6 Canadians Reflect on How Their Mothers Influenced Their Beauty and Style Ideals

Moms can impact our lives in so many ways, personal style included. So on the back of Mother’s Day weekend here in Canada, we asked a handful of locals to unravel how each of their mothers informed their tastes.

Evan Ducharme, multidisciplinary Métis artist and fashion designer

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Photo courtesy of Evan Ducharme

“Something that I think I’ve inherited from [my mom], that she inherited from her mother and grandmothers, is the importance of presenting yourself in a neat and polished manner, and never overdone: your outfit, hair and makeup aren’t wearing you. There is a sense of nonchalance that I try to replicate. I’ve also plundered her closet over the years for some of those early ’90s pieces that she doesn’t wear anymore. And never fall asleep in your makeup (which we’ve all done a time or two!). My Mom had my siblings and I when she was quite young, so once we were all old enough, she decided to go back to school to pursue a career as a health care aide. In retrospect, I think that for us to see her take that leap, while raising three kids, has imbued us with a strong work ethic and a willingness to take chances.”

Stef Sanjati, transgender activist, video game streamer and former video blogger and YouTube personality

“It’s interesting: When I hear people answer the question, ‘Who is your beauty icon?’, they’ll usually reference a celebrity who resembles them or something. But I haven’t had that experience because, with Waardenburg syndrome, there aren’t very many people who look like me, especially celebrities. Growing up, I always saw my mom who has a very similar face shape as me because of Waardenburg syndrome. So, for example, when I got my facial feminization surgery, I just told the surgeon that I wanted to look more like my mom. She was like rooted inspiration for me.”

Learn more about Stef  Sanjati here.

Musemo “Mo” Handahu, fashion blogger

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Mo (far right) with her mom and brother. Photo courtesy of Ezebriel Fraser.

“When I was younger, I spent many Saturday afternoons boutique hopping with my mom. I didn’t always look forward to this ritual, and at times would find somewhere to sit and wait for her to try on all the pieces she’d picked out. Subconsciously, I think I absorbed her love of style and appreciation of intricate detailing which I would later on use in my career.”

Cailli and Sam Beckerman, identical twin fashion bloggers

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Photo courtesy of the Beckerman twins

“Our mom is our style icon! She is such a fashion warrior when it comes to changing up her style and having fun with it. She is our rock ‘n’ roll mama bear. Our bright and shining light. She always inspires us and instilled in us that beauty starts first on the inside; it’s all about a beautiful soul. On a beauty note, she taught us about using great beauty products and taking care of our skin with sunscreen: After you put it on your face, also put it on the top of your hands. It definitely helps with sun spots when getting older. The most valuable lesson our mom taught us is, ‘put yourself first.’ Looking after your mind and body is essential. If that means having a nap, meditating, working out, or having some extra ‘me’ time — then take it. She also taught us to be creative and make a mess. Make art! Life is about creating.”

Carey Melnichuk, founder and CEO of Secret Location

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Photo courtesy of Carey Melnichuk

“My mom instilled in me that beauty means different things to different people. It truly is in the eye of the beholder. And because of that, [I’ve learned] to be authentically yourself, to take pride in how you look and who you are, and to embrace your own personal sense of style and allow it to evolve naturally. She taught me that no matter the difficulties, delays, or obstacles — you persevere. If you’re passionate and dedicated about something, you can always find a way. And that strength doesn’t have to be approached by a lack of femininity. You can be soft and strong simultaneously.”

Alyssa Bertram, CEO and founder of easy period inc.

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Shots of a young Alyssa with her mom. Alyssa today (bottom right). Photos courtesy of Alyssa Bertram.

“I witnessed my mom’s style throughout the ’90s, and learned from her about simplicity — less being more — and the power of a signature scent. She’s definitely one of my style icons!”

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