Archive | December, 2015

Time again

28 Dec

It’s become a Roswell tradition that at this time of year I do a questionnaire I found on livejournal ages ago. It’s crazy how much has changed: for example,2008’s ‘greatest achievement’ was ‘doing a photoshoot in another country'(!) This year, it was ‘realising the rat race was making me miserable, turning my back on it and making happiness my priority’.
As this was a relatively late realisation, I missed out on a lot of blogging and there are so many things I wish that I had covered!

Sooooo… before I show you two totally new looks from earlier this year… here are some things I wish I had blogged about (in no particular order).

1) White Feminism
How do you stop an army in its tracks? You set the fighters against each other until they forget what they were fighting for.

As a white woman and feminist, I was furious and confused when I first heard the term; what do you mean, feminists exclude black women? Every time I say that women should have equal rights, should I be adding “and black women too” as though anybody not white is a separate species?? Because that’s what it sounds like. Then I read something that explained the term and though I stand by my opinion that it is antagonistic, I can now see why it came about.
Here’s an example:
Most sources say that US women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes but that only applies to white women:
African-American women make 64 cents to the dollar and Hispanic women make 54! The fact that the higher figure is the one quoted ignores all women who are not white. This kind of exclusion is what is meant by white feminism.

I can see how the ignorance of many white people must be frustrating beyond belief (I still have a lot to learn even though I’ve opened my eyes a bit)! but I don’t think the solution is to lump all feminists-who-are-white together under a misleading umbrella term,  creating even more division along racial lines! Surely we (humans of all colours) know by now that is a really shit idea.

SO… In future when I write about feminism, I’ll check if other women have different experiences based on their ethnic background- and encourage other feminist writers to do the same.
Yes, I’m aware that being white gives me privilege, and that gives me a loud voice (as does having a very well-read blog), so I would like to use it to do as much good as I can for as long as there is inequality.
Patrick Stewart says it better than I ever could so here he is:
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2) The SwitzerScot adventure
For the first time ever (and making a horrendous luggage blunder) I went from a week’s shooting in Scotland and one full night changing airports to three days in Switzerland: one shooting, one volunteering, one chilling. I wish so much that I had told you about all of this:
– I stayed in a converted church and visited an Escher exhibition next door!
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– I went to a cat cafe with a fellow model I’d only spoken to online before, and united in crazy-cat-lady-ness
– I took myself to an art gallery and found this beautiful angel…
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-… and the worst boob job in Greek Mythology! 😛
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– I went to Aberdeen and watched for dolphins. Look at these rock balancing sculptures!!!
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– I spent the night in three different airports and arrived here:
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– I did a photoshoot! (during and after)
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– I felt completely welcome in my Swiss hippy commune
– I swam in a lakes while grebes dived nearby, their chicks on their backs!
– I visited a beautiful grotto and saw THIS VIEW from my bedroom window!! The bird in the sky is a red kite- one of my favourites. The little huts down there are inspiration shelters and the edge of the garden I worked in.
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– I came home and did my hair like this:
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3) Caitlyn Bloody Jenner.
While I think that Glamour made a wonderful, accepting and clear gesture by giving the award to a trans woman, was there really nobody more deserving than Caitlyn Jenner???!
Though she appears to have taken criticism on board, quipping that the hardest thing about being a woman is knowing what to wear was absurd. I don’t watch the Kardashians but having seen enough adverts during which she purrs about what a girly day she’s going to have with her shopping and her spa treatments (because that’s what girls do, right?), I can quite easily believe that wardrobe troubles are the hardest thing about going from a life of rich white male privilege to a life of rich white female privilege.

These people may have fewer social media followers than Jenner, but here are three alternative trans choices for the award:
(Criteria: talented, interesting and with recent achievements as this is an “of the year” award)
Janet Mock– a writer, trans activist, former sex worker and recently (2014) a contributing editor at Marie Claire magazine.
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Annie Wallace– actress and musician, currently playing Sally St Claire, in Hollyoaks. The first trans woman to play a trans character in British soap history, and the inspiration for Coronation Street’s famous (and beloved) trans character Hayley Cropper
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– Geena Rocero– model and TED speaker, founder of advocacy campaign Gender Proud (2014)
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Actress Laverne Cox isn’t included here because she won a Glamour award last year.

