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