Tag Archives: feminism

A little bit of news…

14 Oct

I’ve been all mysterious recently… I had to postpone photoshoots (which I NEVER do). I’ve been in hospital. I’ve mentioned new projects. I’ve hinted annoyingly. It’s time to reveal all!!!
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I hate secrets... πŸ˜›

First news: I love my job but I am aware I cannot model forever. As I’ve said, I’m not going anywhere just yet but I have been rather busy behind the scenes. As I travel so much and love to write, I’ve set up another blog/website, twitter and instagram. In fact, it’s a lot like this blog but with more selfies, travel advice, news from my boat and pictures/tales from my adventures around the world.

www.lifeoutthere.co.uk

If you didn’t know already, I’m very into my postapocalyptic everything. I (apparently) look like a videogame assassin from the end of the world when I’m not modelling, and will be sharing my style sources and how-to tips for the interested. I live on a narrowboat and take pictures of her. (Yes, all boats are ‘she’, even if they’re called ‘Thor’.) I know all about travelling cheaply (London to Utrecht for Β£13, anyone?) as well as weird underground off-the-beaten-track places to go in about ten different countries. I have a LOT of fascinating friends who may also make appearances. If any of this sounds interesting and/or you’d like to continue supporting me in my next (ad)venture, which I really hope you will, then please come and see me at these places and share the links. All are welcome but this is especially true if you’re a fellow adventurer, blogger and/or woman. I’d really like to support you too!

Oh, and yes, “F.Roswell” is also a pseudonym.

Here’s a static visual trailer for the site. (Ahem… what I mean is, here’s a bunch of photos…) πŸ˜›
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Seriously though, I’d really love and appreciate your support in this- it’s a completely new project for me and I’m starting from scratch but I have big plans. This little blog couldn’t have got as far as it has without your shares and support- thankyou.

❀

On to the second news: on June 22nd, I was sterilised.

Almost every parent I know says that having a child is one of the most life changing things you can do. (Possibly THE most, in my opinion.) Nothing can prepare you for the reality and it is a permanent, life altering decision. Hold that thought…

As many of you may remember, I’ve been fighting to be sterilised for a long time. If you’re a newcomer, my rant is here but I’ll summarise:

I’ve never wanted children and hormonal contraception is not good for me. As I’m nearly 30, I decided enough was enough and wanted to be free of the worry once and for all. I am aware that this is a permanent decision. I have been reminded of this by friends, strangers and medical professionals and I have been fully aware of the permanence of this option since I was eight.
None of my friends with children are continually reminded by shocked people that their decision to bring another human into the world and be responsible for them for at least the next eighteen years is irreversible. None of my friends have been told β€œyou’ll change your mind” on announcing their pregnancy. The decision whether or not to bear a child is a serious choice concerning our bodies and fertility and if age 28 (as I was) is old enough to permanently become a parent then it is old enough to permanently choose not to. What matters is having the right to make the decision in the first place. You (or ‘one’) may feel I’ve made the wrong choice, but that choice should be mine to make.

As I said in my viral rant, I got a rejection letter regarding funding. What had not been explained to me was that while funding was denied by my local hospital (which could be for any legitimate reason), it was not denied altogether- I’d just have to go to a different hospital. So when a different hospital called me for an appointment, I was grouchily prepared for a stern finger-wagging and another assertion that I was too young to make such a permanent decision. (As though parenthood is temporary…)
Not so. I walked into the doctor’s office and… SURPRISE STERILISATION! I embarrassingly enough burst into tears at the shock and relief. Yes he went through the usual questions (permanent, surgery risks etc, other options) but prefaced each question with the words β€œI legally have to ask…” which made all the difference. So we set a day for surgery and off I went!
The actual surgery, waiting times and hospital details were stressful and horrid (if you have questions, mail me directly- I’m happy to be open but don’t want to publicly overshare medical stuff) but the nurses were amazing, took care of me and ‘my needy boyfriend’ (the drip I was attached to) and as I was severely dehydrated, I spent the night in hospital where I got a 5am wake-up call in the form of a woman giving birth on the floor below. Changed my mind yet? Naaaaah…