4) The Happiest Thing
Earlier in the year I met a person who can’t drive but wants a Lamborghini, and can’t swim but wants a swimming pool. It made me realise that I need no other material possession to feel successful, other than my home and my laptop.
I love books. I love armour and accessories and chainmail and coffee and incense and notepads and shoes and they make me happy, but they’re an awesome bonus. And cheap compared to a Lamborghini… 😛

Oh, and cats. I love cats. (Photo by Cornerstone)
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I could carry on- there’s so much I’ve done and not said this year, but it’s time I did some other things. 🙂

What better way to look back, than with some vintage style photos from JRT photography?! MUA= me, hair credit pending
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As were were shooting with the same technique used with old film stars, most of my make-up was black (blusher and all) so it showed up against the flash.

An early Happy New Year, everyone. See you on the other side!! 😉

ROSWELL xxx

Smiling on the inside. :)

23 Dec

To the very kind benefactor who has bought me books from my wishlist: THANKYOU!!! Please mail me with your address (and the titles so I know it’s you) so that I can send you a card!

It’s the longest night of the year- the Winter Solstice, so Blessed Be! I spent much of the evening meditating and drinking tea, some of it making armour and some more of it eating liquorice allsorts and reading The Godfather (which is brilliant!)
As many of you may know, this year turned very nasty towards the end and so I’ve been hoping that as the days get longer, life will take a turn for the better again. (The ‘hiding away time’ is already doing me a lot of good. Smiling is still not coming easily but I can feel the strength that I thought I had lost returning.)

A golden oldie by Adam Robertson– me hiding away being all zen. 😛
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I’m enjoying flicking through my art books- especially the ones I had forgotten I had. If you like art, hares, stories or spirituality then I strongly recommend you check out the book “Luna Moon Hare” by Wendy Andrew. It’s a very beautiful telling of the year’s cycle through several pagan ideas- one of which being two kings- one holly and one oak, that share the ruling of the year. (Now according to legend, the holly king has just passed his crown to the oak king for the light half of the year.)
Here’s some of the authors artwork:
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Holy McFadden, it’s nearly midnight!! I really should go to bed before 3am one of these days… 😉

Remember my Latex Brat shoot with KinkyStyle? We shot a few other sets (one of which is in KinkyStyle’s 2016 calendar, which you can buy here!) and though I looked very serious in this one, we were cracking up in between shots as shiny latex and slippery stairs do not mix! So, here you go- I’m smiling on the inside.

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I just love all the straight lines and reflections! The bodysuit is by RubberEva.

Now it’s definitely time for me to blow out my candle, make a hot water bottle and read until 3am again, then wake up cursing my book habit at 11am. 😛

Keep checking back though for:
– Pictures of me as several kinds of fairy
– Lots more latex
– Some beautiful art-nudes in wilderness and ruins
– What I wish I had blogged about this year
– A sneak peek at next year’s modelling wardrobe
– The thing that makes me happiest of all

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. I have recently had several requests about sharing and republishing my blogs. You are very welcome to do both so long as I am credited and the blog/magazine is nonprofit.

The Dimholt Road

16 Dec

The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it.
JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)

That sentence got into my head the same way songs do when I shot with Amelia Roslyn and Sam (aka Sjambok) in this ancient Roman ironworks which looked exactly like somewhere in Middle Earth. 😀

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My pictures don’t really do justice to the scale of the place, which was huge! In fact; for various reasons I need to get myself a ‘proper’ camera, as my phone really isn’t the greatest and I have certain exciting plans involving my own camera…

Anyway, there’s a beautiful expression in (I think) Mexico: “el bosque del corazon” (the forest of the heart), which refers to your spiritual home, rather than the place in which you live. Well, English woodland and forest is mine, so I was very excited when we arrived here- not to mention awestruck, as the light was shining in perfect fairytale shafts through the leaves and down to the mossy boulders I started posing on.

