Q&A: Shereen Jupp of Mother Muse

Built around ideals of slow living and modern motherhood, Mother Muse is a bi-annual coffee table book that is a favourite at Glasshouse, loved especially by Glasshouse founder Olivia Crighton for its open and honest portrayal of motherhood in all its complexities.

After becoming a mother at a young age, model Shereen Jupp found little inspiration in traditional mother and baby magazines and made it her personal mission to create a publication that offered a more modern narrative to motherhood. The result is a publication that celebrates motherhood in all forms, combining artistic flair with fashion and lifestyle content, and insightful interviews from mothers around the world. The raw, emotional and intimate photography of each woman featured captures both the beauty and vulnerability of becoming a mother.

In conversation with Olivia, Shereen told us more about the story behind Mother Muse, and her thoughts on the pressure many women feel to be a ‘perfect mum’.

When I became pregnant, I was drawn to Mother Muse as it was one of the few publications that represented mothers as multi-dimensional, real women. What was your motivation for starting this project?

Mother Muse was inspired through my motherhood journey when I first gave birth to my beautiful daughter Adaline Rose. I struggled with postpartum depression being a young mother and not resonating with the things I loved prior to motherhood. The motivation for me was creating something I needed for myself, thus Mother Muse was born - a coffee table book devoted to mothers.

How does slow living fit within the life of the modern mother?

To me it means simple living and being a minimalist - I’ve always believed less is more. I also feel slow living is intertwined with living in the moment and taking a deep breath in those moments. My husband and I love nature and being outdoors and traveling I feel that is all somewhat sewed together as a mother and as a parent. I want my children to be brought up that way - less consumption and making more memories as a family.

I feel sometimes mothers are guilty of concealing parts of their experiences with their children from their friends and associates, perhaps due to risk of judgment or unwanted advice. Do you feel we live in a social climate that allows mothers to be honest and open with each other?

Absolutely, I believe it’s okay that we do our journeys differently and at our pace. There should be no judgement as long as the children are healthy, nourished and loved it’s okay to keep your opinions to yourself unless asked.

What prompted your recent ‘fed is best’ campaign?

It’s a personal photo essay that celebrates both forms of nourishing: breastfeeding and formula feeding. I breastfed both my babies up until 4 months due to low milk supply and being anaemic. When I had my daughter I dived deep into postpartum depression due to breastfeeding, I remember pumping for hours and not even getting out 50ml. My daughter was born 8 pounds and went down to 5 pounds and I felt so judged by the nurses around me and I finally introduced formula and still pumped just so I could offer her what I had. After that experience I told myself my daughter feels my love no matter what, it’s an everlasting bond. I believe formula feeding is a very sensitive untouched topic still where mothers feel a huge sense of guilt that can lead to horrible postpartum. My campaign is to celebrate those mothers and to express to them you are a great mother don’t be so hard on yourself. At the end of the day as women and as mothers we need to support one another and not judge each other.

Where do you think the pressure to be a ‘perfect mum’ comes from?

From ourselves and social media.

Raising children is wonderful, but it can obviously sometimes be tiring and challenging. How do you find the time to invest in yourself and your creative dream?

It’s still a learning process and still a challenge. I run the publication on my own without childcare and I feel at the moment my life is beautiful chaos. My daughter is 2 and my son is almost 8 months they rule my world and organise my day. When I get any time to work it’s during night or when my husband is able to watch them, I am hoping it will get easier but never give up on your dreams. It’s very important to balance that into your life no matter what.

I’ve seen that the Mother Muse Instagram is constantly at odds with Instagram’s ban on uncensored nipples. Why do you feel that this is an important issue to keep trying to tackle, even when your images may be frequently removed as a result?

My images are removed so often on Instagram, sometimes they are removed even when no breast is showing at all. I think somehow we still live in a time where motherhood is deeply censored and I think that’s ridiculous, it’s the most natural beautiful form and I will always challenge Instagram on it.

Has becoming a mother changed your perception of femininity as a whole?

Yes, our eyes say so much after we become mothers. I see mothers in a very different light. I see their vulnerability, their beauty, their sadness and their strength. Femininity in a sense of it’s beautiful seeing a mother nurture her baby and seeing how the mother figure changes; it’s new, it’s feminine it’s strong.

What are the most important values that you want to pass on to your daughter?

Strength to achieve and believe in her goals, strength to believe in her inner and outer beauty, I want her to acknowledge she is beautiful and never to compare herself to others. I want her to know girls have the power to do anything and that being a male or female has nothing to do with a person’s strengths.

Who or where do you go to for advice?

My mother.

