April 05, 2021
Award-winning Personal & Corporate Stylist
The Style Vibe by Vanessa Jane
Helping people look and feel their best so they have the confidence to embrace every day from a place of power.
Vanessa: Hello, everyone and welcome to the fourth part of the Everyday Lingerie Co. Journey of a Woman's Life vlog series. Today, I have a very, very special guest with me. It's my mother-in-law, Maureen Lawrence. Hi, mum, how are you going?
Vanessa: Thanks so much for joining me today on the couch and being prepared to open up about what it's like, not only to be a woman in today's society, but the journey that you've had. So, can you just give everyone out there just a little rundown of who you are, how old you are, and a little bit about yourself?
Maureen: Hi, everyone. I'm Maureen, and I will be 72 in July. I've had three children. I now have six wonderful grandchildren. My life has been interesting. I grew up in Sydney, and we moved to Port Macquarie in 1977 and ran a successful building industry, company I should say. And now, I'm retired and enjoying the life of a grey nomad. I've seen a lot of changes in my life from the '70s, the revolution with women becoming more independent, and just taking on a different role in life. I've seen a lot of changes.
Vanessa: You have. And it's very fitting because today is actually International Women's Day. I was really excited to have Maureen here today with me, because she's been such a massive role model in my life, not only personally growing up, but also in terms of motherhood and assisting her husband and my father-in-law, Kevin, in the business. She's been such a huge role model to me, so I can't think of a better person to spend the morning with.
Let's just jump in. We were talking about the revolution and how women, I suppose, were treated back in those days. What were some of the things that you notice have changed since way back then? Can you give us an example of what the role of a woman was back in the day, and compared to what you see now?
Maureen: I guess, basically, you were the mum, you were the stay-at-home mum. The dad went to work and they weren't very hands-on dads back in those days. Some women went back to work after children grew up, but it was a very defined role back then. It's just changed so much better these days, where dads are more hands-on and working. Young women went to work single, but as soon as they were married, they either lost their job or their privileges. It was very discriminating against women back in the late '60s, early '70s.
Vanessa: How did you go with that struggle between being a stay-at-home mum or a mum and a wife and working? What was your work life journey?
Maureen: I suppose being a stay-at-home mum in the early stages of the children's lives ... I guess that's just what you did. It's not until you reflect back later on and you realize, "Oh, I could have been treated a little bit better. I could have done a few more things." But there wasn't a lot of help. There wasn't a lot of childcare. To be honest, I think I've had an okay life. I do feel I missed out a little bit on education because we did leave school early, because that was the way it was.
Vanessa: Yes, yep. Okay. And I know you did have a couple of different careers throughout your time. One of the funny things that I'd like to share with you is when I first met Scott, which is Maureen's son, Maureen was ... Well, you had ... no, you'd been a hairdresser?
Maureen: Been a hairdresser, yes. In my early days, yes.
Vanessa: Been a hairdresser. And I was in the process of doing an apprenticeship as a hairdresser. I went to the house for dinner, and I think it was one of the first times we'd really met each other properly.
Maureen: Yes, it would have been.
Vanessa: Well, Maureen had a black pair of pants on and a Fluro orange top.
Maureen: Oh, yeah.
Vanessa: And I had exactly the same outfit. I think that was the moment she said to Scott, "I think this girl's going to be okay," because we had matching outfit.
Maureen: Similar tastes.
Vanessa: Yeah, similar tastes back then. But look, Maureen is a wealth of knowledge. She's such a beautiful and talented woman and amazing mum. And anything that you would have put your hand to, I definitely know you could have achieved. But the thing is, she really did take one for the team, so to speak, and really put her support behind the business, her husband's business or their business and the children, which is just something that, from where I sit now, it's just so selfless. It's something that I know you should be very, very proud of.
Maureen: Oh, Thank you.
Vanessa: And I know you are.
Maureen: Thank you.
Vanessa: Let's get back to fashion. Again, you've always been interested in fashion.
Maureen: I have, and I think I missed my calling. I would have loved to gone into fashion designing. I did a lot of sewing. If you remember, [Kate] with her dancing.
Vanessa: Yeah. Well, I think, in a way, you've got to experience a little bit of the fashion industry because Maureen is not a professional shopper, but she's really great at shopping.
Maureen: I do love to shop.
Vanessa: Yes, she loves to shop. Her and I have had many trips, and we've always had a real bond between our shopping experiences. So on that, what are some of the brands and some of the stores that you really like? And why do you like them?
Maureen: I love all the little boutiques because I think you can get something a little bit different. And of course, the big stores, when we go to Sydney, Newcastle, Myers. I can remember one time we went up to Coffs Harbor many years ago, and then knew it was, by name, that Coffs Harbor was out of town.
Vanessa: Yeah. We're a good shopping team, us two.
Maureen: We are. Absolutely.
Vanessa: Tell me, when you go shopping, do you feel confident in knowing what's right for your body shape?
Maureen: At this age, yes.
Vanessa: Yeah. Okay. What about, say, 25 years ago?
Maureen: I possibly could have been intimidated by shop assistants, but as I got older, no. I know what suits me, and I know what I want. I'm more confident these days.
Vanessa: So if you could say to, say, a young woman out there that might've just had a couple of children and is experiencing a change in her body and feeling a lack of confidence, and maybe even intimidated to go into a store, what kind of advice would you give her to make her feel more confident about that?
Maureen: If you feel good yourself when you put something on and you don't have to question, "Oh, I'm not sure." If you put it on go, "Yes. That's me," go for it. If you have hesitations, if in doubt, go with your own gut feeling, I suppose. Yes. Don't ever feel bad about your body image. If you put on a few more kilos after having the baby, that's fine.
Vanessa: Have you ever struggled with your body image or mental health around the way that your body has changed over the years?
Maureen: Not really. No. I think I've been fortunate that I haven't had an issue with weight or weight loss.
Vanessa: You keep very fit and healthy as well.
Maureen: I try.
Vanessa: Yeah. Tennis and the gym, and you're very active and you love walking. Obviously, that helps because Maureen, if you can't already tell, she always looks fabulous. So I'm very, very lucky. Now, let's talk about, as this is for Everyday Lingerie Co., I did gift you some underwear a few weeks ago. How have you found them?
Maureen: Excellent. I like the coverage with the full brief. They're comfy. I love the wide elasticized waistband. I find it extremely comfortable and wearing them under even my tights for the gym. They're perfect. They're fine. I don't get a line. They're great.
Vanessa: That's good. That's so good. We're so glad to hear that. We've had some really good feedback across the board on the underwear. And we did try and give Maureen a pair of G-strings, but she very gracefully denied them. She said she was more than happy with the full brief, but they do have a great range at Everyday Lingerie Co. So definitely, no matter what kind of style you're into, you're definitely going to find something comfortable. Now, I suppose we should wrap it up, because we could sit here for hours and talk. Just on underwear and underwear buying, what is it that you look for most when purchasing underwear?
Maureen: Probably, top of the list would be comfort. And next, the attractiveness of it and the femininity of it, a little bit lace or something like that, to make you feel a bit girly.
Vanessa: It does feel nice, doesn't it, when you have nice underwear?
Maureen: For sure.
Vanessa: Just finally, what's the best bit of advice that either you've been given or you would like to give to, say, the younger generation?
Maureen: Follow your dream. If you have a dream, go for it. And yes, your children are important if you got young family, but they will grow up. But you still have a dream, so follow that dream.
Vanessa: Oh, that's beautiful. And of course, Maureen's been so supportive in helping me follow my dream with The Style Vibe. Thank you very much, everyone, for joining us this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you again soon.
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