For essayist, poet and radical feminist, Adrienne Rich, there is nothing in human nature more binding than the relationship between mother and child, “between two biologically alike bodies, one of which has lain in amniotic bliss inside the other, one of which has laboured to give birth to the other”.
Those 9 months gives way to a powerful bond, a creative act, the most universal of experiences; and it can mean different things to us all. So, we asked some of our favourite women to muse on the beauty of motherhood.
Read on for wisdom, power and ~important~ lessons on sand exfoliation.
“My mother showed me what strength and grace look like. She was a constant reflection of that mentality. She was a strong, independent woman. She’s always worked and raised two beautiful daughters that are completely, dynamically different. My sister and I are very different types of women but with very similar morals and ethics. It’s like I was shown on a daily basis what strength and grace can look like combined.”
“I have learned how much my identity as a human means to me. That might sound funny, but sometimes it can feel like you get lost in the routine and some preconceived “idea” of how you should be as a mum. I co-exist with my children. Like breathing, we need each other to live, but this is not the only thing that defines me. I’m a photographer, I’m a woman, I’m a goth, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a fan, and I’m a mother.”
Elizabeth de la Piedra (on being a mother)
“My mum [is my greatest influence] for sure. She’s an absolute powerhouse, and she introduced me to the arts in all forms from a very young age. Mum enrolled me in ballet, violin, painting, photography, singing, theatre – pretty much every extracurricular activity you could think of – so that I could explore and decide what I enjoyed most. I’m really grateful for this. She’s always encouraged me to do what I love, and she raised me with a great sense of optimism and a can-do attitude. She’s also an incredible business woman, and the hardest worker I know.”
“My mum has used rose water mixed with Glycerin as her moisturizer as long as I have been alive and she is nearly 70 and the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I remember kissing her cheeks and they always tasted sweet and of roses. They still do!”
“My father’s drawings and my mother being an actress made me want to be like them. As I grew older, seeing my mother acting in movies and television made me feel like, despite living in Kathmandu at the time, arts and creativity, was always and is always, the only option for me.
“If there’s anything that my Mom’s skin has taught me, it’s to take the time at night to go through your skincare routine. My Mom has the nicest skin I have ever seen or felt. She’s 62, has never had one drop of botox or filler, and, when I touch her skin, I swear to you it’s so soft and cool and smooth. It’s actually insane. If I could think of one image of my Mom, it would be at her vanity washing her face, applying her serums and creams. Every night, this was her thing, and so it really instilled that same habit in me.”
“I remember my mum drying my hair at her dressing table and then putting ‘roses’ on my cheeks as a special treat. That was her word for blusher, as she disapproved of me wearing makeup too young!”
“My mum is the most divine human ever. She taught both my sister and I from a young age that beauty comes from within; and she continued to say it to us nearly everyday. She also believed that the beach and the salt water cured everything. I remember rubbing sand on our legs and arms because she said it was a great scrub. She wore little makeup and just glowed… She was also incredibly kind and I really believe that’s where beauty comes from.”
“I think the most memorable fragrance memory of mine is from my mother in the late 1970s. One of my favourite things to do when I was young was to watch her get ready to go out to a party or event with my father. The minute I entered her bedroom, all my senses would light up at once—to me, she was the most glamorous woman in the world. Her signature beauty look was bright red Chanel lipstick and perfectly manicured, long red nails to match. After applying her makeup, she would don her Charles Jourdan heels and her pièce de résistance: YSL Opium. That rich, exotic, heady smell was so all-consuming that, after walking into her spray, I would instantly feel like I was Cinderella, about to head to the ball.