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All El’ Natural

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By Michael Murchie

There is nothing new under the sun – everyone is doing something that has been done before. I hear a lot of photographers claiming they were the first to do this or that but it’s a rare thing to find one that actually has. Most photographers are influenced by the work of another and then add their own creative bent to it. I do exactly the same.

When agents or clients book me they are generally looking for one style of image – raw, natural light, black and white and lots of skin. Unless it is specifically requested I rarely use hair stylists or make-up artists. I use Photoshop sparingly – generally, only to fix contrast, dodge and burn and occasionally the clone stamp to remove the latest break-out (yes models get pimples too!). I have no interest in changing body shape or features, only to highlight what is already there and remove temporary blemishes.




I learnt photography with film. Back when you had 24 -36 images on a $5 roll of 35mm film or even worse 12 images on a $10 roll of 120 (medium format) film! You couldn’t afford to waste film – you had to get it right inside the camera. There was no Photoshop in the darkroom! There was, however, dodging and burning. To this day I still try and compose and light every shot as if there was no such thing as photo editing software, as if I was still shooting that $10 roll of film to get 1 perfect shot.

Since the days of Daguerre and Fox Talbot photographers have worked with available light and prevailing conditions, many of us still do it today. I love shooting in the raw whether indoors or outdoors, partly because I am too cheap to hire a creative team but mostly because I love the raw, natural results I get after working with the prevailing conditions. Photographers, try it – you will like it

 

Website: Michael Murchie

5 Tips To Stop Over Eating

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By Jessica Sepel – The Healthy Life
@jshealth

Why do I keep eating even though I am full?

I so get you. You are sitting at your meal, and you can’t help but finish every morsel of food left on your plate – even though you are full or perhaps you weren’t even hungry in the first place.

I have been there.

It almost feels like you can’t control it.

But you can. It takes time and practice, but you will get there.

There are many reasons we overeat or don’t listen to the “full signal.” From my experience, though, it is about this simple concept – we have lost the connection with our bodies.

We simply don’t listen to our bodies needs or we don’t love them enough to listen.

When it comes to overeating at meals or bingeing there is also an emotional and physical reason:

Emotional: you are hungry for something. Not food. Something in your life is missing, so food fills this gap. Or, something is making you feel uncomfortable and food is your distraction/escape.

Physical: you haven’t eat enough during the day. Or, you have unbalanced blood sugar levels from eating irregular meals and sugar filled/processed foods. Or, you are not eating enough satiating macro nutrients (eg: food fats and protein) and you can’t help but eat when you get your hands on food.

I don’t blame you.

What to do?

1. Start to fall back in love with yourself.

When you have enough love and respect for your body – you would never want to overfill it with food until you feel uncomfortable. I have a section of my book, The Healthy Life, dedicated to this.

2. Eat regular meals.

From my nutritional knowledge and personal experience, people thrive off eating 5 small meals per day. The two snacks in between really balance your blood sugar levels and prevent you from overeating. My 5pm snack really helps me from overeating at dinner. Those who overeat at dinner tend to end up bingeing after dinner. That 5pm snack can prevent this.

3. Uncover old pain in your life.

See a good therapist – this saved my life! It is painful and sometimes expensive, but worth it.

4. Eat protein and good fats.

They are the two most satiating macronutrients – eat them with every meal! No better way! And they are so good for hormonal balance. Give up sugar, processed foods and refined carbs to balance blood sugar for life.

5. Remember that food is abundant.

Your next meal is just around the corner. Say this to yourself at each meal. Food is not going anywhere. This reminder really helped me.

Model-Maison Yaya Deng

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This is an edit from the beautiful website, Model-Maison; a project of love and dedication that has seen the photographer, Cybele Malinowski shoot models in their bedrooms all over the suburbs of Sydney, LA, London, Ukraine and Shanghai. Each week, we will be featuring a new model from Model-Maison.