Photo by Sjambok
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Look at the dark looming trees behind me too!! ❤

We’d spoken beforehand about the ‘mood’ we wanted from the pictures. Art-nude is often a very dreamy, ethereal genre but this time I wanted something different. There are so many legends about what happens to young wayward men who see faeries and dryads in the woods. Mostly, they’re never seen again- or turned into something four-legged.
So… I wanted the pictures to look as though they were taken *just* before the action happens. As though I know the watcher is there and I’m just deciding what to do about them…

Photos by Amelia
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These were smoke grenades (below) as sadly we couldn’t capture the very real strands of mist just above the forest floor!
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“Legends can be now and forever, loved by the sun…”
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The photo above might have been taken just after I burst out laughing at a Lord of the Rings similarity (I promise my next blog will have NO Tolkien references.)
We were halfway up a very steep boulder here- there was Amelia being Frodo, with the most important thing (the camera) hanging around her neck, Sam managing the lights and extra equipment, often leading the way (snd already a Sam) … and then there was me, naked and covered with bits of moss crawling up rocks after them. “My precioussssss!” 😛

After a cookie break we moved on to some beautiful, slightly creepy cave entrances for a bit of bondage, which I was very excited to shoot. Although I’m known as a fetish and bondage model, I am actually very selective about who I shoot ropework with as it can be dangerous.
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Often our mythical dryad creatures are bound to one cave or tree… so here I am. 🙂
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We drove back to my hotel in the beautiful not-quite-sunset. That little dot you can see in the lower middle is the moon!
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Obviously, it’s Winter now and far too cold generally to pose nude outdoors but I am available for bookings from late January onwards. Now, I’m on holiday for the next few weeks and planning to get all crafty with making things, and doing a LOT of writing as I have missed doing articles! I haven’t properly decorated the boat yet but I’ll be getting some seriously tacky tinsel in and may even make a Christmas tree fairy. 😉
As a pagan, my Winter celebration is Yule aka the Solstice, which is on the 21st. However, I grew up with Christmas, am more than happy to be told Merry Christmas and I celebrate that with my mum too. Yay for festival sharing… and yule logs.

I have a lot of seasonal festive blogs to share with you soon but right now there is a silver flowery accessory that needs to be steampunked up. 😛

Take care everyone, speak soon,

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. Outtake time! This will be my face when I can pose in the forest again! 😛
The watermark was on all the raw photos so I didn’t accidentally post unedited ones but I do have permission to post these two.
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Sam is taking this lighting test very seriously… 😛 

Peculiars

8 Dec

“Peculiar” is one of my favourite words. As well as meaning odd or unusual, it also means something distinctive from others in character or nature. That would be me then, ha ha! 😀

Many of my friends know I collect strange words (and funny things they’ve said*) in the back of each diary I have and today I found another: “submechanophobia” It’s a fear of man-made things underwater!
I actually love submerged creepy things and mentioned that HERE. Still, let me repost the pictures…
Ship by Ruslan Eliseev. Polar bear (which I am aware is not a man-made thing) by Paul Souders.
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It’s a funny thing, when you’re a bit of an oddball anyway and even aspects of your own personality seem to clash! I’m a very proud hippy at heart and spend as much time as possible in nature. I hate building on green belts, wish I could imagine a world in which war doesn’t exist (but sadly I can’t), and don’t get me started on overpopulation! On the other hand, the road warrior in me shouts “bring it on” and is inspired by sitting on derelict rooftops with various beaten-up towns below. Like Batman with heavier shoes. 😛

When I’m booked for a photoshoot, unless there is a very clear brief I often turn up with my suitcase full of things and we take it from there That’s what happened earlier this year with photographer La Pelicula (see, there’s another reason for the title!) and make-up artist Stephanie Berika. We combined our outfits and ideas, and got what now looks to me like a visual representation of two very different sides of my character! 😀

