Tell us about Mama Still Got It – your motivation and how it all began.
It was at a time when I was feeling particularly dishevelled. Mother of two boys, the youngest being six months old, I wasn’t on social media, and I my modelling work was pretty much non-existent. I had been told by my previous agency that my career was over now that I was a mother and over the age of 30. To be honest I thought they were right and accepted this derogatory statement with gritted teeth. Then one day when I was feeding my son pureed apple (most of it on me) I received an email from my new agency saying a great fashion brand wanted to shoot in me in their upcoming campaign in Italy. I looked at my son and said, ‘Mama still got it’. Then that was it. A lightbulb moment ... I realised if I still wanted to look good and feel good, then so do other women. We shouldn’t be cast aside just because of our age, or that we’re now mothers. I bought the domain mamastillgotit.com immediately, started an Instagram account and the rest is history. Since speaking up against ageism in the fashion industry, I’ve secured campaigns with Max Factor and JD Williams. It’s easy to lose your identity when you become a mother and in my case I almost lost my job to my age and because I chose to become a mother – and I wasn’t accepting that!
How do you balance family and work commitments? Is structure important or are no two days ever the same?
I actually thought I had a pretty good balance with work and family life and then Covid hit and it all spiralled. I had a structure of work vs family – three days a week worked for me, and when I wasn’t at home I had a nanny to help with the kids. Since March, I’ve had to be a mum, a model, a teacher and an influencer all at the same time and it’s been crazy. The mum guilt of being on my laptop working when the kids are pulling at my jeans to play with them, to shooting at home whilst trying to teach the 8 times table has taken its toll on us. I did find myself hiding in the utility room taking business calls – but the kids will always find me and want my attention. Now – the nanny is back two days a week, which is a huge help. The routine and structure will hopefully get back to normal when schools go back … here’s hoping! But it’s definitely tough!
What are the unexpected moments that stand out for you as a Mum?
Today is a perfect example of this – we went to a kid’s birthday party and afterwards I was planning on a family meal but ended up in A&E with my son who sliced his foot open at the party. To be honest there have been many unexpected moments as a mother but this would take up too much time to write! Perhaps I’ll save it for a book?
Do you think in today’s society there is still a bias towards the working Mum?
Being a mum is the hardest job in the world – and it saddens me when women feel like they’re worthless when someone asks them what they do for a living and they reply ‘I’m just a mum’. It’s not ‘just a mum’ – it is so, so much more than that. At the same time, if a mum says she works full time there is an energy of ‘why did you have children then?’. The truth is, we can’t win. We get judged for ‘just being a mum’, and judged when we’re at work. Pretty sure men don’t get this …
Hardest pressures the modern Mum has to face?
Trying to get the balance right with absolutely everything.
Do you feel motherhood can overshadow our identity as women?
Yes definitely. This was one of the reasons I wanted to start Mama Still Got It. Having a baby can take its toll on a lot of aspects of you as a woman – your body, your work, your relationships, your home, your bank balance, your friends, your skin … It can be easy to forget who you were before you became a mother with all the sleepless nights and having no time for yourself, but I work hard on making myself a priority when I need to. Under all this motherhood, we’re all still fabulous!
Hardest challenge you have had to overcome?
Having a miscarriage. It’s very common for women and I’m sure someone is reading this now who has had one or knows someone who has. I’ll never forget that bond and love I felt for someone I never got to meet.
Your proudest achievement?
Becoming a mother.
Favourite way to spend time you have just for yourself?
Recently I’ve been indulging in candlelit bubble baths with magnesium salts, a face mask, candles, wine and a book. It’s absolute bliss.
Cotswolds, Ibiza and Aruba.
Top tip travelling with children?
With younger children take a pram that folds into the overhead locker on the plane so you have it immediately when you land. We use a company called AirTots that rent out any travelling equipment for families – they have made travelling less stressful with kids! For older kids – make sure you have a charger with you in your hand luggage for the iPads!
The one staple in your wardrobe that you absolutely cannot be without?
My denim jacket.
One piece of skincare advice most women need?
Wear a high factor sunscreen. Not wearing any sunscreen even for a short amount of time is beauty suicide. Also drink more water that you think you need to … lots of women avoid this because they don’t want to always go to the loo, but you’ll notice a huge difference in your energy levels and skin if you drink about 1.5L per day.
Top beauty ‘must haves’ in your makeup bag?
Anything that gives you a dewy, glowing, tanned look. I really love Studio10’s liquid bronzer.
Desert island disc, book and luxury item?
Disc – Janet Jackson ‘Velvet Rope’, Book – ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts (because perhaps I’ll actually be able to finish it) and luxury item – cold white wine!
And finally, your favourite quote?
‘You must get better with age, otherwise what’s the point?’ My mum.
Grace Fodor – PRO AGE warrior, Beauty Expert & Founder of Studio10 . Passionate about challenging outdated stereotypes, anti-ageing and ageism to celebrate age. Providing education on how to apply makeup for older women.