Our final instalment of #BeautyTruth campaign for Bobbi Brown is so special and soul-affirming for Madeleine [of The Twenties Club] and I. The stories here and on The Twenties Club will, hopefully, suggest that beauty doesn't need to be "redefined", but that it needs to be un-defined. Let's stop limiting beauty to everything it can't be and instead open our minds to all the possibilities of what it could be. Expansive. Inclusive. Bold. Just like the women in this campaign. Here's the wonderful Sophia Malthus, model and former Kiwi jockey as told to SAUCE.
“In November of 2016 I was at work training as a jockey when the horse I was riding got spooked and went too fast around a corner – it’s like when you’re driving a car too fast around a bend and it starts to skid and you lose control. The horse bolted, I flew off and went through one part of the adjacent fence and the horse went through a different part. Luckily the horse was uninjured but I sustained a C4/5 spinal cord injury and am now a tetraplegic. My legs are completely impaired and I’ve lost control of over half the muscles in my arms.
Growing up in mainland South Island, I think I had a very “Kiwi” response to my injury. I knew that there was a good chance I’d never walk again so I decided to simply get on with life. I’ve always been brutally honest but also positive and I have a good sense of humour, these things have served me well since the accident. I often think about how our generation is always looking for the easier option: When I was at boarding school my friends and I would walk to the supermarket most weeks. We could either take the long route that was a flat terrain and much easier, or we could take the harder route by walking over the hill, getting to our destination in half the time. I always wanted to take the more challenging route to save time but no one else did. There was a sense of laziness. When you’re all of a sudden 87 percent paralysed, you start to miss small things like taking the harder road, even acts like picking up horse manure which is mundane but meditative.”
“There are two populations: the one my Instagram feed shows me which is filled with an overwhelming number of horse riders and young people living with disabilities like mine, and then the population that exists outside this world where I hardly ever see someone who looks like me. I’ve never had a challenging relationship with my appearance, the only difference is now when I look in the mirror I see a body that isn’t entirely mine. I share it with others; I have someone who helps me get dressed, someone who helps me in the shower, someone who puts my shoes on. It’s a strange relationship and those carers have become an extension of who I am. When I was in the hospital after my accident I remember having friends or family choose my outfits. Looking back, that now seems so bizarre; I could have easily picked out the clothes I wanted to wear – I just needed assistance to put them on. It made me realise that I need to hold onto my independence in the areas I still can.”
“When I meet new carers and I’m explaining to them what I like and dislike, one of the first things I tell them is that no one is allowed to touch my face – that’s mine. It’s still within reach and therefore it’s sacred to me. Often when you have a spinal cord injury your face starts to change, you might gain or lose weight, or your neck might become a lot more muscular since it’s overcompensating. I didn’t know any of this until I went to the physio and she was shocked when she saw a photo of me from before my accident and commented that I looked exactly the same. That’s not always the case for tetraplegics.”
SOPHIA WEARS : Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation, Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Truffle, Highlighting Powder in Moon Glow, Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black, Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil in Taupe, Luxe Matte Lip Color in Boss Pink & Smokey Eye Mascara — ALL FROM BOBBI BROWN
STYLING AND PRODUCTION: ZEENAT WILKINSON AT SAUCE
INTERVIEW: REBECCA WADEY
PHOTOGRAPHY: CLARA PAFUNDI
MAKEUP: BLAIR GAMBLIN
HAIR: SHIRLEY SIMPSON
FOLLOW SOPHIA ON INSTAGRAM HERE
thank you sophia :-)