“I chose to dress a certain way, and I definitely found my calling in that. High waisted, vintage, that was a real game changer for me because I could design how I presented myself,” says Madison Phillips. One thing about being authentic to yourself is the fact that we begin to wear clothes and live life in a way that truly compliments who we are.
It’s all about self-expression. It’s all about coming to a place where you just want to make yourself happy; it’s truly a freeing experience. We must continue to let our ‘blunt fringe cut’’ and overall uniqueness become our trademarks. And more importantly, we must let our character speak on our behalf.
Be sure to check out Madison Phillip’s entire interview on defining beauty, her blunt fringe cut and looking to women in our communities.
DEFINE WHAT BEAUTY MEANS TO YOU? Recently i’ve been trying to live by the mantra: “What if you are more than that.” I found this gorgeous phrase; it was written by a Melbourne Artist, and all round babe, Frances Cannon.
I think when we talk about beauty, we talk about being beautiful compared to something else. Am I more beautiful than I think? Is she more beautiful than me? And I think the real questions are: Am I being fulfilled? Are my creative drives my love of study, or my relationships? Am I feeding into them with everything I can, and is that making me happy?
I feel most beautiful, but, it changes all the time. A lot of the time it involves red lipstick, there’s just something about it that makes me feel alive. You can wear it anywhere, anytime. My partner and I go fishing in these crazy remote rivers in Canada and i’ll still wear it, because it’s part of me. So I think if you can say that you’re genuinely & consciously contributing to your own happiness, you’ll find beauty within those things and eventually within yourself. Whether that’s your overly complicated coffee order, or, your need for time alone every now and then.
AS A CHILD DID YOU HATE A CERTAIN FEATURE, IF SO, DID YOU BEGIN EMBRACING IT LATER ON? I can’t say there were many as a child, I think I always secretly loved my red hair and freckles, my big lips and my green eyes. I think around the age of 17, I started to have a kind of arduous relationship with my breasts. I’m all about embracing what you’ve been given, however, they just don’t always feel like they’re part of who I am. They’re heavy and I get headaches, back pain & neck pain. Over the years i’ve heard every opinion in the book about how I should use them, and how I should be ‘careful’ with them; in case, someone doesn’t want to see past them to my brains and creativity. It’s a process and some days I don’t care so much, and others I’m researching breast reductions for hours on end; it’s a journey for me.
DO YOU FEEL THAT THE INNER BEAUTY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE OUTER BEAUTY? Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean you can’t have one without the other. If you don’t practice kindness and empathy and understanding, I think it’s very hard for people to see that kind of emanating beauty. I’m a strong believer in the ‘vibe’ you put out (for lack of a better term). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think long lashes, a cool outfit, or a great haircut aren’t awesome. For me, I think I take a second look at someone who has something different about them; or, if they seem totally content doing their thing in the grocery store, or sitting alone in a cafe, or even laughing on the phone.
AS WOMEN WE ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING ON OUR INNER BEAUTY: DO YOU FEEL THAT ONCE YOU BEGAN TO NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT ABOUT YOU EVERYTHING BEGAN TO FALL INTO PLACE? DID YOU FIND YOUR CALLING IN THAT? I still care about what people think, I don’t know many people who don’t. But I think something changes when you start to design your life. I chose to dress a certain way, and I definitely found my calling in that. High waisted, vintage, that was a real game changer for me because I could design how I presented myself. I’ve had the same blunt fringe haircut for years, and I know my friends use that as my trademark reference point. If we’re talking about inner beauty though, I guess I began to care less about what people thought of my image and more about if they thought I was a good listener. Empathetic enough, gave good advice. My boyfriend is always saying, ‘Madison, stop asking if i’m having a good day!’ Because I try so hard to make sure people are okay, happy, and feel good. It’s annoying – I know it’s annoying – but whatever! Me texting my closest friends ‘I love you’ every day is my way of contributing to their happiness. That sounds so lame!!
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WORLD IS MISSING IN THE SCOPE OF WOMEN ROLE MODELS? HOW CAN WE CHANGE THAT? Christina Hendricks is my woman. She’s for me. We all know the life of a celebrity is so unattainable and so far from reality, and that they themselves don’t even live the lives we see on Instagram. But when it comes to Christina, I think I look to her so much because she’s really quite unapologetic in her ‘ness’ and she isn’t one to deny any of her short falls, but also radiates confidence, sensuality, and happiness.
When I think about my biggest female role models I look much closer to home. One of my best friends has this magnetic force. Everyone wants to know what’s behind her mystery and we always joke that it’s just laziness (that creates the mystery haha)! But honestly she doesn’t know how amazing all the facets of her personality are. So thinking about that, if more women looked around them to the women in their own lives, women who lift them up and inspire them, we would be in much better positions to fulfill that desire we all have to feel beautiful. When you wake up with perfection being shoved down your throat every morning on our feeds, perfect eyebrows and perfect white teeth, it drains you. Once you look up from your phone and see your Mothers and Aunties, your friends, and artists you admire, you create a whole new pool to draw from. They’re real role-models.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNGER GIRLS COMING INTO THEIR OWN? Listen to the magic that is James Blake. ‘All that I know is i’m falling. Might as well fall in.’
ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR PROJECTS YOU ARE WORKING ON NOW? I’ve been working on a floral design page called Wilbur & Fern.Co @wilburandfern.co // Right now it’s just something that brings me a lot of happiness, but hopefully it will grow (pardon the pun) into something more.
We’ve taken two years to travel across Canada, and being from Melbourne, i’m away from a lot of the hobbies and habits that were part of my everyday life. My yoga teacher, my favourite cafe, the flower market near my house – they’re all things that inspire projects for me. But right now, I guess seeing such an amazing part of the world is really special – and the project i’m working on, is me.