Fash­ion foray at 50 is about ‘em­pow­er­ing women’ Paula finds right fit as role model

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE MATHER

PAULA Wriedt isn’t shy about turn­ing 50, rather she is cel­e­brat­ing her life ex­pe­ri­ence in a mod­el­ling shoot for an Aus­tralian fash­ion la­bel.

The Tasmanian politi­cian, ad­vo­cate and mother is the lat­est model for Leina Broughton, a fash­ion la­bel that se­lects re­al­life cus­tomers to be its “su­per­mod­els” — to show that “true beauty has no age, shape or size”.

Ms Wriedt said the mod­el­ling shoot pushed her way out­side of her com­fort zone, but she agreed so as to en­cour­age other women to be happy in their skin.

“It’s about em­pow­er­ing women,” said Ms Wriedt, whose mod­el­ling pho­tos are part of a se­ries cel­e­brat­ing women aged about 50.

“Re­gard­less of your size or your age, they want to en­cour­age ev­ery­one to em­brace them­selves and be them­selves — to be proud of who they are.”

Ms Wriedt is ra­di­ant in a se­ries of pho­tos mod­el­ling dresses, and the fash­ion la­bel’s web­site in­cludes a video of her ex­plain­ing life at 50.

“With age comes a cer­tain amount of wis­dom, and one of the things I love about be­ing 50 is not sweat­ing the small stuff any­more,” Ms Wriedt says in the video.

Her other piece of ad­vice is to “laugh at your­self — laugh­ter goes a long way”.

Ms Wriedt said she would never have dreamt she would end up mod­el­ling, and she was taken aback when first ap­proached about it.

She said the busi­ness con­tacted her be­cause she had posted some pho­tos of her­self wear­ing Leina Broughton dresses on their so­cial me­dia sites. They were look­ing for women aged about 50 for their next cat­a­logue, she said.

“I had been in pho­tos be­fore for the me­dia, but never any­thing like this,” she said.

“It was some­thing to­tally out of my com­fort zone.”

Ms Wriedt, who will turn 50 next month, said she and two other “cus­tomer mod­els” were flown to the Gold Coast for a photo shoot.

Ms Wriedt has just been re- elected as a coun­cil­lor on King­bor­ough Council, but missed out on her pre­vi­ous po­si­tion as deputy mayor.

She en­tered pol­i­tics at 27 and be­came the youngest fe­male min­is­ter in a Tasmanian Par­lia­ment when she was just 29.

In her bi­og­ra­phy be­neath the mod­el­ling pho­tos, Ms Wriedt is open about her depar­ture from state pol­i­tics.

“I left pol­i­tics in 2009 af­ter a bout of severe de­pres­sion and since then have ad­vo­cated for more open con­ver­sa­tions about men­tal health,” she writes.

Af­ter pol­i­tics she cared for her el­derly par­ents and then took on the role of ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Tas­ma­nia, a po­si­tion she still holds.

“It’s been a re­ally re­ward­ing role, although at times it’s heartbreaking.”

The la­bel’s founder, Leina Broughton, said she was thrilled to have Ms Wriedt in the lat­est cat­a­logue.

“We re­ally pro­mote the fact that be­ing an amaz­ing woman is about so much more than your size, age or height,” she said.

“We like to pro­mote women with dif­fer­ent as­pi­ra­tional goals … we like to find these amaz­ing kick­ass women.”

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