Photo Shoot with Ruth Calleja
Ruth, 41 40 Over 40
In the past, Ruth suffered for 16 years mental domestic violence. After she has turned 40, she started living in one of her dreams – to be a fashion model. Before, she was left out from the society as the ugly ducking. She started modelling after turning 40, she showed the naysayers, the people who said she is not young enough, slim enough, pretty enough that they are wrong. She is now modelling abroad to the UK, Germany and more.
I must say, life after 40 just getting better. 🙂
Here Ruth shares some of her experience about her photo shoot:
I was really thrilled when I saw Amanda’s advert for this experience and that finally I found a Photographer that wants to promote everyday women over 40 that are not into advertising/modelling/Vip’s etc. It got me so excited as from my personal experience, I tried to enter the Maltese modelling scene at 40 and none of the Maltese designers accepted me as I do not have a skinny, nor am I a teenager or in my twenties.
Self love and self care come from a place of calm and peace. Sometimes when we’ve been through difficult times it can take its toll on our bodies. Part of the recovery and “moving on” is reconnection, not just with your body but with the world around us. I have lost 12 kg as part of my journey. My spirit and energy are a tribute to my new character and personality.
40 Over 40
How did it feel to be photographed?
Being a shy person, for me being photographed feels/felt like going into a fantasy. During the session I feel stiff, nervous and frozen as I am more into natural things. Amanda is so warm and lovely and got me into positions I did not know I could do.
How did you feel when you first saw the results?
Seeing the result my confidence really boosts up. I always feel better about myself as the resulting images are the certificate for my hard worked achievement.
Doing my first artistic nude and boudoir in Malta it feels empowering. Being raised very catholic and with the stereotype type of obeying and bowing your head is the typical type in Malta. I want to encourage women of any age to go out from the cocoon and raise high like beautiful butterflies and to be blown where the wind can take us.
40 Over 40
Could you share any tips about how you prepare for the photo shoot?
First is to see what the theme is; for example I wanted a boudoir as I feel comfortable teasing. Second, to study the looks of the studio or location and the ambiance to create a contrast. Thirdly I choose the accessories that go with the outfits. Fourth I search for makeup pictures that suit my face and finally I choose a hairstyle that makes me feel and look vibrant.
Are there any myths you would like to bust about the over 40s? If so, can you tell us about them?
I don’t believe that any woman over 40 should feel or act differently or less than her younger age. On the contrary she is more mature and has more experience which she can and should use to her advantage to portray her strength, beauty, sensuality and excitement.
Do you think that people who are 40+ are represented in advertising? How do you feel about it?
Regretfully women over 40 in Malta are never used in general advertising but are only used in advertising related to old age. Media houses in Malta still do not appreciate that a woman over 40 is at her prime and carries not only her beauty but also the experience she has gained over the years.
What have been the significant points of change in your life so far? – How did these significant points in your life change you?
As an employee I always felt being used and having to submit to everyone else’s orders or commands and this made me subdue my fantasies and free spirit nature. A few years ago I decided to put a stop to all this and took the reins in my hands becoming self employed and working as a professional freelancer.
When in your life, so far, have you felt most confident and why?
11.12.13 – The day I signed my separation and got my freedom back.
It would be really interesting to hear about any ambitions you have for the future?
In 2020 I have embarked on a special project in Malta where females of my age can promote the beauty of themselves without inhibitions and of our Maltese Islands. I was hoping that local modelling agencies would jump at this opportunity but it is clear that local agencies prefer novice models under 20’s. This has encouraged me to work even harder and achieve better results on my own as I believe firmly in myself.
Have these ambitions changed since you turned 40?
Turning 40 has made me more ambitious and adventurous as I feel there are more currents against me and this gives me more energy and determination to succeed.
How do you think your generation is perceived by other generations?
I think the older generation look at me as too much of an avangardista because I am not afraid to speak out and show the beauty and courage of women. The younger generation probably feel confused between reality and virtuality as they do not yet appreciate to believe in themselves and their possible careers.
What would you say to people who are going through depression?
I recommend that one finds something interesting and innovative to do to fill up their time. The more one fills his/her time with innovative challenges the less time one has to think about his difficulties and that will lead to the necessary motivation to move on with life.