeling of not wearing any at home. I love to wear & apply makeup as to me it is a huge form of self expression. I love to use bright, bold and striking colours on my eyes & lips. It is very much an art form, you can completely change yourself with it or use it to enhance what you already have. It's all your own choice & I love that! 

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

I think this series is hugely important in today's society. As soon as I saw the post on facebook I knew I wanted to be involved. It's so important to love yourself as you and not worry about others opinions all the time. It scares me how made up really young girls can be, it's teaching them to be insecure from such a young age and they feel the need to cover their 'flaws' even for school where they shouldn't need to be worried about how they look. That's not what matters, it's important to teach that beauty isn't on shelves, it's within.

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

Somewhat. Not around family or friends really, but meeting someone new or going shopping in town I'd feel uncomfortable especially around those makeup counters.

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

Having my boys made me feel negative about how my body looked afterwards but slowly I got my body back and changed that opinion of me. On a positive note my mum makes me feel positive about how I look, she is always showing her friends photos of me on her phone as she says she is proud of who I've become, that is always a confidence booster.

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

Stop caring about what others think of you! I invested way too much time in making myself something I wasn't, to keep people or impress them, I hid the real me but as I grew older my confidence grew. I am now happy with the me everyone sees actually being real.

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

Definitely giving birth to my boys, Wow! Hours of agony to produce a tiny, beautiful human makes you feel so proud and such a powerful woman. Aside from that probably putting myself out to do modelling shoots. I was scared I'd get no response but I did and couldn't be prouder that I pushed myself to do it.

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

Real women I'd say is my mum, she's wonderful. Then my sister Gemma, she was so young when she fell in love with her, now husband, Tim & moved to his home country, Australia. She was so brave moving away from all her family alone but it's worked out brilliantly she has a lovely home as well as her son, my gorgeous nephew Brody. Also, I know some may disagree but I saw Lady Gaga in concert and she inspired me hugely! She does so much to promote being yourself not letting the bullies get to you, I love her for that!

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself? 

I would say that I tend to put others before myself. I like to care for people and show a lot of kindness and make sure that if I can make something easier for you, I will.

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

Obviously giving birth to my two boys tops the list but I'm particularly proud of moving out of my family home and getting my own place and being the mother and partner I always wanted to be.

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

To look good all the time. It's so hard to keep up with it all. As women can't sweat, get tired, look a bit rundown, get flustered without feeling we have to live up to the airbrushed models everywhere. I feel we can often be looked down on for just looking real.