 

Model:  Yaya Deng

Photographer: Cybele Malinowski

Website: ModelMaison

Instagram: @cybism

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modelmaison

Stylist : Nicole Adler

Make Up : Anna Milczarczyk

Retouch : Justin Malinowski

Published : Pages Digital 

Fashion Credits in order of appearance:

Adidas jacket, Emma Mulholland bodysuit // Romance Was Born skirt, Jeremy Scott for Adidas crop top, spring court shoes //  Jeremy Scott for Adidas dress, house of cards earrings //  Hayley Elisa jacket, sea folly top & shorts //  Camilla and Marc top, renee damiani earrings courtesy pieces of eight gallery //  Garth cook top, Jeremy Scott for Adidas pants, 2 by lyn and tony necklace, sol sana sandals //  Francis bodysuit, Emma Mulholland bumbag, House of Cards shoes, royal aquamarine sunglasses // Zoe Karssen jumper, Dion Lee skirt, Karen walker sunglasses, Nike shoes

Blogger Blogger On The Wall, Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?

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By Margretta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags

Can you, in your head, raise your hand if you have ever owned or written in a diary? Hopefully there are many of you. We are operating within an interesting paradigm – this ‘on the line’ (shout-out to the Internship movie), quasi-virtual reality of connection through different types of retail experiences. You can call this a Checkout Society. ‘Checkout’ can refer to different things such as; unwinding with social media, or maybe having a wandering eye, being fortunate to ‘checkout’ of a boring day through different vices… most of these are #firstworldproblems.

The benefit of blogging is self-explanatory. The two advantages that come to mind (for the readers) are convenience and customisation. With the aid of Google we are able to find almost anything on anyone at anytime. Sounds convenient. The custom part lies in the hands of the blogger. These benefits run further and deeper than just convenience and customised choices. A Blogger is someone who shares information on their site regularly for personal purposes. If a company is operating in this capacity it wouldn’t be calling blogging; it would be called selling. Is this how we view bloggers now? A business all on its own; selling a fixed and curated dream? Is there anything wrong with that? Should we fight against being sold ‘gift set’ size ideologies of the newest trend?

Even the most secure of persons, financially speaking, is opting to quit their salary packages for the alluring and turbulent avenue of professional blogging. We’ve seen PLENTY of sites that offer advice, tips, commentary, prizes, tutorials and even image porn. Oh no she didn’t! Sites like Tumblr, WordPress and Bloglovin are platforms for community interaction.

I have nothing against blogging – I do it myself. The only difference is I’m not selling anything but myself, wink wink (I joke). Thousands of dollars can be made monetizing your page. Whether you are using affiliate marketing (those annoying banners businesses have on the side, top and bottom of most pages – when readers click said advertisement and/or purchase from that page the blogger receives a fee. The purchase or impression was made by association). More often than not, direct methods of marketing such as endorsing a product are the industry norm. Bloggers get freebies. Yes FREEBIES – most of the time. The convenience for brands is having an unofficial spokesperson for the average person. I suppose that is the beauty of blogging. So what does this mean in relation to living in a ‘checkout’ society? Blogging has already become a ‘social commerce’ platform.

The future of blogging is moving towards bankable personalities – people who use their ‘brand’ to influence and engage their audience to purchase or be a part of a certain movement or product. We have to assume those active followers are interested in blog [x] because they find whatever the blogger is blogging useful. The trust is that the blogger(s) have consumers in mind, catering and curating probable and attractive trends for the rest of us to enjoy. Ain’t no shame in that game.

Here is a list of the top (6) Fashion Blogs (in my humble opinion).

1. The Man Repeller

I think the name says it all. This blog is not just for the average fashionista. Do you put a little more thought and a little less outside approval into your outfit? Dress without fear!

FOLLOW IF: you have a bubble bag just waiting to come out of your closet… I’m kidding. If you aren’t afraid of trying new things style-wise then welcome to the club.

www.manrepeller.com

2. Garry Pepper Girl

If vintage and all things girly is your cup of tea then GPG is for you! Whimsical, exotic and a whole lot of class. Are you a Garry Pepper Girl?

FOLLOW IF: you enjoy seeing all facets of being in the Fashion public eye – from red carpets, VIP luncheons and events, collaborating and even having fabulous meals. #nofilter of course.

www.garrypeppergirl.com

3. Peony Lim

the Asian market is known for its polished decadence and commercial quirkiness. This blog is for jet-setters. All aboard!

FOLLOW IF: you love seeing high-res and high gloss images of a Fashion princess’s jet-setting lifestyle.

www.peonylim.com

4. Style Bubble

In the Fashion Blogging sphere, Style Bubble is an icon! Though her site is not as flashy (some would say) as other blogs, her content far outweighs any minimalist and quirky visuals.

