We catch up with multi-hyphenate Barbara Latimer, who wears many hats as host, tv presenter and fitness instructor, and chat about her view on multicultural identity, beauty, and why love is her guiding philosophy in life.
Hey Barbara! Tell us more about you!
I'm an absolute goofball. I have this somewhat composed and collected side that is reserved for most work-related situations, but at the end of the day who doesn't like to mess around. Spending time with those I love is a big thing for me. I'm particular about the energy I surround myself with, and wouldn't change anything about the people I have in my life currently. That being said, me-time is essential. A lot of my work involves being around and interacting with others constantly, so I value some good old down time next to the pool with a book in hand.
How has your background shaped your identity today?
As cliche as it sounds, coming from a multicultural background has played a huge part in who I am. Growing up in the UK, then moving and adapting to a completely different world was definitely a pivotal moment. For a long time, I struggled to pin-point exactly where I should call 'home': the place where I was born, or the place where I've now spent the better half of my life? I’ve come to realise over the past few years that home is where I make it. I have amazing memories in the UK, fantastic ones here in Singapore, and I'm likely to make more all over the world.
What's a typical day like for you?
I'm everywhere! In the course of a week, I toggle between working from home (or anywhere for that matter), training and teaching at the gym, client meetings, time with my niece and if possible, some me time. The sequence of these changes on the daily so it usually all about adaptability.
What's your concept of beauty, and how has it evolved?
I'm no different from most, I grew up with warped versions of beauty. Skinny, clear skin, thick hair.. Basically a barbie doll. It's funny, you can be surrounded by the most loving and supportive humans, but with societal definitions of beauty plastered at every corner we turn (or page we scroll), it just becomes subconsciously engrained into your head, and undoing that takes some serious work.
Over the last few years there's been a new trend - to be super accepting of our beauty, almost to the point where if I don't accept and love and appreciate my body for what it is, it's unacceptable. Let that sink in for a second, and the next thing you know, you've worked your way into a downward spiral. It boggled my mind when I first hit that wall.
Now? I'm still working on it. I do what makes me feel good; There are days where I breakout like a teenager or feel like a beached whale, and there are days where I'm downright feelin maself. All of it is okay.
Could you share your favourite self-care tips and wellness rituals?
To be honest, I'm low-key the worst person at this. I've been blessed with pretty good skin for most of my life. Aside from moisturising, the occasional mask and exfoliator, water is my best friend. I don't have a ritual per say, but my biggest tip is, listen to your skin. Not all products work for everyone. As tedious as it is, listen and get to know your skin, because it'll thank you for it.
What's your guiding philosophy in life?
Work hard, love harder. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and trying to 'make it' - and don't get me wrong, that drive is amazing - but it's easy to lose sight of the life we're actually living. And love, well, it's a beautiful thing.
Any resolutions for 2021 and beyond?
Get into the same country as my man. It's been a long time coming and with border restrictions the way they are, all I want for 2021 is to see him and squeeze his bum. Everything else is a bonus!