Complete Confidence: Carol Smilie
One of TV's most popular presenters, Carol Smilie, spoke to us about her career, social media and how she feels about getting older
Your career has been a varied one. Model, presenter, entrepreneur and now humanist celebrant. Did you always have a strong self-belief in your abilities?
I think a certain amount of self-belief helped in the beginning, but the rest was 'winging it’. We all have feelings that we’re ‘getting away with it’ and any day now, the tap on the shoulder is coming. So much of life is smoke and mirrors. If you exude confidence, others will buy into it.
Does getting older shake your confidence?
Yes, menopause, body changes, the ageing process, it all sucks really. But I’m lucky. I’ve been married for 27 years to a man whom I adore, is my best friend, and who still treats me like a queen. I wouldn’t be quite so confident without that. Being loved is everything isn’t it?
Do you think social media helps or damages how we feel about ourselves?
I am SO glad social media wasn’t around when I was at the height of my career. I cannot imagine the horror of reading anonymous trolls saying you’re so fat/old/ugly/stupid on a daily basis. I’m so glad my kids are almost through the horror of social media controlling their lives and can see it now for what it really is, but I worry about younger girls who are so influenced by it all.
What advice would you pass onto your children about confidence?
Don’t let anyone body shame you or tell you that you cannot be whatever it is you want to be. If you are happy inside, the rest of it will follow naturally. Don’t take yourself too seriously and surround yourself with people who love you and would be there for you in a crisis.
What does confidence mean to you?
For me, it’s all about feeling great within yourself. Knowing that you feel comfortable in your own skin and don’t need anyone else around you. But what you wear and how you look on the outside is also a huge contributing factor to how you feel inside. I’m no different to any other woman; weight gain, skin outbreaks, varicose veins, becoming ‘invisible’ as you get older, are all contributing factors, but these feelings generally pass fairly quickly, thankfully. I find a non-invasive treatment, new make-up, haircut or outfit, can make a world of difference. For years I suffered from rosacea. I went to Face & Body where they analysed my skin under UV light, and asked me to make some dietary changes (no butter or full fat milk) and gave me some skin creams, and hey presto, I was finally free of rosacea. I’ve since become a regular, and they helped with thread veins, and laser hair removal as well as pigmentation removal on my cheek.
Face & Body is a multi award-winning aesthetic clinic in Edinburgh specialising in pro-ageing and beautification treatments, that give natural looking results, to boost your confidence. Find them at 32 Alva St, EH2 4PY, faceandbody.co.uk