She came looking for a fight
Mady Morris wears her birthmark like warpaint. She has always challenged what it is to be beautiful.
“Being born with a large port wine stain over the right side of my face meant I learnt early on how effective a smile can be, no matter how wonky. I also learned that my unusual appearance was a great way of weeding out the wankers.
So, I lifted my head high and looked the world in the eye.”
Mady’s self-belief is contagious. Instead of shying away from aesthetic judgement, she became a model and muse. She ran around London Zoo in her birthday suit and strutted down the catwalk in rubber.
But she still wanted to push society’s perception of beauty further. Mady left a highly successful career in set design on a mission to change how women are portrayed in advertising. She set about changing it from the inside.
She spent two penniless years studying and competing with much younger students to get one of the few prized slots in an agency creative department.
It was worth it.
Over the last twenty years, Mady has turned her woman’s gaze to subjects that matter. Her multi-awarded campaign for Always sanitary pads was a revolution. Instead of showing women swimming, dancing and playing tennis (all in white, of course), she told us real facts about what happens to our bodies when we’re bleeding real blood not blue liquid. You know things like: How much extra water we carry. Why waxing during your period hurts like hell. And why we all seem to have an uncontrollable urge to shout at inanimate objects.
But changing the perception of beauty and selling to women with much needed reality hasn’t been Mady’s only battle. Getting pregnant later in life proved tough. She went through several rounds of IVF before welcoming her gorgeous little girl into the world at 42 years old.
She was fortunate the company she worked for had a generous IVF policy. Like many women who started their careers when there were almost no maternity benefits, she was flabbergasted and grateful to be fully-supported before, during, and after her pregnancy especially those precious early years of being a new mum.
She finally thought the fighting was over.
Then came the toughest war of them all – Breast Cancer.
Which she also beat with her weapon of choice.
Her beaming smile.