LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Michelle and what she thinks about perfect body image, positive changes and challenges of 45+ women, what is it for her to feel good and look beautiful, and what advice she would give younger women and 30-year-old self!
You can READ the interview transcript HERE
10 Facts About Michelle
(at the time of the project)
1. 55 years old.
2. Michelle came to Australia when she was 16 years old from New Zealand.
3. Michelle has read a lot of books. She read the entire children's section of the library by the time she was 12.
4. The biggest influence in Michelle’s life was her grandmother. She's a very strong person. And she was the matriarch and pulled the entire family together.
5. Michelle has a 21-year-old daughter. And she's a beautiful person, very kind and very loving. She looks after the underdog in life.
6. Michelle works in media and computers, which she loves. And she’s been doing that for a few years now.
7. She has recently taken up painting. In the beginning, Michelle started doing it pretty much as a healing process. Now she is discovering colours and body shapes.
8. Having a daughter, to Michelle, was a big accomplishment because she never wanted children. And she had one and she discovered what an amazing, precious gift it was.
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “The body change as you get older.”
10. Positive change with age – “I think the most positive one is learning to forgive myself.”
Watch Michelle's VIDEO interview HERE
Hi, you're listening to My Body My Story podcast.
You know, we all make mistakes in life or we do things that we're not proud of. I don't think we realise that we need to forgive ourselves. And I think that's hopefully something that we learn in life that often comes with age. That, to me is a very precious thing.
This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that sensuality, beauty, soul and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
Hi, everyone, and welcome to my body, My Story project. And today in the studio, Michelle, while she's sitting in the makeup chair, and Chitra is doing makeup for her. I'll be asking her a few questions. Hi, Michelle. Welcome to the studio. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 55 years old. And I came to Australia when I was 16 years old from New Zealand. And we moved out with my parents. We moved in with my grandmother for a year, which I have to say was an amazing experience. And it's something that I treasure and will treasure all my life, the time that I spent with her. She's a very strong person. And she was the matriarch and she pulled the entire family together. And she seemed to, to sort everyone's problems out. She was just incredible. And I just love her and I miss her all the time. So she was a huge influence in my life. I have a 21 year old daughter. And she's a beautiful person. She's very kind. She's very loving. And she I'm particularly proud about the fact that she looks after the underdog in life. Probably more, more, more to her detriment a lot of the time, but some it's something that's that's quite unusual in her age group. So yeah, that's pretty cool. And can't think of anything else to say
what do you do?
Oh, okay, so I made I work in media and comps, which I love. And I've been doing that for a few years now. And I have recently taken up painting, oh, wow, again, which I absolutely love. And I did that. In the beginning, I started doing it pretty much as a healing process. So I was in a very dark place. And I felt that I was disconnected from life. And I woke up Monday about a year ago, and the world seemed very different to me. Everything seemed brighter and cleaner and I became aware of my surroundings more so probably than I have ever been in my life. I also discovered that I was probably the happiest that I've ever been in my life for some reason, which I don't know. And then I started painting and
Do you paint with oil?
I paint with acrylics. Yeah. And I started I did some self portraits which were you know, trying to release some in a torment that I had. And I am particularly proud of the piece that I did which is this faceless woman that is in a blood red bull dress speeding dress I did I found that throughout my painting there was some violence and you know I'd paint flames but within that there was a calmness and there was often water and reflection from water and a flower somewhere always seem to appear. Yeah, so that's pretty much me.
That's interesting. And where in New Zealand did you live?
Before I was born in Christchurch. And when I was saying Many years old, we moved to LA hub, which is outside of Wellington to a tiny little place, which is very lovely. But there was only one other girl that was pretty much lived in the streets. So it was pretty lonely. And yep, so I've read a lot of books. So I have to say I'm incredibly well read, I read the entire children's section of the library. I think by the time I was 12. And then they were very kind, and they let me read kind of what today is probably, you know, youth books. So, yeah, they've there really isn't very much to say about that. No, no, I don't. I don't go back. I have the family anymore. Yeah, no, I do have. I have family over there. I would have gone back more if my grandmother was still alive. But she died about six years ago now. So. And I'm not really connected to anyone else over there.
And what are you most passionate about?
I'm passionate about life, really enjoying life, finding the beauty in life. And my art, I'm extremely passionate about my art and how far I can push it. And I'm discovering the colours, and I mix all my own colours. And so that's pretty much the thing that I'm most passionate about. And of course, my gorgeous daughter.
Everyone knows that with age we change, we still have some positives and negatives, and what are the positive changes have you experienced so far?
Ah, I think the most positive one is learning to forgive myself. So, you know, we all make mistakes in life, or we do things that we're not proud of. I don't think we realise that we need to forgive ourselves. And I think that's hopefully something that we learn in life often comes with age, but that that, to me is a very precious thing.
