Everyday Women are both you and me. Normal, but also brave, strong, vulnerable and individual. We met 6 of them on a sunny spring day in Copenhagen. Hanne is a retired legal secretary from Roskilde, Denmark and Andrea is from France and is often found in the beautiful Parisian streets. Inge-Merete is 54 and the uncrowned queen of Nørrebro, a hip Copenhagen neighbourhood. Then there is Jasmin who is an aspiring hairdresser from a small-town in Denmark. They are all part of our cool and courageous Everyday Women – women who have invited us in and told us a bit of their story.
Here, we pass the floor to some of the women who it’s all about:
On being well-balanced in yourself:
"I've always been a bit big. As a kid, it was really annoying that I had to have grown-up clothes to fit, because it was grown-up clothes. But now that I'm an adult myself, it's the same clothes. It's not that there's anything different. So I think it also makes a difference that you become a bit more calm and rest in it a bit more. Because there's nothing different to wear, it's just a different size. I wish I could get to that point where I just didn't care what people thought."
- Maja Thusgaard Poulsen, 21, Denmark
On being a role model for younger generations:
"With this campaign I want to see myself from a different perspective, I want to see myself a little bit from a models perspective. You're not just a person standing at home in front of the mirror, you're actually standing in front of a camera. I want to tell my niece that "yes", you can be a model in these kind of pictures too, even if you're not like the women you see on TV and in campaigns. And that's both beautiful and important. I want to show her that, as she is 6 years old and mixed race. I want to show her that there are no boundaries. That she can do whatever she wants."
- Andrea Bunod, 24, France
On becoming a mum as a young woman – and finding yourself in the new role:
”I had my twin daughters two weeks after I turned 22. So my body changed a lot when I was 21. In a year, I gained 40 kg, so that was a very big change. After giving birth, I only lost 10 kg, so I didn’t know which size I was. It was weird just sitting down in a chair because my body felt so different. I don’t think I have ever been as well-dressed since I became a mum. Even though I was smaller before. I just didn’t care what I was wearing and didn’t give it much thought. But after I became a mum, I started to think more about it."
- Stina Vea, 28, Norway
On confronting yourself with your body – in the mirror and on social media:
“I’ve always been confident, but I was never confident in my own body. I changed this by looking at myself in the mirror and taking pictures. If you always cover up – for example, on the way out of the shower, you will not be confronted with what your body looks like, and you don’t see your body. If you confront yourself with how you look, it will also become more normal for you. If you are never confronted with your body, you will be detatched from it.
I mean, a lot of people say that I’m brave for sharing intimate pictures on Instagram and I think it should not be seen as brave. If this body type was normalised it would not be seen as 'brave'. For everyone else who posts photos, for example, fitness models who pose in a bikini, it’s not brave for them, so why is it brave if I do it?”
- Jasmin Mairhofer, 36, Austria
On becoming more courageous through life – and daring to stand out:
”I have become much braver with age. People can think what they want. I also look to the younger girls, because they dare to do a lot of things. Then I think to myself, why should I do something just because I am 'older'? I don’t want to do that, I can wear all sorts of things as well, so I just do.
Sometimes, it can seem that Danish women are afraid to stand out. They would rather fit into the large group and wear a black dress and maybe a pair of big earrings or something. And that is probably where I stand out – because I really want to! I think it’s fun.”
- Inge-Merete, 55, Denmark
On finding meaning with life:
”An advice I would give is: have an interest in other people and hold on. You don’t need to have 50 friends. I also have friends that we see 2-3 times a year when we go to a summer house. But we don’t see each other regularly. And then you have others that are more close.
I have been a volunteer visitor in the nursing home and go to dancing lessons every Thursday. You have the time to do it when you're retired. And of course, I want to see them all again. When listening to older people talking about their lives, there are some common factors. Some might want to talk about their grandchildren, some about their health, and some about old times. So it’s good and there’s a sort of satisfaction. Not because you do a good deed, but because it gives meaning and content to life. And that’s what I think it’s all about."
- Hanne Mortensen, 74, Denmark
Real women. Real bodies. Real people with authentic stories, with emotions and with courage. Everyday Women is our contribution to a world that is a little closer to reality – a room for courage and strength – and not least for everything normal.
Part 3 of 3