INTERVIEWS

Photography by Karolina Turek


ERIN IRELAND

Age: 30

Occupation: Food Reporter & Owner of To Die For Fine Foods

If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?

Comfortable…yet surprising.

Erin with her To Die For banana bread!

Erin with her To Die For banana bread!

What surprised you most about the experience?

Even though I don’t wear too much makeup (anymore), I did feel ‘naked’. Earlier though, as I looked at myself in the mirror while doing my hair for the shoot, I liked the way I looked. But I did wonder if what I was seeing would translate to the camera. As I get older, I’m finding I prefer my look with less makeup (especially dark eye makeup which is one of the biggest “beauty-blockers”, in my opinion).

Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?

Kindness.

When do you feel most beautiful?

The minute I wake up.

What part of aging scares you the most?

Seeing my parents get older. But if we’re talking about ourselves – saggy body parts.

Saggy body parts scare me too.  Hoping to get over it soon though! What part of aging is the most exciting?

The knowledge and confidence you gain with the passing of each year. As I’ve gotten older, life has gotten better. Teens were fine, twenties were really hard, and so far thirties are the best. I’m excited for 40.

On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.

Not much. Getting nails done takes too much time. I get a pedicure about four times a year. Thanks to Sati at Bare Wax Bar, I recently began visiting them once a month because her appointments last 5-10 minutes and she is just so good. My hair probably needs more attention, but I end up getting to the salon about twice a year. I mainly use MAC cosmetics and replace items about once every 4-6 months.

BB shotHave you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life? 

I sure have. For five years I struggled with an eating disorder. What’s funny is that I was never too unhappy with my body, but I had goals in mind. I thought that in order to become a successful news anchor, I had to be stick thin. If only I had known that couldn’t be further from the truth. At the time, I didn’t think I would ever be able to overcome my obsession with dieting — I simply couldn’t imagine a day when food would be a stress-free topic. I’ve shared my story with high school kids and am always open to talking to anyone going through something similar. In my dark days, I think talking to someone who had ‘made it through’ would have been helpful.

You have an amazing job that allows you to try to die for foods every day!  So many women have a rocky relationship with food. Have you always loved food?  Any tips for women on how to build a better relationship with it?

See above! It’s ironic that I’ve had such a rocky relationship with food, yet, at the same time, love it so much. Since I was little, I’ve been focused on it. My parents taught me to cook at a young age and during university I was known as the Volleyball team’s garbage gut. Things have definitely changed in the past five years, though. Food and I have come to terms with each other. It did take a while, and of course there were setbacks along the way. I’m relieved and grateful that I’ve been able to get to this place — where I can indulge without going overboard and eat as much (healthy) food as my body demands. As for tips on building a better relationship with food…knowledge is power. Learning more about what you’re eating really helped me. Once you start focusing on nutrition, you might get hooked (like I did). All that energy you dedicated to your diet can hopefully be used to fuel yourself with beautifying, nutrient-rich foods.

ErinB

Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? 

At the age of 19, sophomore year of university, I was hit with adult acne. During high school, I’d barely had a blemish. In my little world, it was devastating and I didn’t know how to handle it, especially while I was playing volleyball. We’d often have three-a-day practices — that meant a lot of face-washing and makeup re-applying. It was exhausting, for me and my self-esteem. For ten years the acne persisted. Finally I decided to take a medical risk by going on the birth control pill (I have a family history of blood issues, so my risk of a clot was higher). Fortunately, the acne stopped and my health didn’t suffer. But I was left with significant scarring, which to me, was as bad as having acne. I tried serums, but they didn’t work. Finally I decided to splurge on a skin resurfacing treatment (fraxel) from dermatologist Dr. Jason Rivers. It’s one of the most intense skin lasers you can get. The machine pokes lots of microscopic holes in your skin, causing it to regenerate. I was holed up in my apartment for a week with a very sensitive, red face, but it was worth it. The scarring is less visible, but not perfect. I’m now at the point where I can leave the house without wearing cover-up to hide my scars. It’s an amazing feeling! Acne was a tough experience but I’m glad I went through it. It taught me a lot.

How do we ensure that the next generation of girls grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough?

Groups like RAW and the team behind Miss Representation (a must-watch documentary about the media’s twisted depiction of women) are doing a great job of getting the message out there — and there’s no doubt it will only be amplified in the years to come.

What is a goal you’ve set for yourself for 2014?

To smell the roses. My new baby girl, Effie (dog), is already helping with that. Recently, I realized that my day-to-day had become so busy, I’d stopped enjoying the journey. You can’t do it all. It’s okay to “say no”.

ErinRAWTalk

Connect with Erin: 

Instagram: @erinireland 

Twitter: @erinireland

 Website: To Die For Fine Foods

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