Founder & Creative Director of Mums in Heels, a Zeitgeist village where we re-writethe rules of motherhood, ageing and luxury style.
1. What led you to create “mums in heels” and advocate for the body positivity movement?
I started Mums in Heels to oppose most stereotypes about motherhood and to helpwomen deal with shame and guilt around what kind of mothers they “should” be.my idea was to influence and change the conversation between women, but alsothe conversation going on within our own heads: Should I work or stay home?
Should I breastfeed? Should I not. Should I hire help or take care of my kids alone! When I became a mum I found out that living by the book is simply impossible andthat often there is no right or wrong answer. You do what’s best for you and yourfamily. You look at the good and the bad and you decide, but once you decide youown your decision and that’s it.
At the moment there is so much pressure on mums. Our mothers fought for freedom of choice, but do we really have achieved any freedom? Most women HAVE TO go back to work because they have to help providing for the family. Or ifthey choose not to work, they become dependent on their husband, who may provide for them, but one day may decide to stop doing it. We still are at the mercyof men, especially when we decide to stay at home and take care of the family.
As much as I never thought of myself as being a feminist, I think now women needfinancial freedom, no matter what their choice is. For example if they decide to stayhome, then they have to be paid a minimal salary for taking care and raising amentally strong and stable future generation with certain society values. If theychoose to work because they like it and it is important for their happiness, then theycan, but there must be some free child care to support their decision.That part feels very important to me at the moment and I want to bring the conversation around motherhood on that painful point in society.
At the same time I am very passionate about changing the way society looks at ageing women. We are still glorifying youth and I am not only talking about the media and the way women are being portrait there. I am talking about the judgement and the way women are looked at if they decide to go back to work at the age of 40, 50 and beyond. With the quality of life we have we should be able towork as long as we want! As for the body positivity, from very little I have been Into sports, gymnastics, swimming and running. For most of my life I have been very active but also have been aware of my choices of what I eat and what I think. Yet no matter the number on the scale, of you don’t respect your own body and self, nothing from outside canchange that. And by respect I mean building a really good relationship with yourbody, giving it the food that it needs, respecting its natural hormonal and cycladiccycles and so much more. Mothers play a very important role in thisconversation and teaching children how to look at themselves, how to nurture and respect who they are and as they are.
2. Your kids play a big role in your life, how has motherhood changed you? How did it change your self-imagine?
Motherhood made me finally see my true self, the good, the bad and the magic! I’ve always been very dedicated and self-disciplined person, but I’ve learned through motherhood that you cannot control everything, that sometimes you haveto let go and more importantly that you have to stop taking everything too seriously. As I am a Virgo I tend to be a perfectionist. In the first years of motherhood I learned not every day can be perfect! And you are never quite done working on yourself. Every day you have to show up and do the work and when you just can’t,then forgive yourself for it! Allow yourself to be human. As for my self-image - I have become much more unapologetic when it comes to who I am. I stopped trying to fix myself and I started owning all the things I don’t likeabout myself.
3. What does the perfect Bikini Body look like?
I have no idea, but I can tell you that every confident woman has a perfect bikini body!
4. Due to corona, a lot of change has been happening in the fashion industry,especially in regards to sustainability. Do you think it is the right way?
Of course! It was the right way before the pandemic too, it was the responsible way. In the past year people have realised we have no 10 years to think about it. We have to take action now. The future is now. I see brands are really trying but I alsoknow how expensive and hard the process is and that making 100% sustainablefashion is still not possible, but I have a lot of faith in human potential and creativity.Soon, I believe.
5. How do you manage your schedule being a mom with a heavy workload?
This is hard, I still have days when I am so, so tired and I feel overwhelmed. However there are some things I follow almost without any excuses: Waking Up very early, cold showers, intermittent fasting and exercise. This is whatkeeps my mind clear and calm and then you can achieve a lot in one day. For meself-care is non-negotiable part of my every day! I never say I have no time for it. Imake the time. It’s in my schedule every morning even if that means to get up at 5am.
6. Do you have a message you want to give away to your daughter and all the women out there?
I have way too many messages, but the most important one that I wrote just this morning on my daughter’s birthday card was: Don’t be afraid to BE YOURSELF. If you start making compromises and start cheating on yourself, the betrayal becomes demoralising. Having said that I know a lot of people have lost notion ofwhat is their true nature and that happens when we let others dictate who we are,what we should do with our kids, with career, with our families. Creativity in suchcontext is super important! Nurture your creative nature relentlessly! Anotherimportant message I want to give to all the mothers out there.
7. What are some tips in regards to the swimwear industry?
I look forwards to seeing more sustainable swimwear!
8. Last but not least, who is your fashion icon?
I don’t have one, I admire many women like Gwyneth Paltrow who is such an innovator, who pushes boundaries when it comes to women’s health and self-care! Ialso admire a lot of brave women above 40 who talk about ageing with power:Norma Kamali for example and Denise Boomkens from And.Bloom Amsterdam.