Katie Piper is a TV presenter, philanthropist and author. After surviving an acid attack in 2008, she rebuilt her life and set up The Katie Piper Foundation, which supports people living with burns and scars in the UK
Interview: Cheryl Caira
New arrivals & life juggling
Motherhood the second time round – to my daughter Penelope – is definitely a more hectic experience, and has to be run as a military operation so I can balance everything. I do find myself being exhausted most of the time but I absolutely love being a mum and I love my career – so I always find a way to power through.
It would be a family day: getting up and having breakfast with all of us there, then going for a walk in the forest near our house. Belle [Piper’s four-year-old daughter] is so active, so we always take the bikes and our sausage dog. Then we’d come home for a lovely family roast and watch Disney films. I’d likely spend the evening with my husband watching a great series or a bit of reality TV – my guilty pleasure.
I would describe my personal style as girly yet sophisticated, which is definitely reflected in my clothing collection with Want That Trend.com. There is quite a contrast between my day to night looks. During the day or when I’m with the children I like to dress comfortably in jeans and big jumpers, and in the evening I love to get dressed up, so will often go for a sleek midi dress or a blazer co-ord. My current go-to pieces are fine knits, midi skirts and a classic court shoe.
I wanted my maternity range, Mother, to really reflect my own style and personality. It needed to be comfortable and practical, but still on trend. Your body changes so much when you’re pregnant and your self-confidence can be really tested, so I thought it was important to create an affordable collection with gorgeous pieces that women everywhere can feel great about themselves in.
Secret to confidence
Everyone deserves to feel confident and confidence can be found within many different areas of life. The key thing is to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up, such as your friends, family or partner. It’s also really important to look after your physical and mental wellbeing and try to maintain an optimistic outlook.
Empowering and helping others through my documentary and charity work is what truly motivates me – it is my goal to break down the stigma around burns survivors and disfigurement and to continue my work in raising awareness and spreading a positive message across society. My charity volunteers inspire me every day.
Bringing out my sixth book, From Mother to Daughter with my mum Diane, and that felt really special. Also doing my first ever UK speaking tour, and opening the tour in my hometown of Andover really was a pinch me-moment. Opening my charity was a huge moment for me. And having children – the list goes on, it really does.
Beating hard times
I am a very positive person but even I have down days – I’m only human. Also, the only person that can control the way you react to a negative situation is you. With help, support, guidance, and talking, people can overcome anything. The human spirit is a wonderful thing and no one can ever take that away from you.
Writing From Mother To Daughter
Admittedly, some of the writing sessions for the book were quite heavy and upsetting – especially reading through Mum’s diary entries [written after Piper’s attack in 2008]. But overall it was such a positive experience. I learnt so much I didn’t know before about my parents, which I can completely understand now I’m a mum myself.
What makes my relationship with my mum so special is that we’ve lived through so much together and supported one another in the most testing of times. One of the most significant things I’ve learnt from her is how important it is to give someone else your time. It’s one of the best gifts you can give.
I’ll tell my daughters always to be kind, to treat others how you wish to be treated, and that as a woman, it’s so important to use your voice – especially in today’s society where women’s rights are so prevalent. I hope that my girls will never be afraid to speak up for what they believe in.
From Mother to Daughter is out now, published by Quercus