My name is Paulina Palian, but I am also known as Poli, nice and short. I am a fashion designer, an art manager, an activist and a mother. I work a lot with women. I have set up an organisation called Babski London to support creative Polish women in the U.K. through exhibitions, festivals and informal meetups.
I also do a series of lectures called Empowering Woman, in which I try to implement the wisdom of self-acceptance. It seems to me that it does not matter what makeup or clothes you wear, what really matters is the confidence within yourself, which is the key to make you feel worthy and empowered. That is why I am passionate about these lectures, when women came to talk with me for styling advice, what I really suggested was about their self-esteem.
However, I was unable to do anything like that a few years ago. I was one of those people who cannot go out to a shop just around the corner without makeup. But now, makeup is my game, a toy of mine. I think some people worry too much about comments from the outside world, like to pursue the so-called ‘perfect’, or to look certain ways to make other people love them. But I always tell other people that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, which is much deeper than wearing makeup or not.
One problem I am concerned with is the misleading image in media, such as magazines and music videos. I love music and creative culture, but I do not agree with the majority of images I have seen on the media as a mother of a teenager. I am not happy if my son thinks that is the reality or other school girls are self-conscious because of it. I think I am against the values that some magazines or music videos are selling. They are not even selling a dream, but unhealthy stereotypes. This awareness changed my career choices, too. When I attended a fashion exhibition in Abu Dhabi, I saw a girl pass out because of the diet in order to get into the show. I did not want to be part of this, so I started working with dancers. Dancers need a lot of energy and power to drive their movement. They look really confident, and this confidence is what I am looking for. In the future, I hope more and more people will be cautious about these problems.
*This article is based on an interview with Poli Palian on July 8th, 2016.