A photographer and make-up artist Bente-Maj Wøldike knows how to make women believe in themselves. Women of various ages usually leave her boutique Le Fleur in Copenhagen with a smile on their faces and a couple of stunning pictures of themselves. “How is it possible that they gain a huge amount of self-confidence within… well… couple of hours?”, I wonder. “My job is to make them fall in love with themselves”, she says. “Their job – to be in love forever…”
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is everywhere and every single one of us have it. Women probably don’t think they are beautiful if they haven’t been told so often enough. A woman deserves to know that she is beautiful and deserves to love herself, and when she does that, her beauty will be reflected in her looks and her attitude. I would say that beauty is when you are not afraid to show that you love yourself.
How important is self-confidence and how is it possible to gain it?
Self-confidence is very important in our lives. I think people are relatively bad in telling compliments. We probably think that we do not need to compliment others since we consider that they might already know it. However, everybody needs to be told that they are beautiful and we need to learn how and what we can do in order to look better. I also observe that we, women, do the same thing everyday for years without changing, we are creatures of habits and we need to break that. I do photo therapy course because I believe that self-confidence is something hidden in every woman and my job is to reveal it and change them, make them understand that change is crucial. If you tell someone that they are ugly every single day they will definitely believe in it, that’s why I want women to look in the mirror and make them realize that they are beautiful. I also want them to learn to receive compliments and realize that people complimenting them are right!
What is the process of photo therapy?
From the moment a woman comes here to the boutique, she does not see herself for approximately 3 hours. I help them realize that they are beautiful – I teach them when and where their faces look nice, the angle, shadow, posture. Every detail is important. I love to see the change of emotions when a woman, who came to a boutique a little afraid and suspicious sees the final picture of herself – she gets the glow in the eyes and get the boost of self-confidence. She sees and realizes that she can be attractive, beautiful and inspiring to other women.
How did the idea of business came?
I started it about five years ago, but I was mainly doing it for my closest friends. Yet one day I posted some of my works on Facebook and it turned out to be a huge success, since I got ladies writing me that they want to try a makeover. So it was not intentional, more or less a surprise for myself.
However I sometimes find difficult moments, some of women find it difficult even to touch their neck for the photo shoot. They have not touched themselves and for them it might feel strange to do so. I simply want them to feel comfortable, yet they have to “play” a little in front of my camera and have to try to relax. My job is to make them fall in love with themselves again and keep that love forever.
What is your advice for women who want to gain self-confidence?
To believe in themselves. If it they lack self-confidence I would advice to try photo therapy with a makeover, where they will be advised a certain change according to their looks.
We need self-confidence because we have been too long thinking that we do not fit the standards, that we are too high, too short, too fat, too skinny, too young or too old… Self-confidence is perception. It’s all hidden in our minds and all we have to do is to realize that we all are different yet beautiful – and we only need to embrace it. When I help women understand that they are beautiful and all they need is a small change – they leave me high on energy and believing in themselves. That’s what I love about my job.