FOLLOW IF: you enjoy reading longhand fashion commentary while wearing your favourite kitsch outfit.

www.stylebubble.co.uk

5. Blonde Salad

A blogging favourite for most. This blogger has had collaborations with luxury houses, and even has her own fashion line.

FOLLOW IF: you have a thing for art, fashion, design, travel then look no further.

www.theblondesalad.com

6. Bryanboy

What to say about Bryanboy? He is a gay icon in fashion. Having his own Marc Jacobs bag named after him is just a small stitch in this story.

FOLLOW IF: you are into gorgeous fashion, behind the scenes shots and possible shady commentary.

www.bryanboy.com

 

Confessions Part 4: Showtime

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By Agata Descroix – @agatacruz
An excerpt from her book – Confessions of An Autistic And Sexually Confused International Model

Well, it’s time. I now have to go to the Gothic Couture* backstage to get my makeup and hair done. The place is quite secured thanks to 10 huge policemen guarding the entrance like Rottweilers. I feel way better now. I put on my best outfit for the occasion (considering my closet is a small box in my friend’s closet, I have few choices): a plain black hoodie, some green skinny pants that look like horse-riding pants and a pair of UGG boots somebody gave to me.

I find that adorable model I chatted with at the casting and stick with her for the whole time. Backstage is a mess. People are running everywhere, screaming. It’s unbearable. The smell kills me; a mix of perfume and hair spray. I cross the path of the band that is going to play for the show. They are very famous and they look creepy with all that black makeup on. The only quiet place is the catering: tuxedo waiters floating around with trails and drinks, hmmmmmm…. What a nice feeling! I go to makeup and wait for my turn in the tiny salon; I end up touching the Romanian model’s fake boobs she is so proud about, and chat with more girls. Meanwhile, the Brazilian makeup artist is painting the tall Asian’s face.

“How old are you sweetie?” He asks,

“16” she answers in her deep signature voice.

“My GOD, after her, I cannot do anybody’s makeup! She has such a perfect and youthful skin!”

I let escape a little gasp and decide to hide behind the other makeup artist. I would be so ashamed to be in front of the Brazilian, thinking he would say something like:

“Well, THIS is another story… Jeez, girl! Moisturize!”

Fortunately. I get to go with another makeup artist. Makeup is invasive but hair styling is torture. I am happy to do this but I have a hard time dealing with spray smell, hair pulling and bobby pins sticked right into my skull. My hair, nails and makeup are done and it’s already time to put our first outfit on. I didn’t even try all the catering supplies that I have to run to the real backstage already! I find my section: 3 outfits, with my name on it. I am also on the fitting board. I feel so important and cannot stop to read my name wherever I find it. Agata…

Agata… Agata… It sounds like a sexy voice to me. I find it very glamorous to be in a fashion show. Every single model has an assistant. Mine’s name is Lucio. He is going to help me to take off and put on all my outfits. So exciting. After the team screamed and shouted enough, we hear the rock band start the first song. It’s time to begin. The flawless Karina opens the show with grace and calm.

We have to pose and do some rock’n’roll moves onstage. I am number 7. Sounds like a lucky number right? I try to convince myself I am worthy of it. It’s my turn. The coordinator grabs my arm tightly and I have to drink quickly the orange juice I brought down from catering table because I am about to faint. I can already see little stars in my eyes. Oh my god. I am suddenly pushed outside and I feel there is no floor. I walk confidently to the end, do my rock’n’roll face and come back. Wow! That was exciting. I want to go again! One of the designers criticizes my walk and tells me not to open my legs that much. My whole self-confidence disappears.

Outfit number two: I am pushed outside with the usual:

“Go Agata!”

My heels slip a bit on the side, going back backstage. I feel suddenly very hot and cold in the same time. Third outfit:

“Agata go!”

The finale is so beautiful with all the girls outside! I feel I am part of something uncommon and exclusive. I want more! I am ready for the next show.

Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 1
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 2
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 3
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 5
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 6
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 7
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 8
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 9
Confessions Of An Autistic & Sexually Confused International Model – Part 10

9 Signs You’re Working Out Too Hard

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By: David Sciola

With this explosive trend of high intensity programs sweeping the world, is anyone else intrigued by the sudden fascination? Is anyone else concerned that we may be overtraining and putting ourselves at risk of serious injuries? I am and here is why.