Fiery hippy! Wearing one of my favourite dresses, by Falcieri Designs
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Fashion armour
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It’s the latest in Uruk-hai couture! 😛
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I’m working for one more week and then I’m taking a nice long holiday over the Christmas period. I can’t wait to decorate my boat with a load of tacky tinsel and a weeny tree! As the calendar year comes to an end, I’m looking forward to sitting down with the new spiced coffee I bought and reflecting on the past year as it’s been an eventful one.
I made a very early New Years resolution a few months ago, which was to dedicate more time to this blog. Less “number crunching” and votes-collecting, more writing. Reading back on the last few posts I’ve made (even the sad ones) has reminded me how much I enjoy blogging.
There’s so much more to come!

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. a bit of silliness before I go on my last tour of the year:
Outtakes!
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I swear Stephanie is adjusting my hair on the right, not punching me in the face- which would explain why I’m smiling about it!

* For example: “If you vajazzled your foo, that would be a foofurore”

#solidaritywithstoya

1 Dec

After Paris, I didn’t expect to be posting another serious blog so soon, but I can’t not talk about the recent shock so many of us have had regarding Stoya and James Deen.
For those not in the know; on Saturday, porn star and writer Stoya accused her ex-boyfriend and fellow porn star James Deen of rape in this Twitter status:
“James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can’t nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.”
There’s a lot I want to cover here but firstly, her profession is irrelevant to this matter. No means no- end of story. Moving on…

Stoya’s twitter status has sparked a wave of solidarity and support from people all over the world- including James Deen’s ex Joanna Angel and two other porn stars who claim he assaulted them too.
Others have argued against her, using two main forms of ‘reasoning’. As they are arguments I have heard a lot when discussing rape, I’m going to talk about the broader picture here.*
*as an British woman living in England, I will talk mostly about UK law.

Argument 1) “Innocent until proven guilty”
This term was coined by English lawyer Sir William Garrow, who died in 1840. It’s generally a good ethic but was never applied to marital rape, which was only outlawed here in 1991!
HOW exactly do you expect somebody to prove their partner has raped them?? I have never heard an answer from the people using this argument. Even if a rape kit shows the presence of semen, the rapist only has to claim that the sex was consensual and it becomes one person’s word against another’s.
This is not Nancy Drew or Poirot; there is rarely a shadowy figure listening from around the corner. There will be no convenient confession found in the rapist’s diary. How then, can there be proof? And without said proof, are we to assume innocence every single time? Are you claiming that marital rape does not exist, or acknowledging that it exists but choosing not to do anything about it or believe anyone who comes forward? Either way, that is despicable.
In almost ANY rape case, it is very difficult to obtain proof- especially if the victim does not come forward immediately. This is historical fact. Lord Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale from the 17th century said “rape…is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved…In a rape case it is the victim, not the defendant, who is on trial.”

Argument 2) “Why is she on Twitter and not in the police station??”
We do not know what Stoya is doing right now. She may in fact be in the police station. Regardless, let me explain why she is using Twitter as a platform.
Firstly, read argument 1) again. It is near impossible to provide proof that Deen raped her. They were dating! Reporting him to the police and taking this to trial is unlikely to result in a conviction. She may well be on her own to deal with this.
Stoya has 226K followers on Twitter. By outing Deen publically, she is inviting others to speak too by giving them the message that they are not alone. I used this blog to out the rapist Shaun Colclough because I knew the word would spread quickly. I didn’t have a shred of proof but after testifying along with his other victims, enough was found to jail him. HOWEVER… even if he hadn’t photographed himself degrading women, he would still be a rapist. Proof or no proof.
Assuming the police are unable to do anything, where else can Stoya turn to ensure her fellow performers are safe and get the message to a wider amount of people? Should she have kept quiet, allowing her rapist to continue harming other people while being hailed as a feminist? When rape is such a hard thing to prove in a court of law, what else could she possibly have done??

