Yesterday, I sat down with my mom to talk. This is a usual occurrence, I talk to my mom a lot. But this time was a bit different — I wanted to get her reaction to being Core to Coeur’s new “Cover Girl”. (For the record, Cover Girl are her words, not mine.)
Her response: “Am I going to get royalties for this?”
There was no “Thank you!” No “I’m flattered!” Not even, “Wow, look at this new site! I am so proud of you all!”
Just cold hard cash.
But I digress.
People may be wondering why we’re choosing to put a 69 year old semi-retired woman on the landing pages of our platform.
Because, she should be there.
I have dreamed of people being pulled, not pushed, to movement and fitness classes not because of some unattainable aesthetic ideal that we’re all trained to mold our bodies into. Since the beginning of advertising history, we’ve seen countless images telling us that if we don’t look like a toned, long-lean 25 year old, we don’t “belong” in spaces for fitness. I believe that one reason women and minority groups often find it difficult to get to class has little to do with us, but everything about fitness and wellness culture. It’s time we had a space that is made for who we are and how we move.
We deserve a path forward to loving our bodies fully and without restraint.
But — how does one portray real people, real bodies, doing real movement, as a cash strapped start up with limited resources?
Creativity. Grit. Vision. And FaceTime photo shoots.
In the summer of 2020, my team and I put together 20 photoshoots, all taken over FaceTime by my colleague and collaborator, photographer Kelli Radwanksi. These were portraits of some of our most beloved students and teachers, who had at that point been moving together over video for about six or so months.
One of those models? My mom, 69 year old Mary Ann.
Let it be known that my mom does not move on Core to Coeur because of me or my classes. The amount of time she’s taken my virtual Pilates classes I can count with 3 fingers. She found out about C2C through me of course, but she just started taking classes on her own, without telling me really.
She soon, of course, became every teacher’s most “verbal” student (their words, not mine).
So when we had a last minute “model” cancel, I called her in, like I always do when I am in a pinch. Because Kelli and my mom have met a handful of times, this was easily the most streamlined photoshoot. You can see how relaxed she is in the images.
Fast forward almost a year later, and C2C is finally in a position to put some marketing dollars behind our community. We’ve ridden the waves of co-founders coming and going, teammates starting and stopping, and our technology finally being at a level we feel great about.
But we had no additional marketing materials for our new site. We needed something fresh, highlighting the diverse people and bodies moving and finding value in our online movement community. The dignity and focus that so many of our students have cultivated this past year. And so of course — Mary Ann’s photoshoot with Kelli was the one we went with.
In the last year, my mom has gotten so ripped it’s hard to believe, which she appreciates. What I appreciate is that I have a mom who doesn’t need to have shoulder surgery, who knows how to finally help herself move through back pain and not be so fearful in her day to day life. This past year, she fell over something in her kitchen and guess what — she just got up. No broken bones, torn ligaments — a massive miracle for any person, let alone a soon to be 70 year old! I am deeply grateful as a daughter that as she continues to age dynamically, energetically and gracefully, that she has a resource of trusted instructors that I feel confident can guide her through any class with safety and joy.
I hope you enjoy our brief, unedited conversation we had about her new “Cover Girl” status.
Madison Page is the CEO and co-founder and Founding Instructor of Core to Coeur, online classes to meet and move. You can follow her journey as a first time founder on Instagram and Twitter. For custom recommendations on virtual classes for your body — get in touch with a real human on Team C2C here.