REEK ACTIVIST INTERVIEW: MINERVA

Model, Minerva on her female inspiration, gender equality, her disability and her sexuality.

What women do you most identify with from history to the present day that have also inspired you to push further in your career or your personal life?

Madonna is my queen when it comes to inspiring and empowering me to be strong. She has battled with the horrendous patriarchy of the music industry and didn’t change herself. I can identify with this hugely with many sufferings at the hands of the abusive man. She had to experience hardship to get where she is and yet she still fights alongside us, with her incredible speeches at very important recent award ceremonies and protests. She is always someone to aspire to.

What female or gender equality causes mean the most to you and why?

At this moment it’s not about female or gender equality for me. My mind has been focused on the broader spectrum of minority equality. As a disabled, queer female I am a large part of our society’s punching bag. That’s not to say I don’t care about each minority separately, it’s just very difficult not to think about everyone who is suffering from inequality.

Do you feel pressure to act/look a certain way to fit in with the ideals of female beauty? How do you combat or comply with these pressures?

Not really, as a young teen I was considered incredibly unattractive and was called Manerva… lol. After years of hating the way I looked and trying so hard to keep reminding myself that I didn’t care what people think and I actually got to the point where I didn’t. I dress and act the way I feel and I’ve got so used to being objectified I don’t even realise it most of the time, which of course doesn’t make it okay. I am beautiful and I am a good person. For me the ideal of female beauty is completely within. The media has polluted our minds with the reminder that we are not “perfect”, but I am perfect and so are all of you – that’s my real ideal of female beauty. Not to say I’m not shallow ha but I just remind myself daily that I am an individual that is like no other and we are all human, all the same in such different ways and in my world, there is no perfect, just real beauty.

What makes you a Damn Rebel Bitch? Tell us what kind of bitch you are.

I am a damn rebel bitch because I do what I like when I like how I like with who I like where I like. I live completely outside of social norms and stand up for what I feel and believe. Life hasn’t been incredibly kind to me but I will not be letting anything stop me from fulfilling my true potential, one day. You don’t owe the world anything, and all I’m trying to do is remind everyone that they are special and wanted.

What are your favourite images from your REEK photo shoot and why?

I like the two smiling images because I am happy and gorgeous and I love my make up and it just truly shows how happy I was in that moment, being a part of something important and feeling female empowerment and solidarity with two Scottish babes, especially as we shared beautiful moments at the Women’s march.