Moving on! Photographers- please worry not. I have two tiny scars- one hidden in my bellybutton, one hidden just below my pubic hairline. I’m back to what passes for normal in my life. πŸ˜‰

So there’s my news! There’s a lot of change and things moving about in my world at the moment and I’d be lying if I said things weren’t pretty scary. I’ve done casting calls, travelling, photoshoots and all of the everyday things that come with modelling for over a decade and the thought of building another business (Life Out There) from scratch is daunting to say the least. If you know anyone looking for writers or traditional illustrators, there’s someone riiiight over here! πŸ˜‰

Of course, the day I decide it’s β€œlast hoorah time”, you’ll all be the first to know but for now, lets have more pictures!!

As I’ve blogged about two different sides of my life, what better pictures to post than these ones by KinkyStyle?! Still a fetish model, but almost everything in the shots are mine (and the coat was made by yours truly…)

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ROSWELL xxx

Assorted meows!

10 Sep

As this blog is mostly about the relationship and camaraderie internet models have, how better to start it off than with a crowd of us off-duty and celebrating friendship and love? (Uh-oh- hippy Roswell’s out again!) πŸ˜› A few months ago, I had the honour of being a bridesmaid for photographer, blogger and plus size model Kitty Morris (formerly Wood). Meow. Kitty. See what I did there? πŸ˜›

Kitty has been writing a fantastic series of blogs about different aspects of her wedding which are really interesting and beautiful- click here for some purple dress and cactus action….
For me, it was not only a chance to see someone I love dress up like a mermaid rockstar and marry a besuited Dothraki but also to make new friends and catch up with two other models I hardly ever get the chance to see. (It’s Jess and Liv Free, who also did Kitty’s and my hair and make-up, and rocked it.)
You may remember them from previous blogs!
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Jess and me

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Liv and me!

I actually took far fewer photos than I expected as I just wanted to enjoy the moment- and photographer Click Click Bang was already on the case and considerably better at photography than me!
Here are a couple of mine:

Gurning again with Liv… we are just the sexiest! πŸ˜‰
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Look at Kittys mermaid hair!
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What happens when three off-duty models get in a photobooth
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And here are some much better ones from Click Click Bang
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Look at that bouquet. LOOK AT IT!!!

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Happy (and nervous) bridesmaid!

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“…that’s when love walked in...”

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L-R: Fal, Jess, Kitty, Me, Liv

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The cakes. The one on the left is made of cheese. It is a literal CHEESE CAKE!!

Seriously, read Kittys blog for extra awesomeness. πŸ™‚

On to some more meows…

Photos by MattB
Outfit by Yummy Gummy
Kitty ears by Lady Allura
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It’s been my experience that there’s always a little drama in any environment but if you believe the media, the modelling industry has it in disproportionate bucketfuls. Watch Top Model, watch a documentary- hell, watch Zoolander- the model stereotype is about 30% eating disorder, 20% pouting and 50% cattiness. While just like any stereotype there is a grain of truth to it, my experiences among fellow internet and travelling models have been almost entirely positive and supportive.

Though the majority of us look different and of course we all work in our own ways, theΒ  lifestyle of any travelling model can be remarkably similar no matter the genre or country! I never thought I’d know two models who have lived out of their vans while travelling with their dogs, for example. πŸ˜€
Late cancellations on tour, expensive train fares, shoots you weren’t expecting to be just so damned awesome, a once-in-a-lifetime publication or booking, sad news while out of the country, loneliness, happiness etc etc etc. It’s no wonder that the community spirit is often so strong when we’ve all experienced the same very specific situations! There are even facebook groups for stranded models who need urgent hostel or airbnb recommendations. We have no agency to find work for us. We work our butts off to get jobs and contacts- posting castings, applying for castings, updating our portfolios and contacting photographers and designers directly. Our reputations as both skilled models and professionals are what puts food on our tables (yes, we eat!)
Though as I’ve said, we’re a friendly bunch, one thing I’ve seen bring out the ‘inner bitch’ in both models and designers is lazy networking. It tends to be a newbie model crime- I’ve been guilty of it and so have most people I know so maybe it’s a rite of passage like cheesy poses or mixing up your measurements- one you can look back on and see how far you’ve come both in terms of skill and professionalism. Either way, let me explain…