You can see more Mother Muse articles and purchase Mother Muse books online here.

All images: Mother Muse Magazine

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Reads: Body by Alexa Coe

    We chat with London based illustrator Alexa Coe about self-portraiture, our relationships with our body and her newly released photography and art book, Body.

    More +
  2. Hair Trend: Headbands

    Embracing the ongoing revival of 90s accessories, we’re now turning our attention to headbands. Spotted across the SS19 catwalks and striking a balance between playful and chic, the grown-up headband is a practical accessory that makes an unfussy statement.

    More +
  3. Adaptogens in Beauty

    With the ability to regulate the body’s reaction to stress and anxiety, adaptogens have been a key part of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for centuries, but also contain a plethora of benefits for the skin when applied topically. From turmeric to aloe vera, we’ve rounded up our top adaptogenic ingredients to look out for in your skincare routine.

    More +
  4. Q&A: G Binsky

    Taking the Instagram world by storm, G Binsky combines the worlds of ceramics and jewellery in a unique collection of London made, wearable art. We speak to the founder Gabriela Bins about the inspiration for the brand and the importance of handmade items.

    More +
  5. Beauty Forecast: CBD

    The skincare world is constantly abuzz with new ingredients and technology, but one ingredient in particular seems to have taken 2019 by storm. CBD is popping up in our facial oils and cleansing bars and here at Glasshouse we have cut through the buzz to find out what CBD is really all about - and how it can benefit our beauty routines.

    More +
  6. Q&A: Scarlet Crawley

    ​Having left her publishing job to launch contemporary bodywork studio MASAJ, Scarlet Crawley is redefining the concept of massage, using the power of touch to cleanse the body and mind whilst restoring anatomical balance and combating the negative effects of city living. We sat down with her to discuss the benefits of massage and how best to incorporate it into our modern lifestyle.

    More +
  7. Ingredient Spotlight: Rosehip Oil

    ​Transform your skin with the latest ingredient on our radar, rosehip oil. Packed full of vitamins and essential fatty acids, find out how this cult ingredient can improve the over appearance and texture of your skin.

    More +
  8. Hair Trend: The Ear Tuck

    Effortlessly cool and extremely practical, the ear tuck is the latest - and easiest - way to style your hair this Winter, and it’s something you probably do already. Carefree, relaxed and the opposite of try-hard, this is a lazy girl’s dream that lets your facial features do the talking.

    More +
  9. Winter Dry Skin

    ​Cold temperatures drying out your skin? You’re not alone. When winter hits hard, sometimes our face is the first to feel the consequences, with dry skin becoming a more common occurrence than usual. With a little help from the founder of Evolve Beauty, we’re here to guide you through your seasonal dry skin woes.

    More +
  10. The Vegan Beauty Trouble Shooter

    ​As the vegan diet and lifestyle continues to grow in popularity, an increasing number of vegan and cruelty free products are flooding into the beauty industry and whilst this is a step in the direction, not all ‘vegan’ products are created equal. We’ve put together a guide on the subject to help you discern what is, and isn’t, 100% animal and environmentally friendly.

    More +
  11. New Year Intentions with Tamara Driessen

    We speak to crystal healer and author of The Crystal Code Tamara Driessen on how avoid the pressures of creating strict goals in January and how to ease into 2019 instead. Through reflection, introspection and other practises, Tamara guides us through the rituals that can help us enter the year with a mindful and positive approach.

    More +
  12. Hair Musing: Lou Schoof

    Striking a perfect balance between classic and contemporary, our latest muse is German model Lou Schoof, who’s sleek blonde bob and full fringe is the perfect choice for a new beginning.

    More +
  13. Work with us at Glasshouse Salon

    Fancy being a part of our close-knit Glasshouse team? We are looking for a talented Hair Stylist to come onboard.

    More +
  14. Wellness in Winter: Three Women Share Their Tips

    ​As Winter gets into full swing and the festive season has us feeling more than a little worn out, we’ve gathered together three women in wellness to share their tips on how to keep our immune system in tact during the silly season. From nourishing meals to grounding rituals and supplements, these women know a thing or two about keep the body balanced.

    More +
  15. Glasshouse Christmas Gift Guide

    To help ease the busy Christmas shopping period, we’ve put together our top picks from Glasshouse Shop that prioritise artisan crafts, natural and organic ingredients, sustainability and design.

    More +
  16. Hair Trend: Chocolate Brown

    Leaving summer balayages behind, we’re all about moody, glossy chocolate brown shades - simple yet big on impact and the perfect match for a rich winter colour palette.

    More +
Load more posts