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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Spotlight on Mum: Body image, confidence and motherhood


Body image, confidence and motherhood. Doha News talks to image consultancy expert Elisabete Reis.

Elisabete Reis emits rays of sunshine. Her outlook on life, optimism, contentment, wisdom, and insight attracts even the most negative of people. The radiant mum of three has been in Qatar since 2006, creating the renowned “Glam Your Image” in 2009, which focuses on image consultancy, etiquette and protocol, as well as training workshops.

Originally from Portugal, Elisabete reflects upon a nurturing environment spent with her loving parents. Her fondest memories include those of her mum and dad, who she says passed on a lot of their vibrant energy to their daughter.

“My mum was very natural. She was so simple in her way of carrying herself,” Elisabete told Doha News.

“There were certain things she always did, such as applying her lipstick before she left the house but she embraced her flaws so beautifully.”

Although her mother tragically passed away ten years ago, the life lessons she taught her daughter have remained an important part of Elisabete’s daily life – positivity being chief of all.

For Elisabete, motherhood is all the love that comes naturally for your children, but also “what you do for you,” she says. Like many, she believes that it’s important for you to provide the same level of care to yourself as a mum and as a woman to ensure your own happiness.

Read also: Dear Mum: Even ‘strong mothers’ need a listening ear

This means having a career you’re passionate about which allows you to maintain a positive outlook on life, and more importantly, your family.

But whether a woman is working or stays at home with her children, this does little to take away from the magnitude of the job as a mother.

“Sometimes mums come to me and ask me, ‘What do I do? I’m just a mum’.

“I love makeup but I think it’s important to love my natural self too because my daughter sees that.”

“I look at them and I say, ‘Excuse me! You’re not just a mum. You’re a superwoman that handles an entire household while managing all the details of your family, and that is something amazing’.”

As a style and image consultant, Elisabete often finds herself offering support to other mums.
“I get mums that tell me they no longer dress up, feel the need to, or are just feeling down,” she said, referring to conversations throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s understandable with everything that is happening. As tough as it can be to do it, when you take care of yourself it’s a choice that you make and you do it for yourself. In turn, when you make the effort to take care of yourself then those around you notice. It makes them happy because you took that necessary time to focus on yourself.”

In her profession, Elisabete often goes on shopping trips with her clients, where she advises them to choose their loungewear carefully because it is something they will wear a lot at home.

 Read more: Mummy brain: Scientific truth or the perfect excuse?

First and foremost, it’s important to look good for their own selves, then perhaps their husbands, and of course around their kids, she says. Taking the time to look good for yourself also contributes to feeling good from within.

But her expertise goes far beyond her home and workplace. Elisabete is also an inspirational mentor on the show “Stars of Science” – premier innovation show that empowers Arab innovators to develop technological solutions for their communities, benefitting people’s health and lifestyles, and helping to preserve the environment.

Her contributions motivate individuals on the show to make a lasting impression that has long-term results, with particular focus on body image, lack of confidence, and social skills.

But beyond looks, mindset is also important.

While, like many, she loves a bit of makeup and a good mascara, Elisabete also knows that it’s essential to accept yourself for who you are by utilising the power of communicating with oneself through words of affirmation and support.

“I like to wake up and look at myself in the mirror. I always give thanks. Then, I put on perfume and brush my hair. I say, ‘Good Morning Elisabete. How are you?’ I look at myself without makeup and I accept myself. I love makeup but I think it’s important to love my natural self too because my daughter sees that. She’s learning from me and it’s important she learns how to nurture and love herself.”

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: Leading Qatari feminist, university dean and mother

As a full-time mum and consultant, Elisabete follows the motto “put love in every single thing you do.” With a heart of gold and a smile that radiates with kindness, it is clear to see the love and happiness that Elisabete nurtures will continue to be spread like sunshine, with the warmth felt far and wide.

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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