Most of us are more than happy to help other models network. I’ve had messages from photographers whose model has had to cancel but recommended me as a replacement. I have recommended other models to photographers who have a certain project in mind. On request, I’ve given honest feedback on portfolios in exchange for the same honesty about mine. Model networking is a two-way street. What really grinds my gears is receiving a message asking simply for a list of my photographer or designer contacts. I’m more than happy to give advice to newbies regarding how to find work or make contacts but simply asking for mine is lazy and rude. (“Please tell me who pays and who lends corsets.” Well how about I just cut out the middle man and give you money and corsets?!) The same goes with models asking to be recommended to a designer- if I don’t know you, I will not risk my reputation vouching for you.
Designers get some especially ludicrous messages from chancers which produce amazing rants online! (“please lend me this exact latex dress for a hen party in three days time- I’ll take pictures of it on my really good cameraphone.”) I’ve explained how to work with designers in this blog here: https://roswellivory.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/what-do-models-wear/

Another thing we don’t like is when people (and this can be anyone) pay us a compliment by insulting other models! We all know that a huge no-no for models is misrepresenting yourself by overphotoshopping, lying about measurements, shaving your head with no warning etc. Photographers have every right to be annoyed at that and every right to have an aesthetic preference. We all do- but if I am booked for a job due to my curves, that is great for me so please don’t ruin it by telling me that certain other models were passed over because they look like a bag of spanners. That could well be my friend you are talking about.

Of course, stereotypes being what they are, I must say (again) that the vast majority of my experience working alongside other models (and women in this industry!) has been fantastic. This includes things I have witnessed – like models in trouble who have posted online for help and got it within minutes, even at 3am. Like having/seeing the level of help and care offered in comparatively minor but scary health situations- a panic attack or hypoglycaemic meltdown for example. Like the way people rallied around to help me find extra work when I had a frighteningly large number of bills come through at once (yet again, thankyou for that, from the bottom of my little black heart.)

I’m off to be a tourist next week (for the first time in what feels like years) so I’ll blog again in a couple of weeks (the big one…) πŸ˜‰

For now though… adding some ‘cattiness’ to the modelling world. Prrrrrr… πŸ˜›

ROSWELL xxx

Photos by Luci Alice
Outfit by Dawnamatrix
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What a Wonderful World

14 Mar

Being me, a title like this could have been posted with about 35% sarcasm but not today. Absolutely nothing groundbreaking has happened but I’m just in a wonderfully good mood. I came back from a really fantastic mini-tour to find my fake wisteria had arrived so I could finish my Zen garden, I also had a graze box AND a new book (Talking Heads) in my pigeonhole. The ducks are sitting on the roof of the pub again (which just looks bloody hilarious) and I have at last named the swans. Frank and Claire. πŸ˜› Oh, and raspberries were half-price today.
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So I made my zen garden, ate raspberries and fed my current addiction, Sons of Anarchy, which is the best non sci-fi thing I’ve seen barring Breaking Bad. (House of Cards is on a par). Disclaimer: I’m about to start season 3. No spoilers please, or I’ll go berserk. πŸ˜›
I’ll be the first person to admit I really don’t mind totally unfeminist films like James Bond and Death Race on occasion. In my opinion, not every film or TV show has to provide a teaching moment BUT… when something is done well or breaks the mould, it stands out to me and I fall slightly in love with the show/film’s creators. I’m not going to give an in-depth feminist critique after so many recent ‘serious’ blogs but I just want to mention how much I love what I’ve seen so far. While the traditional role of women in the show is either groupie/prostitute (so far, consensually) or ‘old lady’ (wife/serious partner) there IS an honour code of respect. For example, a douchebag gets punched in the face for hitting his girlfriend. (Neither are known to the gang- it was a chance encounter).
My favourite character is the matriarch Gemma, and the way the show dealt with two instances of rape in two seasons was brilliant. (And bloody.) I’ll leave the feminist soapboxing about rape as a plot device for another time (I’m in favour) but here we are: two rapes, one involving a central character and one involving someone we barely know. Both times, the rape is seen as completely unacceptable, revenge is imperative and while we don’t know the final fate of one perpetrator, the best case scenario is that he’s singing soprano with the local choir.
And the soundtrack ROCKS! It has two of my favourite songs on it. Repeat button + air guitar = the neighbours may hate me…
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Oh, THAT was the other awesome thing- I bought my ticket for Wasteland Weekend! I’m now working on a couple of costumes (any photographers who want to shoot Mad Max style awesomeness, send me a message and book your shoot) and deciding what I want to see while I’m out in California. I might as well stay for a few extra days, right?
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The make-up selfies are from yesterday’s shoot with Jimmy Deas. So many changes, so many headdresses (by Pixified Bootique). πŸ™‚

