As part of our period powerful profile series we caught up with the lovely Beth Fuller, founder of Noa Vee.
Noa Vee is an online empowering platform that champions an honest and positive approach to beauty. Alongside inspirational content that tackles topical issues faced by modern women, Noa Vee also has a shop featuring ethical, positive fashion brands.
We chatted to Beth about Noa Vee and also what inspired her to be period powerful.
What inspired you to start Noa Vee?
“My inspiration for Noa Vee was due to having an eating disorder since I was roughly eleven years old. I remember my Mam taking me to the doctors at fourteen because I had hypoglycaemia, low iron levels and my periods had stopped. I told the doctor that I was throwing my lunch in the bin at school – although it felt completely normal to restrict what I ate. He told me I was stupid; I never spoke about it again.
Then, at twenty-one, I noticed I was frequently saying no to drinking water. It was then that I thought to start questioning things. I got in touch with an online service and they said it sounded like I have anorexia. It was a complete shock to me that the attitude towards food, beauty and myself was actually very unhealthy. It had reached the extent that it had perpetuated onto liquids. Up until seeing the word ‘anorexia’ typed back to me in an email, I thought my mentality and behaviour was simply how I was supposed to think and act.
In search for answers on why my idea of happiness and health was so damaging, I pulled apart the narrative I was constantly re-told on TV, in magazines, by celebrities, in fashion stores, beauty campaigns and social media. I realised that in keeping a woman hungry to reach unattainable ideals, the fast-fashion and beauty industries are able to profit. In turn, the people making the products in factories, the environment and our self-esteem were paying a tremendous price.
With Noa Vee as a solution for this and the wider conversation on beauty and fashion taking a more positive direction, I hope that if I have a daughter one day, thanks to this shift in culture, her ‘normal’ will be a lot different to what mine was.
Why do you think it’s important to challenge beauty standards and embrace body positivity?
I think there’s a political agenda behind beauty standards which is really important to tackle head on. The profitability in making women unhappy with their appearance is ridiculous. I think to challenge beauty standards so that women are encouraged to have a self-esteem and self-worth independent from their physical state will have an impact onto the greater landscape of women’s future role and positioning in society.
Speaking of challenging standards, what are your thoughts on the period taboo?
I’d love for there to no longer be a taboo surrounding periods. I think it’s really unfair on the girls growing up now – with all the resources and connectivity we have – to still shy away from open conversation on periods. Whilst there are very different stigmas attached to periods throughout different cultures, I think they all need to be worked away through amazing movements such as this one.
Why do you think period positivity is important?
Period positivity is so important because periods should never make any woman feel negatively about herself. They’re something women shouldn’t feel ashamed of and they’re a topic we should shy away from. The more positively we view them, the more open the conversation around periods become.
What does ‘be period powerful’ mean to you?
To me, being period powerful recognises the strength you have because of your period. Periods are tough! I think it’s frustrating that they’re only spoken about in connection to a woman being irritable or moody instead of strong and tenacious. The popular punch-line of asking a woman if she’s on her period because apparently her attitude is less agreeable has quite a problematic underpinning that sustains a negative view upon women. We have to go to work, school, uni, travel and everything else whilst having our period. Being on your period doesn’t make you a bitch, it makes you powerful.
And finally, what are your go-to period essentials?
I get really bad cramps, and, despite having one every month, I always find the current period I’m on to be ‘the most painful thing ever’. So, I can’t go without a hot water bottle and, of course, chocolate.”