Redefining Beauty

{~Redefining Beauty~}
The ultimate event for women is coming to Melbourne

Beautiful YOU
13-14th September @ the Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne

Recently I received an email about the upcoming beautiful you event, that really got me thinking and digging deep into feelings I have kept locked up for a very long time. It did hurt but it was temporary and more then anything helped me to grow and become stronger and love me for me (well kinda, I am still working on it.)

Being a blogger and often attending events I am surrounded by beautiful people that are drop dead gorgeous and then there is little old me. The chick that has some chunky bits here and there, with teeth she doesn’t like showing in photos and yet I still seem confident.. How this is possible I am not sure, maybe because I hide behind a face of makeup and hidden under some curls.

From the age of 12 I did modeling for 2 years and then thought to myself this isn’t for me, I love food too much and honestly don’t like to be able to count every bone in my body.. Then there is the fact that real models, like those stunning not a darn thing wrong with these women, surround me. But now as I have grown and taken the time to slowly love the fact I am different and not perfect I have realised even though I might think these ladies are perfect I am sure they still look into the mirror and see imperfections and things they would like to change.

I was given the amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to speak to the flawless Kate Johnson AKA Mrs Australia!! I dug deep with questions to see what Kate’s thoughts were on questions that surround the whole redefining beauty.

Do you believe “selfies” define beauty.
No, I don’t. I love technology and I love the information sharing that goes along with social media, but I think that the general love of the selfie puts even more pressure on people to look amazing all the time, and makes people feel like they need to compete to be more beautiful, more photogenic, more 24-7 gorgeous – it’s not real, and it’s not achievable. In my line of work I’m quite conscious of this and ensure I post a balance of work and off-duty looks (especially makeup/filter-free). It shows the ‘real me’, not the false reality people think I live in.

Why do you think society has painted a perfect picture on What is the right body type- slim, curves in all the right places and nowhere else.
The perfect body image has evolved over time, and is still changing. You only need to look at the differences between Marilyn Monroe and Twiggy – both of whom were considered the ideal body type at the time - to demonstrate how much the ideal body shape changes. Today’s ‘ideal’ body image is based on the current portrayal of women in mass media, which is where society’s standard has come from for a very long time. With the insanely quick access the Internet; file sharing, browsing and feeling connected to celebrities, it’s created a society that believes what they see in the media. This is what I love about the Beautiful You Australia campaign and my work with the Touch of Goodness Foundation as Mrs Australia; I get to ‘keep it real’ and set the record straight!

How do you think we can change this?

In an ideal world we would change this via mass media and implement more of a diverse range of looks into campaigns. Models play a huge role in mass media, influencing what society views as the ideal body type, so it would definitely help if they cleaned up their act as well. In the years I’ve been modeling I’ve not personally worked with or come across any models with an eating disorder, though the fact it happens elsewhere means we’re all tarnished with the same brush. It’s about being healthy, not skinny. Events such as Beautiful You Australia that aim to redefine beauty and get us to really think about what beauty is, are also a great way to change people’s thinking. My work as Mrs Australia heavily focuses on building self-esteem and body confidence; is my sophisticated educational resource hub to help and inspire others in leading their ultimate happy and healthy life.

Myself personally I have fought through the modeling scene at a young age, and left it in a hurry as well as I wasn’t “pretty” like all the other girls and more than anything missed my food! I went into quite a dark place, and for a long time there hated who I was and the skin I was given.  What would be your best advice to a girl (or boy) in that position?
It’s always so sad to hear, and unfortunately not an uncommon story amongst teens (and models alike). You don’t need to feel inadequate at all – we all offer something different to the table! Building body confidence and self-esteem are issues very close to my heart. Whilst you think it’s a tough time, learn from it. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going, but when you get there I promise you’ll never look back!

Everybody has their own take on defining beauty, One person may define beauty as having perfectly symmetrical looks without a flaw. Another person may define beauty as having an amazing personality. What would you define beauty as?
No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart! Physical looks, whilst of course admirable, are not the be all and end all for me. It’s about what you stand for and how you treat others – including animals, which are a big love of mine. Crazy dog lady right here haha.

Looking in from the outside you are the ideal definition of beauty and a perfect ambassador for such a great event. Have you ever been in the position where you didn’t think you were good enough, and how did you get through it if you did?

That’s so kind of you to say, thank you! What I have to offer now is something that I’ve grown with over a long period of time. Everyone has a story, a past and demons they’re working through. My story is no different. I’ve always just followed my mother’s mantra “life is not a dress rehearsal.”

I’ve committed a lot of my time to charity work, so whenever doubts about being good enough creep in, I reassess my situation based on knowing how many less fortunate people there are, knowing how lucky I am to have my health and knowing that I am loved for who I am. That gets me through pretty much everything!  

Being an artist you look back at your work and always find the small imperfections and are always looking to correct the mistakes, I think this is also very much like looking in the mirror naked and seeing what looks back at you.  Was there anything as a youngen or even now you wish you could change?
If I were asked that question a few years ago, I would have listed an entire page of things, issues and events that have happened in my life that I wished hadn’t. Over time I’ve realised they’re the very things that make me the person I am today – and I’m content that person. I fought to become her! The direction I’m going, the work I do and the incredible people I’ve met along my journey – I wouldn’t change a thing!

Do you think that the youth of today faces more pressure with looking beautiful then previous generation?
Yes and no. I think there are more images of beauty than ever before being pushed in front of us and it’s far more accessible than in previous generations too. Though I also feel like the youth of today are a lot more confident and less willing to conform than previous generations. The number of, and variety in role models today covers all shapes, sizes and colours, and I think that widens the idea of what is beautiful and gives support to the idea that we are all unique and offer something to the world.

This has made me realise I think we were made imperfect for a reason and even though we don’t like them I am sure there is someone out there that does. So keep smiling and keep strutting your stuff, and love you for YOU!