Illustrator at Alga.
THE BEAUTY TALK
HOW DOES A YOUNG MOTHER FIND TIME TO TAKE CARE OF HERSELF?
It’s all about scheduling it in your agenda, like “I have a meeting with myself today” (laughs). You have to be really loyal to yourself, and moreover you have to love yourself.
WHAT DO YOU STILL DO EVEN IF YOU ARE VERY TIRED OR IN A HURRY?
I brush my teeth! (Laughs). But more seriously, when you give birth, you give yourself to your baby completely: he becomes your centre of attention, the only thing you care about. At some point you become stronger because you realize you were the one who made it. When this feeling comes, I have more will to take care of myself.
WHAT IS YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE?
The only thing I do religiously no matter what, is taking my make up off at the end of the day. But I don’t wear make up every day… Does it still count as a beauty routine? (Laughs).
WHAT PART OF YOUR FEMININITY DO YOU FEEL EMPOWERING?
Pregnant, I was feeling that I could always produce more. My mother in law actually told me she felt that too when she was pregnant herself. But when you think about it, what more could I have been producing? I was already producing a human!
DO YOU FEEL MOTHERHOOD HAS CHANGED YOUR FEMININITY?
Giving birth changed me completely! I changed my whole life. I say hi to new friends and let old friends go, I dress differently, I wear my hair differently, I think differently… I think I became a grown-up. Actually, I became a woman. It gave me more confidence too. Weirdly enough, when I had the baby, I wasn’t feeling lost at all. Everyone was trying to help me by giving advice or telling me what I should be doing, only I already knew what I had to do. I didn’t want nor need anybody’s help, I just knew deep inside what I was doing.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN EASILY FORGET ABOUT BEING YOURSELF BEFORE BEING A MOTHER?When my baby was born, he slept a lot. I actually had a lot of time for myself and started looking out for the “old” me, but she was not there anymore. It’s a punch in the face the first time you realize that. You have to welcome and acknowledge your new self and it is not easy at all.
DO YOU MISS THE OLD YOU?
Sometimes I do. I remember saying once to Gabriel (editor’s note: Jade’s boyfriend and father of her son) that I felt old. I am 24 years old and I felt old. I wanted to dye my hair blond like I used to do when I was 18 and he was like: “this is not you anymore” (laughs). I started accepting the new version of me; with my changed body, my changed mind, my changed priorities, my different friends…
WHAT DO YOU DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF?
Taking care of myself now can mean something different. But I still enjoy going to the gym, having someone coming to my house to do my nails… It is an investment on myself since I feel really happy when I do that for me and I know the importance of it.
I NOTICED YOU CUT YOUR HAIR SHORTER SINCE YOU HAVE BABY GAEL. DOES YOUR FEMININITY BECOME MORE FUTILE WHEN YOU HAVE A CHILD?
Like I said, for me it was the opposite that happened, motherhood made me feel like a woman. I wanted to dress and look like the person I was feeling I was becoming. It was really strong: I felt different and I needed to transform physically accordingly. But there is this thing also about women changing their hair you know… It often means they start a new cycle. I always feel renovated when I change my hair. I used to always cut my hair by myself. One day, as I was in France and in need of a haircut I looked up on the internet and found a reference that I loved. It was really short and I started to cut all my hair off. I looked like a little boy and it was so cold outside I remember I had to use earmuffs. It kind of cured me of ever cutting my own hair again (laughs). The last time I felt I really needed to cut it was when I was 8 months pregnant. I remember very clearly how scared my boyfriend was that I would cut it too short and told me: “this is the haircut you are going to have on the pictures of our child’s birth”… Like, don’t mess it up! (Laughs). Long story short, I cut it anyway.
DO YOU THINK BEING A WOMAN IS A POWER?
A power? Of course! There is something about the history of women’s conquest that looks like it has been done the masculine way, like sometimes too many aggressive fights. Of course women can fight, I am not saying we are weak. But we are more sensitive and intuitive and I think this is our real weapon. I see this side in many men also: their feminine side is their powerful side. I believe we have to give voice to that because we have the power to change the situation.
THE PROBLEM NOW IS TO MAKE SURE WE ARE MAKING OURSELVES HEARD CORRECTLY.
Being aggressive at first is important since it is how we poke men and the rest of the society and that is how it has been done since ever. But now I think we have reached the moment where we can add the sensitive and intuitive side to the fight. I am hopeful.
This portrait is part of a curated series of 4 portraits of artists representing free, feminine and inspiring women that OuiSimone imagined with Cris Barros.