Now, I have a week of writing before a shoot in a beautiful boudoir followed by a fully-booked South Coast tour and an Easter visit with one of my favourite ladies. ❀ Which reminds me, I think I may treat myself to some teeny Hotel Chocolat eggs this year! I actually learned how to make vegan chocolate myself at the Womens’ Day celebration so I will also be trying my hand at egg-shaped truffles too!

As I’m sure most longtime readers will know, I’m on Zivity and I have been shockingly bad at updating you with news about my sets! Sorry about that. If you prefer to view one set at a time (which you can do for just $3), you should know I have mermaid sets, pin-up, crazy make-up, 80s, lingerie and more. My profile is here and today’s happy blog features a photoshoot from a weekend I loved! (Dominatrix, in Holland). There are loooads more pictures from this set on Zivity so go and have a look- non members can still see the sets by paying a couple of dollars.
The photographer is fellow model Maja Stina, who you should also check out. We got all inspired by night time Amsterdam, lol!
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And for a day in which I’m feeling 10 feet tall, have a couple of bonus pics from our other shoot- in which I look 10 feet tall! I’m wearing Yummy Gummy latex

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You will be pleased to know I did not fall in the bath despite my legendary clumsiness (today’s ridiculous injury: burning myself on a butternut squash.)

Going to turn off the internet for tonight and investigate the hot chocolate situation…

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. All together now: I SEE TREEEEES OF GREEEEN! RED ROSES TOOOOOO…

Rebellious Woman

8 Mar

NEWSFLASH! I’ve updated my SALE page with latex and some really gorgeous one-off pretty things. ❀

Wow. Last week’s post got a MONTH’S viewings in just one day. I’ve had so many supportive comments and messages that I felt quite overwhelmed (in a good way).
Obviously, this blog is mostly a lifestyle and art/modelling blog but before I move on to other subjects, I just want to address a few of the recurring questions I received:

1) Vasectomies are not as easy as you said.
I’ve heard mixed experiences about vasectomies. It varies wildly depending on other factors like home country and age but in general,Β it is easier for a man to be sterilised than a woman.

3) Why not pay for it?
Several reasons but here are my two main ones: I’m not in a financial position to do so, most importantly. Secondly, when IVF is available on the NHS* then sterilisation should be too. It comes back to the same thing: if the choice to have children is funded (including the medical procedures that come with pregnancy and birth) then the choice not to should be equally valid- especially when in my case there are extra reasons to support this choice.

*4) IVF is not funded for everyone.
I mentioned in my last post that doctors warn obese women about the risks associated with pregnancy. I was referring to a pregnancy without medical assistance- however, a couple of women struggling to obtain IVF mailed to say that funding for IVF has its restrictions too, which is very true.
A very wise commenter responded perfectly: we are fighting the same battle against a system that is not giving us the results we would like. Just because we want different results to each other, does not mean we should be fighting amongst ourselves. ❀

5) I’m being selfish as this is not a life threatening procedure.
Neither are the many, many NHS-funded cosmetic procedures carried out every day. I agree that things like mental health are under funded and that funds are distributed unfairly but for the purposes of my blog, I was talking about sterilisation. Other issues are for other posts.

6) But it’s PERMANENT! So is having a child.

I will just repeat that the vast majority of responses on all the platforms this blog was posted on were positive, so thankyou for that. So far, no news from the hospital so lets move on for now.

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The above quote has been attributed to many, many people but it was historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich who said it, in an article about Purital funeral services!

