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

I wear makeup to look in the mirror and see me the way I picture myself in my mind’s eye. Some days I look at myself and think “Ah. That’s fine. No makeup required.” Other days it’s like “ACK! Who is that?!”

It only happens if I have time though, and energy. Probably a couple times a week. 

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

Maybe for a confidence boost. The photos look stunning. I love the ten questions too.
3.   Is being completely makeup free something that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable?

Less so than it used to. Before the age of 24 or so, I couldn’t leave the house with no makeup without feeling like every pair of eyes was on me, judging me. I also lived in the US before that age (where I’m from), and materialism and discrimination towards women’s looks is so much stronger there. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. It’s like everyone is brainwashed by Hollywood and the media. I was too, until I moved away.

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

A few key things, yeah:
-Media. As much as we all would like to think we’re above being influenced by it, movies and television, magazines and the press have been major factors in how I rate my own body, especially when I was younger. We all buy into it on some level, whether we choose to believe it or not.
-Moving around the world. Getting away from the paranoid mania of the US. Realizing the type of woman that I want to be.
-Getting older. With life experience comes wisdom. Sounds cliché but it’s true. I’m only 30 but the difference in how I feel about myself now compared to when I was 20 is night and day.
-Having a child. Wanting so badly to be a good example for my son to not put any pressure on myself to change for others. To teach him to express himself in any way he chooses. And to not to buy into the lie that the worth of a person, especially a woman, is measured in her physical appearance.

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

You know that one thing that you’re really really really scared to do? That’s what you need to do.

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

When I’ve let go of fear. I did stand-up comedy in New York City. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but when it was over I felt on top of the world.

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

There’s so many. Love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her writing is candid and honest and I’ve learned a lot from her. Also Amanda Palmer. She’s a beacon of intelligence, fearlessness, talent, and just not giving a shit what anyone else thinks of her. They’re people I’d want my children to look up to. Also Sarah Silverman and Maria Bamford, two of my favorite comedians.

8.   What quality do you most admire in yourself?

I’m pretty fearless and resilient despite going through a lot in my life. I’ve moved across my own country and the world multiple times without hesitation. Gotten tattoos. Given birth. Opened a restaurant. The list goes on.

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

These last 3 years, opening and running our restaurant with my husband, having a baby and still trying to balance everything. The restaurant is still open and thriving, and the kid is still alive so I’d consider that a success. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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

I feel pressure to live up to being the strongest, most capable and independent version of myself while not showing how insecure and overwhelmed I can feel at times, for fear of looking weak or scatterbrained or incapable or overly emotional. It’s of course an impossible standard to live up to, but there it is.