Yeah. And what is the biggest challenge at the moment?
I think it's the body change as you get older, I find that a bit of a challenge. I have noticed that, you know, I'm thinking more and more about joining the gym and, you know, getting bit more toned, and, and that sort of thing. Yeah, the way you look is often a hard thing. You know, you have days where you notice that, you know, you've now got flabby arms. And so I find that a bit of a struggle.
Physical changes. Yes. Yeah. Describe your greatest accomplishment.
Oh, I found I'm struggled with that question. I think that's really interesting. I can't think of any one thing. Having a daughter, to me, was a big accomplishment because I never wanted children. And I had one and I discovered what an amazing, precious gift it is. I think being able to paint is another one. I love my art and it also gives other people pleasure. So I think that that's a really big thing for me also.
So what do you I didn't ask you what do you paint mainly - people or nature or..?
Interesting you ask that. I do some landscape but they're their water bass, they normally beach and sunset and that type of thing. But I've recently I've started painting naked women. And I, I don't know I find their shapes in the colour of their skin fascinating. And I think it's part of the learning to appreciate who we are and what we look like and the physical side of us and I think that is something that's come with being older is now you know, I notice shapes. And I notice how beautiful they are, you know, they they're not thin women, they you know women with curves and real tight women or what I classifies as a real type woman.
So I will just go to the question about a perfect body image because if you say you paint, naked women, so probably it's about body discovering the body shapes and you see all sorts of body types. So where do you think this idea of perfect body image comes from?
Well, I think the idea that we've seen that the public see, that's your question, I think that that comes to me from media and all the imagery that you see when you walk down the street on billboards, and magazines, social media. I don't watch television, because I don't want to be fed, you know, any of that type of stuff. But to me, a perfect body is one that you're happy with, then content. And, you know, I can appreciate all different shapes and sizes and colours. And yep, so I don't think they're really in my mind, there isn't a perfect body shape. It's, we're all perfect and beautiful in our own way.
Yeah, excellent. So what if you could travel back in time and meet your 30 year old self? What advice would you give her? And what would you tell her?
Oh, I think I would say Be true to yourself. And think about your friends. Because I think that when we're younger, we make friends with people for the wrong reasons. And friends later on in life become incredibly important to you. And they're often your rock. And so if anything, it's about you know, have a look at the people that you surround yourselves with, because they also make who you are, you know, and try and make better choices.
Yeah, that's really good advice. So what would you say to younger women who will eventually reach this mid age 45 Plus, and undergo the changes we're going through now? So what would you tell them?
Oh, I would say, learn to forgive yourself early. Trying and look deep within yourself, I you do you like yourself, you know, because you should like yourself, if you don't, you know, look at what's influencing in your life, look at the things that don't make you happy, you know, and deal with them. And I think that's something that I wish I had learned when I was in my 30s was, you know, you're not going to, to get happier in life until you know who you are and that you take a realistic look at who you are, and, and learn to love yourself.
Excellent. I wish somebody could tell me when I was younger, all that. Advice is like, you know, I hear from women from this project. And it's interesting, you know, how you get to this simple advice is only with age, like assume simple understandings, you know, that it's so simple, you know, to think about yourself, try to be true to yourself, but no, we need to go through certain life experiences to understand this. Very simple things. So what does it mean to you? To feel good and look good? What comes first?
All happiness comes springs to mind, first, happiness and love and kindness. I think, you know, they're so important, and they're the things that make me feel really good.
And look good as a result. Yeah,
yes, you do. Because it is… I mean, beauty comes from inside. And, and when you're happy and you love yourself, you know? It affects people around you and how they see you as well.
Oh, and what makes you feel the most beautiful ?
I found that one really hard. I don't know the answer to that one. I often feel when I feel beautiful is often when I am with people that I love. And I feel safe. And you kind of feed off the energy and I don't know it just makes the world so beautiful. And from that, I guess I kind of feed off that and then I start to feel beautiful.
And my last question. What is your favourite quote about being a woman? Or maybe saying or maybe your thought about it?
I have, I do have one of those. But I have to read it to you.
"Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you've ever imagined".
Oh, looks so nice. And who said that?
I have absolutely no idea. But it was… I read it somewhere. And I had it printed on a block that I have on my wall.
Yeah. Interesting. It's a very nice quote. Love that. Michelle, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and joining our project. I know you said you were about to cancel that but I hope you will not regret that you came here and you will enjoy the rest of the day. And we will see you at your video interview. Where you will tell us how was it after the photoshoot. Thank you, Michelle and welcome again to the project.
If you have an interesting story to share would love for you to participate. You can email us at email@example.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com