Today was International Womens’ Day and I spent it tasting organic chocolate, painting a mural and listening to a fascinating talk about foraging and herbalism at a new yoga studio near me! I’m a slave to herbal tea and swear by nettle for healthy hair. Oh, and lots and lots of water (to drink).
One of the activities we could do was write on a post-it note something that made us proud to be women. Initially, I couldn’t think of a damn thing. Not that being a woman is something I don’t like, just that few things I do are made extra interesting by the fact that I am a woman. Then I came home (with the blank post-it) and did a quiz I found. It told me that I had done eight illegal things today- for example, I wore trousers in public, which would get me 40 lashes in Yemen (I think). In some countries, a women is counted as half a witness in court. HALF a witness.
If you’d like to take the test, it’s here:
http://matchinternational.org/how-many-laws-did-you-break-today/
So I’m proud to be a woman because I am fighting for change and speaking up for my fellow women who are not yet allowed a voice- and I’m proud to see others doing the same.
Yay! I hate blank post-it notes. πŸ˜›

I’ve been reading about awesome women today. As most of my heroes are in books and films, I particularly liked this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35717247
Yes, fiction is fiction, but some elements are reflections of reality and seeing the multiple female heroes in recent films and books does make me happy. As a writer myself, I try and write characters that I would want to read about and that I would have liked growing up. Maybe someday you’ll be able to have a read… πŸ˜‰

And things could not be more fitting- I’ve been featured in Femme Rebelle magazine! The photos are by the awesome Gary Clutterbuck and the outfit is by Lady Allura’s latex. I did the hair and make-up.
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RAAAH! πŸ˜›

As I’m a sleepy lady now and need to find a new series to start (finished House of Cards in 1.5 days), I will sign off this this pretty song with a lovely video. ❀
https://youtu.be/5GBT37_yyzY

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. A non-spoiler childfree House of Cards moment I saw today. As I knew I would be posting this blog tonight, it was just too perfect! πŸ˜›
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The blonde woman is Claire and…
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Give me Hope.

29 Feb

I had an interesting blog written out yesterday, all about how people and their bodies evolve. I’m going to post it below but I had some frustrating and upsetting news today that I’d like to tell you about.

First, here is a picture by PWP images.
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Many of you know that I am childfree and should I want to become a mother, I will adopt. Since last year, I have been actively pursuing sterilisation. That is because the usual methods of contraception are not suitable for me due to family medical history. Believe me, I have researched all of my options and sterilisation is, for me, the way to go. As The Authorities are reluctant to sterilise any woman under 30, I have made sure every time I visit the doctor for anything at all, they put it on record that my mind has not changed.
Last year when I made the usual request, the doctor gasped “but WHY don’t you want CHILDREN??” This was followed by “what if your partner wants them?” I hope I don’t need to explain how offensive this is.
I demanded to be referred to the hospital and a different doctor did so. Two months later, I had my hospital appointment, successfully convinced the team there that I was of sound mind and had done my research, so the hospital approved me.

I just had the letter back. Funding denied. πŸ˜₯

I honestly thought I’d finally convinced them, but it seems that a decade of consistency and valid medical reasons (not to mention environmental reasons) are still not enough to convince doctors that I can make this decision. This has devastated me.
If I had been unsuccessfully trying to GET pregnant for the past ten years, doctors would be falling over themselves to help me. In a world that is vastly overpopulated, if I can be trusted at age 28 to choose to have a child, I should be trusted to choose NOT to.

Now, at the time I opened the letter, I happened to be listening to Eddy Grant (Gimme Hope Jo’Anna) and remembered that my country does not have apartheid. I’m not at risk of FGM. I am not starving. If I am pregnant by a rapist, I am not forced by law to keep the baby. I told myself off and tried to write off my fury and frustration as “white girl problems”, but the thing is, I don’t think I should.
Yes, other women suffer horrendous indignities and torture, are denied basic contraception, denied abortion- the Marie Stopes website even has a special section for Irish women- but just because England is better developed than some countries, this does not negate the fact that The Authorities still consider women incapable of making certain choices. I have very publically supported the idea that women worldwide should have the rights to their own bodies. This includes my own country too!