Why don’t victims just go to the police, and what can we do to encourage them to testify? 
It is a horribly frustrating vicious circle:
Rape happens. –> Victim finds there is not enough proof for a trial- or not enough to convict if there is a trial. –> Rapist is assumed innocent and set free to rape again. –> Other victims are put off even trying to get justice. –> Rape happens…

I struggled encouraging Colclough’s other victims to press charges. I did my best to understand but inside was livid that I was failing. Women I had thought were friends of mine, women who made statements then stopped returning calls from the police, anonymous women posting chilling comments on my blog. Out of around twenty *known* victims, just four of us went to trial, two of us got convictions and I honestly would rather have another round in court than try and persuade another woman to report a rape. Ever.
I am trying to think differently- to recognise that it is the system that needs to change because in its current form I do not believe that the standard practice for rape cases will ever lead to more convictions.
As a society we are slowly destigmatising rape but coming out online as a rape survivor is a very different thing to testifying in court.

I am not a lawyer or a politician. I recognise that my opinion will not change English law and that my suggestions may be unrealistic, but here they are anyway:

1) “Beyond reasonable doubt.”
This is how we get convictions here. We do not need incontrovertible evidence but the jury must be sure ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Now, when rape (and sexual assault) is usually one word against another, it is very very hard to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt. So if for whatever reason a rape kit cannot be performed or considered (marital rape for example) we need to provide a different kind of evidence…

2) Character references, for example.
I am NOT saying a conviction should be made solely on character references but that they could be taken into account– considering the whole person and their life as opposed to one specific day ignoring everything else that could support or count against them.
The police could track down and interview previous partners, (possibly without them having to testify in court- see point 4). Has the defendant been reported to the police for assault before? This could apply to domestic violence cases too- the average victim is beaten 35 times before calling the police. (Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe the police are called an average of 7 times before the victim presses charges… IF they do at all). So, reports to the police- even without charges- could be considered.
This could also apply for those worried about false accusations. Has the witness made false accusations before? Yes, I am aware that some (very very few) women DO lie about rape, and it is a hideous thing to do. I support prison for false accusers. HOWEVER…  for the people shouting “women lie too”: well, yes, but though 1/4 women will be raped or assaulted in her lifetime, the odds of a man being falsely accused of rape are 1 in 2.7 million. Men are 82,000 times more likely to BE raped than be falsely accused of rape.
But if character references are not the way to go in a case, then why not look at…

3) Previous convictions.
Juries are very rarely given any more information about the defendant than considered necessary to the specific case- so a person with previous rape convictions can stand trial again without the jury knowing that this is a repeat offender! (Colclough, for example. Not only had he raped but he had changed his name and address to hide from the sex offenders register.)
Theft, trespassing, drug offences- they are *generally* not indicators of something hideously wrong in a person’s character. A person ‘in with the wrong crowd’ or stealing through poverty etc can perhaps be reformed. Innocent until proven guilty- as these cases are easier to prove. A rapist, in my opinion, cannot be cured.
In sexual assault and rape cases, I believe juries should be allowed to request information about the defendant’s previous convictions relating to sexual crimes. Rapists rarely have one victim and though that victim may not know whether or not their attacker has been caught before, perhaps they may be more willing to testify if they knew their past would be considered.
Either way, testifying in court is not fun so perhaps victims could…

4) Testify from home
One huge reason many women are afraid to testify (other than the fear they may not be believed without this mythical unicorn proof people keep asking for) is the fear of reliving the experience in a room full of people while being quizzed on it. Yes, there are now video links and screens but even being in court and cross-examined is not a fun thing to sign up for.
Could victims testify from home (accompanied by an officer) or from a ‘safe house’ in their own town, so they aren’t even in the same building as their rapist?

That’s it so far. That’s all I have to offer in my little ‘suggestion box’. That, and the belief that nothing will significantly change for people reporting rape until the system acknowledges that rape cannot be treated like any other crime.

Proof or not, I stand with Stoya.

ROSWELL x

p.s. well, that was an essay. Have a leaf with a dewdrop on it.

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