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Lucy

Lucy Kemp Talks Postpartum Body Image And Bringing Up Boys

Lucy Kemp spent 13 years travelling the world as an international model. But in her late twenties, she felt a calling to return to Australia to start a family. We sat down with Lucy at her Sydney home to talk body image, Saturn Return, and raising three boys.

At the age of 17, Lucy Kemp packed a suitcase and left Australia behind to make her foray into the modelling world. For the first 13 years of her adult life, she called London, Paris, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles home. From magazine covers to fashion week shows, Lucy led what she describes as a “big, fun, adventurous life of travel and work”. 

“Kids weren’t on my mind until my late twenties when I started to feel a calling to move home to Sydney,” Lucy tells The Inarra. “At 31, I left New York and moved back to Oz, leaving a long-term relationship, my career, and my overseas life behind.” Although a huge decision, Lucy trusted her intuition, and it wasn’t long until everything began to make sense.  

“A month later, I met a very tall, funny, handsome man, and I knew he was the one for me. We dated for three years, got married, and had kids right away.”

Lucy welcomed her first child Noah (now 8) with husband Baydr at 35, followed by Haris (6) and Jago (4). “I always had a feeling I’d be a mum, and a mum of boys. It’s a boy’s world for me and I love it!”

"Being a new mum is like entering the wild west, no one knows the terrain nor the rules nor the weather, but everything you need is within you, trust yourself."
Lucy

Lucy wears Bird & Knoll

Lucy

Lucy wears Bird & Knoll

Lucy

Lucy wears her own jeans and t-shirt and Lee Matthews coat

When it comes to family life, connection, communication, and fun is what Lucy values the most. “I always know if one of my guys is out of sorts or a bit off balance, and I get to the bottom of it straight away,” the mum-of-three says. “But we keep everything light. My husband is a chilled guy and always sees the brighter side of life, which I think is crucial for young kids these days.”

From television commercials to global campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, GAP, and L’Oreal, Lucy has cemented her status as an international model. But navigating the industry as a mum hasn’t always been easy. 

“As a young model, I went through years and years of restrictive eating,” she says. “After having children, I was exhausted, busy, breastfeeding, happy, angry, and probably quite manic. Hormones play a huge role in the post-partum body, particularly if you breastfeed, so you need to be OK with understanding that your body may be bigger, but it’s miraculous, life-giving, and beautiful.” 

“My tip for new mums would be to do little things for yourself,” Lucy continues. “For example, I always made sure to take the kids out for a walk on sunny days, bought my favourite sushi or smoothie, and enjoyed my glass of wine in the evening.”

Having been exposed to eating disorders and body dysmorphia during her early days in the modelling industry, Lucy decided to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and is now studying for her third degree: Master of Psychological Practice with the focus on her thesis on Instagram, Perfectionism and Body Dissatisfaction (which as of time of publishing she has received First Class Honors for her research).

“Around the same time, Kim Kardashian and the pressures of social media were exploding, and I strongly believed that teenage girls and young women were getting a bad deal,” she explains. 

“I plan to practise as a psychologist, but I’m not sure which direction I will go in yet. I’m currently writing my thesis on Instagram, perfectionism, and body dissatisfaction, so watch this space.”

Lucy

Lucy wears Bird & Knoll

Lucy

Lucy wears Bird & Knoll

Always keen to “give things a crack”, this is just one example of Lucy exploring other careers outside of her modelling portfolio. At 23, she tried her hand as a movie journalist at Dreamworks. “I did one press junket with Angelina Jolie and Gerard Butler, and I was so terrified. It was one and done!” Lucy laughs. At 26, she studied Bikram Yoga and taught for four years. At 28, she did an internship at a boutique PR firm.  

“In retrospect, I was entering my Saturn Return and trying different paths outside of the modelling world,” she says.

But juggling work, study, and three children can be tough. “I try to know what’s happening as far in advance as possible,” Lucy tells The Inarra. “But this isn’t always possible, especially in fashion, and the juggle is real. Sometimes I drop a ball here or there, but I try to see the bright side and just keep going.”

“A neat home keeps my sanity and one tip is teach the kids from a young age to tidy up after themselves,” she adds. “Mine won’t necessarily make their bed or fold their clothes away, but they do know how to bring their dish over to the sink, put their shoes in the basket, and pack away their Lego – and this makes life just that little bit easier.”

Since becoming a mum, Lucy has balanced work commitments with spending as much valuable time with her three sons as possible. But looking after her own mental health is just as important. After making her children breakfast and packing their lunches, the model rolls out her Pilates mat for a 30-minute class. 

She keeps her skincare regime simple with Moogoo Cleanser and Embryolisse Moisturiser (take note). While her style has also evolved since becoming a parent; it’s more classic, she tells us, listing James Perse and COS as her go-to brands.

When asked what her favourite aspect of motherhood is, Lucy replies: “It would have to be the closeness of my boys. Their teamwork, and the way they look out for each other. They sleep together, play together, and collect football cards together. I’m very proud of them all.” 

Words by Danielle Fowler | Photography by Kaitlyn Bosnjak

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