on beauty - part three

beau·ty noun \ˈbyü-tē\
:  the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
A sense of beauty is an important part of our identity and style. The way we think about beauty and our bodies is often a reflection from our childhood home : we carry on the habits and knowledge that our families passed to us. Having children forces us to rethink our daily routines, also the ones involving beauty and style. The product choices, routines and values go through the whirlwind of a everyday life with kids, pushing busy moms to develop new approaches and priorities.
Three mothers working on visual fields give us a glimpse of their everyday life and talk about beauty.
                                                  Anu Saari, designer
                                              Daughter, 2,5 years old
At the moment of the interview 34 weeks pregnant with her second child

“My relationship with my mother has always been very close. She was a gymnastics teacher and had a very sporty lifestyle. She took us to hobbies and to try new things. So basic exercise and being in good shape comes straight from there, from my childhood.  In our family this didn´t mean competitive sports at the highest level, but incorporating exercise into our daily routines in a way that feels good.

My mom didn´t really dress up or use too much make-up because of her profession, but taking good care of personal hygiene and having a sporty appearance was always important for her. She payed special attention to her hair: it was always well-cut and groomed. In our family the focus has always been in wellbeing, exercise and good food; actual dressing up has been secondary. My view of good appearance comes from this idea. I have never been big on make-up, although when I was young, I did read make-up tips from magazines. Sometimes I would try “a smokey-eye”, or something, but it just didn´t work out (laughs). Since then I have pretty much abstained to minimum when it comes to make-up.  

When I first got pregnant with my daughter, I did a proper clean-up in my beauty cabinet: I through away almost everything. With pregnancy I got even more sensitive to smells, I did not want to use any perfumes or products with strong scent. I never really returned to them after pragnancy, I don´t want to wear any artificial scent. 

I try to eat diversely and cook healthy food for my daughter. Now in the summer I have had a really relaxed approach to cooking and I have been eating pretty much the same food as she: porridge without salt, steamed vegetables; that kind of easy but nutritious food. In beauty as well, I try to favour organic and natural products. I buy a lot from Ruohonjuuri (a store specializing in organic foods and products in Helsinki), for example. Ruohonjuuri is my go-to store anyway, I like to just wander around and explore their selection. A few years ago I stopped dyeing my hair, I want to avoid those chemicals as well.

Before I had children, I had more time to think about my style. I experimented with outfits and dressed according to my mood. Now, with children, my style is a lot more practical and more “playground-friendly”. I still care about quality, but nowadays I pay more attention to warmth and waterproofness. One of my favourite products is a cashmere scarf by Arela, I have a few of them and they are a trusted part of my uniform year-round.”                                                                                                                 

On Beauty (Kauneudesta) is a series of interviews developed and written together with Anni Ruotsalainen. We were interested in the values, habits and traditions that form our perception of beauty. The series was photographed by Sara Vallioja-Herlin. This is a freely translated excerpt from the original text written in Finnish. The un-edited version can be found on Kidd.O #3-magazine.




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