Laura Whitmore: 'I’ve been judged. For my appearance. My skin. How my hair looks. My body shape.'

From the November issue of IMAGE, six Irish women reflect on what beauty means to them.

What is beauty today? For the last three years, photographer Lee Malone’s passion project has been to challenge perceptions of beauty by capturing women in their most natural, make-up-free state. In the November issue of IMAGE, he photographed six women who opened up to Holly O'Neill about what beauty means to them. Here, Laura Whitmore tells her story.



Laura Whitmore, TV presenter and radio broadcaster

I’ve been judged. For my appearance. My skin. How my hair looks. My body shape. The media does it to women all the time. When I was approached to do this shoot with no hair or make-up, of course, I was apprehensive. This shoot is a representation of being vulnerable and strong together. I love wearing make-up and feeling good about myself, and knowing I can look reasonably good, even if I don’t feel good. But I loved feeling more exposed. No matter what you look like, or what you do, we all judge to some extent. To be able to strip it all back was rather wonderful: to feel tired and look tired, to capture a moment of truth, without anything to hide behind.

Lee Malone is hoping to publish his Perceptions of Beauty book of portraits next year with money raised going towards various women’s mental health and domestic abuse charities. @lee_malone_photography

This article originally appeared in the November issue of IMAGE Magazine.

Read more: We need to talk about Trilogy's €15.95 Everything Balm

Read more: Hair Stories: Mary Dunne on how her grey hair has made her more confident now than ever

Read more: Can we talk about... the 25-year anniversary edition of MAC Viva Glam Lipstick

The image newsletter