This past decade has seen an explosion in the popularity of elite fitness for non-elite people. In the past few years, thousands of thousands of high- intensity program gyms have spread across the US,  from urban warehouses to suburban strip malls. “Regular” people are now training with the intensity and intention of paid, professional athletes. Weekend warriors are doing clean-and-jerks, kettle bell swings and box jumps like it’s as normal as family breakfast on a Sunday morning.

But why we are doing this to ourselves? Is this level of training necessary or desirable for the average individual, or is it just a passing craze that we’ll look back on with bewilderment? Only time will tell whether writhing upside down against a wall, attempting handstand pushups, was a legitimate workout or a ridiculous anomaly.

Yet the movement continues to strengthen.

As I bike around New York City these days, it strikes me just how much a part of modern metropolitan culture this extreme fitness craze is.

While I welcome any fitness movement that motivates people to push themselves and get fit, I do fear for people who take extreme fitness to the extreme. Fitness addiction is real. Overtraining and injuries are becoming big problems in the world of amateur elite fitness.

Too many of my friends are smashing themselves at the gym with reckless abandon and then complaining to me that their body composition isn’t improving, or they’re getting sick all the time. Niggling injuries are worsening but they just can’t give up their workout fix.

 

The paradox is that for the average person just wanting to be healthy and look fit, the volume and intensity of doing extreme training programs five or six days a week may actually be hindering them in achieving such goals.

Systemic inflammation, sympathetic nervous system dominance, endocrine dysfunction, excessive cortisol, fatigue, infection and malaise can all stem from overtraining, making it very difficult to achieve a healthy body composition, robust immune system and overall well-being.

If you truly desire or require elite fitness or if you are able to thrive on such a brutal workout routine, good for you. But if you, like the friends I speak of, have been swept up in an extreme fitness movement but fear it may be too much for you, please listen to your gut and your body. You may need to re-think your exercise regimen.

So what can be done? Ultimately it’s up to you to monitor your own training. Here are nine signs that you may be overtraining.

  • Your performance has plateaued.
  • You start to dread your workouts or come up with excuses to skip them.
  • Your sleep starts to worsen. You find it more difficult to get to sleep or you are waking up exhausted.
  • You are becoming moody. You’re are more easily agitated, anxious, emotional or depressed than you used to be.
  • You get sick more often and the symptoms stick around for longer than they used to.
  • You crave sugary junk food and always seem hungry, especially after a workout.
  • Your libido decreases.
  • You only feel good or energized after your workout. The rest of day, your energy flatlines.
  • You start getting more obsessed with training. Missing a session makes your feel anxious or like a failure.
  • You start to prioritize training over living. You favor going to the gym over catching a movie with your loved one or having an after-work drink. You consistently show up late to social events because you had to make your favorite class.

If you can associate with some or most of these signs, chances are you’re overdoing it at the gym. Try taking a week off and then really cut down the volume and intensity. You may be surprised just how little training the average person needs to achieve their health and fitness goals.

The ethos of “more is better” has pervaded the fitness industry, putting some people at risk of overtraining and/or injury. We need to remember that for some of us mere mortals, less is more.

 

Website: thepaleomodel.com

Oh-Ohh Nip Slip…Cover Up

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By Magretta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags

According to Oxford Dictionaries, in ‘transit’ means to pass across or through an area. We are in transit, socially speaking, when it comes to identity. Maybe we always have been. Social media is a wonderful thing. Freedom of expression and freedom of speech!

All social platforms have guidelines. The Do’s and Don’ts of most sites is simple; no pornographic content involving minors or threatening to post intimate images of others #WasteHisTime2016.

This picture, posted on AMFAM Instagram, was banned because it didn’t meet their guideline requirements. But the requirements mention nothing about bare chests. The picture is of a woman – a transgender woman. It is here that we have a problem. The #freethenipple campaign started as art imitating life, with Lina Esco’s comedic drama centred around activists fighting their right to bare nipples –Why is seeing my nipple more offensive than a mass murder? A great point. What does baring a nipples have to do with identity? More than you realise.

