Interview with Cherry Healey

Mimi ON Aug 22, 2012 AT 10:15 am

Cherry Healey

At what age have you felt most attractive? 
I think probably now! In my early teens I wore terrible clothes (although my tartan trousers, crushed velvet jacket and patent red shoes still hold a special place in my heart), in my late teens I had double train-tracks and started to compare myself to the girls in magazines and in my twenties I felt really insecure about my body. Now, whilst I definitely still have insecure days, I’m slightly better at putting it into perspective and understanding what’s more important. That makes me feel attractive but I still hope that as I get older and wiser this frame of mind is a constant.

What does beauty mean to you? Beauty, I think, is when you feel enough. That is one of my favourite words. It’s that lovely peacefulness when you’re not comparing yourself to anyone else and feel good about your value as a human being.

What’s the best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever been given?My mum is a great one for advice – she’s always told me, have fun getting dressed and ready in the morning, enjoy your clothes and make-up and then forget about it.. Don’t let it’s importance be a running narrative throughout your day, you’ve got better things to think about. I don’t always follow this!

What do you wish you’d known when you were younger? I wish I’d known that the images in the magazines were touched up. I spent hours and hours staring at their perfect bodies and feeling so upset that I didn’t even look like the same species. I think if I’d known how altered they were I wouldn’t have beaten myself up so badly. I think it’s interesting that, according to Onken’s Real Report, 3/4 of women want airbrushing banned. That would be an amazing development. I do think the increase in street style photographs and quick-turnaround online pictures have helped but I’ve love to see mainstream glossy magazines being brave and leaving the pictures untouched. Wouldn’t that be glorious?!?!

What’s your view on cosmetic surgery? It’s hard for me to really comment as it’s easy to say I don’t like the idea of surgery when I’m 31. But I do think that it should be thought about with great care. I do wonder what our daughter’s daughters will feel when they hear about some of the procedures we through…

If you could swap wardrobes with one person who would it be? Jessie J. And her bum please. 

Home is. . . somewhere I can watch films in bed with my daughter.

Heaven is. . . as above. But with crisps.

Style is. . .  an outfit that makes you feel sexy or feisty or glamorous – no matter of what other people think.

Are there any aspects of your documentaries that have stuck with you?  Well, it’s great to discover a new role model and I found a whole gaggle when making the series! In episode 3 I met a group of feisty, clever, funny girls who are part of a collective called Those Pesky Dames. Their approach to feminism is comical, eye opening and accessible. I think we desperately need women like these in the media for girls to look up to. I love that Onken’s Real Report showed that women look up to celebrities such as Karen Brady and Jessica Ennis rather than celebrities known exclusively for their looks. Women want role models who have achieved success through hard work and intelligence rather than short-lived mega fame.

You’re quite exposed both emotionally and physically in your documentaries how do you deal with it? I actually find it quite therapeutic! In the same way as some people find release going to confession in church, I find that sharing my personal experiences, even if they make me look like a twonk (which they regularly do!), is quite an interesting process. Having said that, I do sometimes hide behind the pillow at home when I know that an ‘overshare’ is coming up…

Join Onken’s ambassador Cherry Healey at where she will be seeking answers to your questions from top editors on fashion, food and lifestyle 

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