Doctors may remind women that their pregnancy is risky (obesity-related for example) but these women are not denied their choice to become pregnant. As I have said, there are medical reasons why sterilisation is best for me yet every time I explain, doctors still try to push unsafe hormonal options on me. When will I be considered old enough to know my own mind and body? 30? 40? 50?
28 is a perfectly respectable age to decide to have children; no doctor would remind a 28 year old pregnant woman that having children is permanent- that they are just too young to make such a decision. So why is my choice any less valid? Yes, it’s permanent, I am aware of that. I was aware when I asked for a referral, I was aware in the hospital, and I am aware now. Yet every time I have returned to the doctors, I am still asked if I know that sterilisation is permanent!

Of course, I’ll fight this. Of course I’ll appeal. But let me address questions I’ve been asked a few times:
Is it expensive? Can’t you go private?
It’s around Β£1500 in England but yes, I can go private. However, this is a matter of principle. I shouldn’t have to pay for the correct medical treatment for me, just because doctors won’t grant me the same respect they do women who make a more culturally acceptable choice.

But being childfree is unusual…
Not really. Around 20% of women over 40 are childfree. They aren’t all infertile and wishing for a miracle! I’m sure that if it wasn’t such a long-winded frustrating procedure, more women would apply for sterilisation. (There are certain notable other situations that work the same way- the path ahead being frustrating, painful, possibly traumatic, so most women don’t choose to take it…) *raises eyebrow* Why is it that the law is so geared against women?
I should mention here that men are generally not asked about the wishes of hypothetical future partners or told they are too young to have a vasectomy.

What if you sued the hospital?
What if I got pregnant or had children, regretted it and tried to sue the hospital for not sterilising me when I asked!? Give me any form and I’ll sign it- I take responsibility for my decision.

This is me banging my head against the wall. Photo by PWP images.
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I think I’ve said all I can for now. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer and if you are a childfree woman (or man) who has struggled to get doctors to accept this, please feel free to tell your story in the comments. It’s time we came out of the woodwork! Like this! (photos by Ghost Light)
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On to some really nice stuff… πŸ˜‰

I was thinking yesterday about the way people think about life and personal development. We tend to see things in a straight line pointing ‘onwards and upwards’ but from what I’ve seen, we go through the same growth spurts as we do in puberty, only internally and for the rest of our lives (hopefully). I certainly hope I’m still a work-in-progress! At age 14, I was pro-life and just four years before that- before I realised I also liked the ladies- I was pretty homophobic too! It took moving away and meeting people to change what I thought I knew.

The past year has felt like a huge growth spurt. One of my personal mottos is “never leave an experience empty-handed” and there are some things both good and bad that I’m sure I’ll look back on and think “yes, that moment changed my life”.
Even on the superficial levels, I’m always discovering new things about myself- who knew I liked tales about real-life gangsters? Who knew I’d start doing gladness meditations? Who knew I’d end up so willing to get my hands dirty? Right now I’m covered in coal dust from doing my fire and I have been unfathomably gross after certain photoshoots. I think my ‘ick’ tolerance level rose after I started doing so much work on my boat. Paint, goopy varnish, boatyard dust etc.
Even my body is changing. Not drastically and no surgery so worry not, but I am becoming more muscular. I love my action hero women and as my basic shape is quite comic-book (big thighs, hips and bust, small waist) I’m working on emphasising it!
Even while I do that, other friends of mine are doing the opposite! One of my favourite people, model and performer Elegy Ellem has been famous not only for her talent, tattoos and unique look, but for her boobs. And she’s just made a drastic change. Even if you don’t care about miss Ellem’s boobs (and she prefers it if you don’t), watch this video becase she’s a wise and beautiful goofball and her smile will make you smile too! πŸ˜›
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NhJWTfzu8

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I’m going to go and watch Terminator 2 in a sec, because it rocks and a cinnamon cream latte is calling my name but let me just share a series of photos by PWP images. To me, they perfectly illustrate my feelings about evolving and us all being works-in-progress. Sometimes we don’t leave our ‘past selves’ behind. Sometimes we don’t emerge from a situation in a glorious phoenix blaze. Sometimes we’re just moving and that movement is beautiful in itself.

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ROSWELL xxx