You show me yours

I must admit, I’m not a huge Instagram user. What I do love about this platform is the curated and filtered visual porn – lets be very clear; I mean anything intended to cause excitement. I am not here to call out hypocrisy (I enjoy my job far too much) but we continue to dance on the line of acceptability. The world is filled with almost 7 billon people. There will definitely be times we don’t see eye to eye or hand to gun, as the news regurgitates hourly. This is why identity is so important – to know who you are and your relation to the external world. But we are talking about law enforced guidelines on Instagram, not existential problems of the self and universe.

2014 was the year Facebook lifted its ban on women who shared pictures of breastfeeding their newborns. What they didnt do was lift the same ban on women who weren’t breastfeeding but had their girls out. Any other contexts apart from nursing was forbidden, according to mic.com. Facebook was not prepared for the roar of loosened bra straps at the hypocrisy.

Lina Esco, the mastermind behind the #freethenipple movement and satirical movie, stated in 2013; “When I started my online campaign, Facebook and Instagram banned the photos of topless women that were taken on location, faster than we could put them up. Why can you show public beheadings from Saudi Arabia on Facebook, but not a nipple? Why can you sell guns on Instagram, but yet they will suspend your account for posting the most natural part of a woman’s body?”

This campaign was evelated to a femisitic-super-nova level when Feminist writer and activist Soraya Chemaly rallied the troups, sending more than ‘60,000 tweets and 5,000 emails opposing the inequitable way images of women’s breasts are regarded.’ Soraya Chemaly told Mic mag, Women’s breasts are not the problem. Sexual objectification is the problem. There’s a difference between sexualization and sexuality. Breasts don’t hurt children, breasts feed children, and it’s the sexualization of women’s bodies that’s actually hurting children the most.”

Sex sells because it reminds us of the familiar. When we see a sexy image we are tempting the deepest parts of ourselves – the kind of llifestyle we hate to see but love to be (if only for an episode of your favorite reality show). Bringing it back home, we at AMFAM were not impressed with Instagram. We believe the picture was banned because she has very feminine features. Gorgeous hair. Ajar lips. Fresh and hydrated skin. Cheeky demure. This screams female all over – am I right ladies?

The model doesn’t appear threatening or erotic. The issue? Her nipples were visible on a flat chest. Is it fair that male nipples are socially acceptable damn near anywhere? But this isn’t a picture of a quote on quote ‘man’. Is the line still relevant when the stiletto is on the other foot?

Who makes the rules?

We share a pack mentality; kind of like the ‘cool kids’ club. There’s nothing overtly dangerous with this – we need order and hierarchy for pretty things to flourish. The problem is when the majority is wrong and yet still rules. Over-sexualisation has taken over our world – even as a writer. It’s not hard to turn a mispronounced word, unintended movement or a well-placed object into a double entendre. See what I mean? Very naughty of you.

The titillation of #freethenipple is largely due to sex-coloured glasses. Female breasts are seen as sexual objects – funbags, to be captialised solely for pleasure and aesthetics, instead of their actual use – for nurture. There always will be disgruntled right/left wing conservatives who hide behind tradition – what’s tried and true will come through, right? What about the power one holds to change and evolve, regardless of social norms? Why are models allowed to showcase next to fabulous nothing to sell a product/lifestyle but women on the street who are less provocative, perhaps even breastfeeding their child; or horror of all horrors, braless while wearing a white shirt, in the middle of a rainstorm. Why some things accepted but others aren’t?

Can beauty be censored?

The rules of beauty should be individually defined as we go forward into the future. Beauty is a universal social construction on the senses. It is felt more so than seen, which is why many industries are thriving on capturing beauty in its natural (curated) habitat. These companies edit beauty. Then sell it back to us in a real life context.

Instagram’s rule to ban our image had more to do with perception in real time than capturing beauty in its natural (curated) habitat. We felt because this model had identified as a woman her nips violated their platform guidelines and laws.

The line of approval and self acceptance is a long drawn out process. It will probably be a selfie at a time. We can start by understanding their rules and then breaking them in morally acceptable ways (and legal, of course!). Morality and socialism will always butt heads. To put it differently, what is good for social platforms is not always good for brands.

With that said, let’s blow the cover on real hypocrisy – starting with one titillation at a time.

He Loves Me…He Loves Me not – I Love Me…I Love Me Not

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By Jenni Sellan
@jennisellan

February. The month of love; romance on steroids; cupids moment in the spotlight; his bow and arrow the most coveted accessory. