In our latest interview, makeup artist Robyn Louise explains why nobody has the right to judge your body except you, and details how you can go about keeping a positive mindset at all times. We also discuss the ways in which her transformational makeup projects are helping people to feel more confident about themselves.
Britain Uncovered: Hi Robyn, and thanks for speaking with us! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘body positivity’, and how do you interpret the phrase?
Robyn: When I first hear the phrase ‘body positivity’, I picture someone who feels happy and empowered by the skin they’re in.
Although I believe everyone should feel this way, to me body positivity is more about acceptance and respect for yourself. Everyone has insecurities and frustrations with their body – that’s okay and completely normal. A part of loving your body is recognising your ‘imperfections’ and choosing to love yourself in spite of them.
Britain Uncovered: Achieving self-acceptance and being content with one’s body can be a long and complex journey – and managing to stay positive day in, day out, can undoubtedly prove challenging. Are you able to keep a positive mindset, and if so, what are some of your techniques?
Robyn: For the most part, I feel like I am able to keep a positive mindset about what I see in the mirror. Some days are harder than others, but that’s just part of being human. Loving my body is one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced in life, and it is an ongoing battle.
There have been points where I have physically changed parts of my body that I am unhappy with, but for the most part, it’s my mind that has undergone the biggest change. Instead of focusing on my physical appearance, I focus on what my body can do, and what it does for me. My body has protected me and kept me healthy my whole life. Every scar, lump and bump are reminders of what I have been through, and how strong my body can be.
Britain Uncovered: Social media channels such as Instagram offer a wealth of body confidence (and mental health) resources that can help people stay focused and remain positive. Do you think that such channels have an important role to play, and do you find that they help you personally?
Robyn: I believe social media has a massive role to play in how people view themselves and others. There are people with all body types imaginable online, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
A lot of influencers, celebrities and companies are now using their platforms to empower others and normalise things all people have, such as cellulite, stretch marks, skin texture, nipples, etc. This is so important to see and it makes so many people feel represented. People are starting to realise that there is no singular ‘ideal body type’, and instead they are realising their bodies are perfectly fine as they are.
I have found that some social media platforms have been really helpful in my journey to self love. They have also helped greatly by educating me and helping me become more empathetic to others. However, I do recognise it is important to gain real life experiences and have these conversations with others in person.
Britain Uncovered: Scrolling through your Instagram feed, we’ve been really impressed with the designs you’ve come up with as a makeup artist. Can you tell us a little about some of the projects you’ve enjoyed being a part of?
Robyn: I have been lucky enough to be a part of some amazing makeup projects, and I have enjoyed all of them. Some of the projects have included body painting and prosthetic applications, completely changing the appearance of the models, turning them into woodland characters, mythical creatures – you name it! It is amazing to see the transformations models undergo and seeing what confidence this can give them.
Britain Uncovered: Do you feel that working in a creative industry like this helps to promote a less serious and more fun take on an individual’s self image, and do you think you’ve been able to help people with their self-confidence at times?
Robyn: I do believe there are aspects of makeup that really help people with their self image and confidence. It gives people an outlet of self-expression, where they can be whoever they want to be, and through my work I have definitely been able to help people with their confidence, which is honestly the best part of the job.
Something I explain to clients is that makeup can give you the confidence you need, but ultimately it is only temporary – it is so important to accept who you are without makeup also.
Britain Uncovered: Much like Beth, who we interviewed last week, you also bravely took part in a recent Bare All For Polar Bears fundraiser. What were some of the factors that led to you taking part in this event, and what was the experience like on the day?
Robyn: This is something me and Beth decided to do together. We were each other’s moral support throughout the experience. It was originally suggested as a bit of a joke, as public nudity was something I hadn’t really considered or experienced before, but the more we talked about it, the more serious we became – and it was for a good cause, so why not!
Taking your kit off in front of hundreds of people is quite daunting, and I was very nervous going into it. However, after a while, you realise everyone else around you is also naked, but nobody is looking at you, and fundamentally, no one cares what you look like.
Britain Uncovered: Did participating in this event help with your overall body confidence, either in the short term or longer term; and do you think our readers – who may be on the fence about participating in such an event – would find similar clothing-optional events beneficial?
Robyn: The experience helped with both my short term and long term body confidence. At first it was quite nerve-racking to think about, and something I considered backing out of, but I am so glad I chose to go for it.
I would recommend participating in a clothing optional event to everyone. There is something quite freeing about being outdoors in your most natural form, and you get such a rush of joy and adrenaline.
The experience helped me realise that most people really don’t care what you look like naked, because they are probably just as concerned about what they look like naked too. If someone has a problem with the way you look, then that’s their problem and not yours. No one has the right to judge your body, except you, which is why I learned to accept and love myself.
Britain Uncovered: Looking ahead, do you think that we still have a long way to go in terms of fostering body positivity for people on a wider scale – and if so, is the media doing enough to help support people of all body types?
Robyn: Body positivity and acceptance is something that all of us are going to struggle with for the majority of our lives. Our bodies are constantly changing, so there will always be something new to come to terms with.
I do believe that over recent years, the media has drastically improved in terms of inclusivity, but there is still such a long way to go. With every positive post, there is a comment section full of hate.
There are some parts of social media that are doing an excellent job of spreading love, educating and representing all kinds of people, and I do believe within the years to come this will become more widespread and mainstream. There is some good progress, but there is always more to do.
To see more of Robyn’s transformative designs and creations, and to keep tabs on her upcoming projects, check out her Instagram page by clicking here.