Q1) Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! I’m Jess, a cheeky, fun-loving human with lots of drive. I love people, and most are surprised to find out I’m an introvert. I adore my friend-family, and if you should know anything about me, it’s that I’m open-minded yet stubborn, and highly empathetic.
Q2) Tell us about what you do, and why you do it
My calling is to help women be seen, and see themselves differently. To love the skin they’re in and see the beauty of who they truly are.
I do that through my blog @in.the.ra where I share my vulnerable skin and health journey, @raphotography__ — a photo-style therapy I created, and now an online program I’m developing to help you know, see, and accept yourself on a deeper level.
As a woman, the topic of beauty has always affected me, but I didn’t know how deeply until I thought I ‘lost it’. When I developed a severe and debilitating skin condition, and my mental health and sense of self plummeted, I was shocked. I was shocked at how deeply it shook me because I’d never put much emphasis or value on looks. Yet deep down, it held so much more weight, as it started to dictate how I lived my life...
But as I uncovered the external forces at play influencing my perceptions of self, I figured out ways to weave my way through it, and ever since, I’ve been called to help other women do the same.
Q3) What makes you feel courageous?
When I face my fears head-on. When I ninja my way through the discomfort, anxiety, or self-consciousness, and when I see others do the same.
One of my favourite quotes from Nelson Mandela goes something like.. courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
I live my life by that.
Q4) What is one thing you wish you could tell your 16-year-old self?
You’re more than a score on any test.
You’re a lot more than what other people see.
And you are so much more than what you look like!
Don’t pay attention to the looks economy, it’s an asset that only depreciates overtime. Who you are will only appreciate with time, invest in that. It will be the emotional equivalent to compound interest — where your self worth asset will exponentially increase the longer you live.
You have a lot to look forward to!
Q5) What is one piece of advice you can give a fellow lady who might be lacking courage?
Courage is not a leap,
It’s taking the first step.
Ego wants the leap because it’s big. It seems scary, and scary keeps you stuck.
Acting with love isn’t romantic,
because it seems so small,
but it’s what real courage takes.
To show up for yourself with each step. Every. Damn. Day.
You know what to do.
You’ve got this!