It shouldn’t hurt to be a child, but unfortunately for some, it does. Devastating facts show that one child dies every 5 minutes as a result of violence.

Due to the current climate, many families are forced to stay home and sadly, as a direct result of this, the number of family violence cases has doubled. Heartbreaking for all to comprehend, but the reason that Polished Man exists. 

Getting behind this initiative is a bunch of wonderful Australian men and women showing their support to help end violence against children. Two of these lovely people are none other than Melbourne’s queen of confidence, presenter and mum of four, Emmylou MacCarthy and the self-confessed fun mum and prankster wife, most recently spotted on Big Brother, Zoe George.  

Emmylou, firstly tell us a bit about yourself and your gorgeous family.

I live in Melbourne with my three kids, my partner Aaron and our two beautiful cavoodles! 

I’m in my fourth year of being an Executive Producer of my TV series, Emmylou Loves and I’ve also just celebrated a second year of  being the director of my company Elephant Dinner. Aaron (or affectionately known as Alove to my community) is a full-time dad while I work full-time, which isn’t always seen as conventional but it works for us. The most important thing is that our kids are happy and the house is harmonious, so we consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a routine that suits everyone.

What inspired you to get involved in the Polished Man campaign this year?

For me, it’s important to get as many people talking about the issue of violence against children as possible. Whether it’s high profile people in my network or smaller, close-knit communities around me. It’s vital to start the conversation and I want to facilitate that as much as possible. The more we talk about it, the more we are standing up and saying that violence against children is unacceptable. The Polished Man campaign shines a spotlight onto the cause and I am so inspired by the work being done to raise money that I was delighted to return
to the team this year. 

Painting a fingernail blue is certainly far from some of the crazy fashion stunts you’ve pulled to promote confidence. What’s the wildest thing you’ve done?

If I had to guess, I’d say you’re probably talking about the time I stood in the middle of Bourke Street in pink lingerie, right?! To some people I guess that was seen as pretty wild, but for me it was more about art. I view these types of photo shoots through a lens of fashion and beauty, and see myself as someone who is creating something inspiring. Not everyone will love it! But that’s the whole point. I’m trying to get a conversation going. I guess you could also say my skydiving days were pretty wild, considering that I regularly jumped out of a planes, sometimes in the nude!  

Obviously being a mum makes this cause especially relevant to you. What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?

Wow. That’s tough to answer! I guess it’s learning how to see the world through their eyes. Kids are so innocent, and I love the way they can look at an “adult” problem and simplify it. I have learnt so much about myself by listening to my kids. It’s just an honour to bear witness to how they live their lives every day.

In this issue we’re talking all things fashion and beauty. Tell us a little bit about running your own fashion label.

It’s hard! Full stop! I probably see my label as something more along the lines of merchandise for my community rather than a being a fully fledged “fashion label”. I’m learning that it takes a lot of patience, particularly in the current climate. It’s also about putting your ego aside and listening to your loyal customers. I have so many brands that I look up to, and as much as I’d love to follow in their footsteps and create a range of exclusive prints or send models down a runway, I’ve learnt that for now I really need to listen to my customer. It’s about delivering what they want. In saying that, I’m also excited to be investing in some exclusive prints this season. 

What are your everyday go-to beauty products that you can’t live without?

Firstly, I will never be without a good cleanser. It’s also vital to wear sunscreen and to make sure it’s the right type for your face. Sure, you can buy products to help correct inflammation, oil production and hydration levels, but once you’ve got sun damaged skin it’s very hard to reverse! I love a mix of high-end and supermarket products and it’s all about shopping around for your skin type and combining that with wherever your budget is at.

And finally, what fabulous new things can we expect from Emmylou moving forward?

I really think that the way this year has gone, it’s important for me to understand the landscape a bit more before I commit to projects in 2021.
At the end of this year I will sit back and take stock, and try to understand what my community looks like and what the world around me looks like. That way I will be able to create satisfying and fulfilling projects in the future. I’ve got my cooking show in the works and my cookbook coming out at the end of October. So for now, I’m just happy to see how these play out and then focus on getting my family settled into the new normal. 

Zoe, you’re known online as the subtle mummy, but the truth is you’re anything but! Tell us about your little family and your role as a fun mum.

I’m a mum of two, Ari is 6 and Ambrosia is 4. Then there’s the star of the show, my husband Robert, who is quite often the brunt of my pranks and makes for a lot of entertainment. I love being silly and fun and I can’t imagine changing any time soon. It’s what people love about me most.

How have the recent stage 4 Melbourne restrictions been for your family?

The recent restrictions weren’t that bad for us actually. I loosened the reigns a lot and Rob took over Ari’s schooling as they wake up and head straight to the study leaving Ambrosia and myself to hang out all day while I get my work done sporadically too. The first round I was hovering over him and I couldn’t get anything done for myself. It wasn’t fun. 

We all miss our friends and family though and poor little Ambrosia has missed a lot of her kinder experience. 

What inspired you to get involved in the Polished Man campaign?

I’ve always just donated in the past but this year I was asked to be an ambassador and I think it’s a great cause. We need to be using our platforms to support charities when we can. 

You spent quite a bit of time away from your two kids while filming Big Brother in Sydney. What was the hardest part of being away from them?

This is easy! The support, the cuddles and even just hearing their little voices. It really is a pressure cooker in there and when I didn’t feel supported, or I’d had a squabble, I found myself wondering if it was worth it. In the real world they support me unconditionally and I know no matter who has upset me, those two are so in tune with me and my emotions. They come and give cuddles and it makes everything more bearable. Same with Rob, and not having them there to support me when I was feeling down was really tough. I remember saying to producers one time when I was upset “why am I here? When I have real people in the real world who love and support me unconditionally”. 

What was the most rewarding part of being a part of the show?

The accomplishments!! Being selected, winning two challenges in a row (and knowing I could’ve had the last one too). Making new friends. We became like a little family in there, a dysfunctional one, but definitely a bond that won’t be broken. 

You’re known to be quite the prankster, especially to your husband. What’s the funniest trick you’ve played on him lately?

I think the hot chilli sauce never gets old. I just have to space them out so he keeps falling for them. Oh and we mustn’t forget the air horn I bought. That was so fun to scare him with.

In this issue of MamaMag we’re talking all things fashion and beauty. What are your favourite local fashion brands and go-to beauty products?

Gosh, fashion and beauty are my jam! I could go on forever. Even though fashion for me at the moment is loungewear and pjs I have something really exciting planned with TSID, so you will have to keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Also a fellow mummy blogger of mine Cat Sanz has been encouraging everyone to “wear their wardrobe” so I’ve been doing that. Basically you find something you haven’t worn in ages and make it work. 

Beauty, I would have to say the derma razor has been my best friend with my IPL clinic shut at the moment. It de-fluffs you and is like a mini facial all in one. I’m obsessed with Dokimon moisturiser and I’d say my makeup is an even split between a Greek brand called Erre Due and the MCO beauty range I’ve just started working with. They’ve really surprised me with their products. 

And finally what can we expect next from Zoe George, the subtle mummy?

Zoe always has something up her sleeve. However it is all TOP SECRET. I’m always scared of things falling through so I don’t share too much until it’s finished. There are three very exciting projects though and all so completely different. As well as lots more pranks. You’ll have to follow my socials and see. (@thesubtlemummy).

This October will see the sixth year of the social impact mission to reduce violence against children. Raising over $6 million to date for trauma prevention and recovery programs for children at risk of violence.

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