FARRAH AVIVA

Photography by Chris Thorn


FARRAH AVIVA

Age: 29

Occupation: Photographer and Actress

As an actress you work in a field that often requires you to uphold a certain appearance and cover yourself up physically with make-up and emotionally as another character. Why did you decide to participate in the RAW photo shoot?

Because both of the industries I work in praise beauty more than talent. I face moral challenges with each. As a photographer I hate the pressure and demand to photoshop wrinkles, blemishes and scars. As an actress I hate the pressure to hide my wrinkles, blemishes and scars. I wish natural beauty was celebrated more.

F-AWas there anything surprising about stripping off the make-up and showing up for a photo shoot totally “undone”?

How freeing it was to just be me.  It’s the first time in my life when I could literally run out the door to a shoot. Normally, before an audition, or photo shoot I have to give myself about 2 hours to properly do my hair and makeup. I despise it each time as I know I could be using that time to better the character and my craft, but the reality is, I won’t be considered for a role if I don’t look ‘good’. I loved being in the RAW photo shoot environment because it was safe and praised to show up natural.

If you could just rock it RAW every day how much money do you think you would save every month?

$600.

Let’s talk beauty. What’s your definition of ‘beautiful’?

When someone is comfortable in his or her own skin.  There is nothing more beautiful than a smile that comes from the heart, free of fear and insecurity.

Is there a specific woman out there who radiates beauty in your eyes?

My Grandmother. She possesses a classic beauty that comes across as regal. She grew up in the Middle East and fled to Canada for a better life.  She was brought up in a time where beauty wasn’t based on smooth flawless skin, but rather where age was respected and admired. She is very proud and confident.  Every single line on her face adds to her beauty. She aged gracefully. I have never seen her insecure or ashamed of her age. Rather proud and comfortable in her skin.  It’s inspiring.

We can all see your beauty from a mile away but have you ever felt like you ever been unable to see it yourself?

Everyday. The most intense moments are in the morning before I put on my makeup and at night when I have to take it off. It makes me feel like any beauty I may possess is just an illusion, that I’m fooling everyone.

Is there anything in particular that makes you feel insecure?

My intelligence.  I try to ignore the voices in my head, but other insecurities that come up are: my nose, my angular/bony face, my hollow under eyes, my eyebrows, my moles, my frizzy hair that I spend hours straightening, that I have no hips, that I’m too skinny, that I’m not skinny enough…etc. Really, the list could go on.

F-E

I think every girl has a list. These days plastic surgery is becoming more and more accessible so it’s much easier to “fix” our perceived problem areas. Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?

I had my breasts done last year. It’s something that I wanted my whole life, but had a HUGE moral dilemma with. I didn’t want to be a part of what raises the bar/pressures for adolescent girls. I also didn’t want to get them until I was 100{f31dd2d1944685ce2ae88154a0fca4e838c1d5c4feb0a8c87e0077bbf24e5273} confident it was for me and no one else.  I was scared that with fake breasts I wouldn’t be able to trust a man loved me for me. When I decided to finally get them done I knew it wasn’t for attention or validation. It was for my own confidence and peace of mind. I was so scared before the operation and kept begging the doctor to make them as small as possible. I told him I’d rather leave thinking he didn’t do anything than have breasts that were too big for my body.  I luckily got what I wanted.  No one can even tell they were done (probably because I always used to wear double padded push up bras). I’m a turtleneck and t-shirt type gal. I feel very uncomfortable and actually devalued when I’m wearing an outfit that shows cleavage. I got them for myself, not to flaunt. I have zero regrets, and I’m actually proud of myself for doing it.

Getting older is a fact of life but society as a whole seems terrified of it. What part of aging scares you the most?

Being overlooked by society. I constantly feel that I need to capitalize on my youth because after 35 (in my mind) the world won’t even consider me an actual participant.

Apart from having access to awesome seniors rates what part(s) of aging are the most exciting?

With each year I get more and more comfortable in my body and the negative voices in my head get quieter.

Looking back if you could give a 16-year old girl a piece of advice in regards to beauty, confidence or self love what would you say?

That it is so important to write in a journal and develop a sense of self. I would tell her that the world praises beauty, but that it’s not an identity. People who simply strive to be beautiful get left in the gutters. I would tell her that if she wants to be respected, happy and successful that she needs to develop her mind, identity and passions. In turn, that will make her more beautiful. It will also make her smart enough to use her feminine beauty as a vantage point. The world is a game, and if she has the proper perspective she can be both beautiful and successful.

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Twitter Handle: @farrahaviva

Instagram Name: @farrahaviva

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