"We're in a pro-age revolution!" asserts MaryAnn as we start our conversation. Immediately we know is an entrepreneur and mother-of-two on a mission, advocating for age in the modelling industry - a space where over 25s were considered "over-the-hill"

In conversation with MaryAnn Elizabeth we cover everything from health and fitness and passionate personal pursuits, to why we should consider slathering ourselves in coconut oil on a regular basis. Plus we get a delicious home-made hazelnut spread recipe (a must!) - read on for the full scoop.

(SFM) First up, tell us about work

(M.E) In essence I consider myself a Modelpreneur— an entrepreneur who does modelling. My “formal” background is in the visual arts, MFA and a BFA...I have collected a few pieces of expensive paper along the way. I am artist and have always worked professionally in the visual arts: graphic designer, set designer, production assistant, studio painter with gallery representation, and last, but not least college professor within the arts & humanities, teaching courses in art & design. Modelling for me is another form of artistic expression, a medium I use as a visual tool to hopefully inspire other women to age with grace and glow with pride in all aspects of their lives!

(SFM) So, what’s your mission?

(M.E) To begin with myself (the micro), as Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

(SFM) That's certainly coming to life in a small way through your work in modelling. What’s your view on ageing?

(M.E) I believe we are in a pro-age revolution! Or at least I am trying my hardest to start one!! Women are powerful earners; we want to see our peers representing the products we buy! As a model representing mature women I want to reinterpret the notion of ageing through looking and feeling fabulous. Wearing my age with a positive attitude, style and grace. There are no rules, and we shouldn’t judge what others decide, whatever makes you feel your best, whatever makes you come alive is right for you!

(SFM) No rules - that's what fashion is all about right!? Who’s your fashion icon?

(M.E) Do I have to pick just one?! If so, I would choose one women who has inspired me from a very young age, the magnificent Sophia Loren!

(SFM) What are your three favourite brands?

(M.E) Wow, extremely challenging to pick 3, this question fills me with the same dilemma I have when trying to pack for travel. If forced to choose three items to include in my travel bag, these are a few of my staples: Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 47 Protect & Perfect, second, as I transition to colour-free natural hair, BLNDN hair care has helped repair my locks and add shine, BLNDN’S Tone You is a can’t live without, last, but not least I love a great purifying mask, recently I discovered Kosmorganik’s Kos mask, there are no words to describe how the pure organic ingredients will leave your skin a glow!

(SFM) Speaking of glowing, are there any other secrets you can share on how you keep your skin looking so great?

(M.E) No secrets here, I am happy to share! I definitely believe beauty begins from the inside out. Kahlil Gibran expressed it best, “beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” I believe in feeding ourselves well, body & mind: nutritionally, spiritually, physically and emotionally, this takes serious commitment! I’m pretty sure it was Bette Davis who said, “Ageing is not for sissies!”

(SFM) It's certainly not! Keeping healthy and active is so important...

(M.E) I am super invested in my health and wellness. I’m not perfect and I enjoy food, including some indulgences, but moderation is key, I am working towards eliminating sugar from my diet...some days are more successful than others! But I have learned that eating clean and making exercise a daily priority feels best for me. I am asked often about my skin care and exercise regimens and at 48 this is the nicest compliment ever! A few daily rituals I can’t go without...Lemon water! Lots of water, and after a good sweat you’ll find me sitting in meditation in a hot steam room for 15 minutes, slathered from head to toe in organic coconut oil.

(SFM) Everything in moderation... Peanut Butter, Vegemite or Nutella?

(M.E) Shamefully, I must admit to my Australian friends, I have never had a vegemite sandwich! I’m not much for Nutella and peanut butter either, but if you come over I promise the yummiest sandwich on toasted flax seed and quinoa bread and freshly made chocolate hazelnut spread.

(Here’s the recipe in case you can’t wait
1/3 cup whole raw almonds
1 1/3 cup raw hazelnuts
1 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almondmilk 1 cup pitted dates
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)

(SFM) Yum that sounds like happiness in a jar. OK, last question... let's get personal... what’s something not many people know about you?

(M.E) Painting is my first love, I haven’t had much time in the studio these days, but I always find my way back to the canvas. I am very interested in the mind/body connection and the power of meditation.

To book MaryAnn Elizabeth please contact [email protected]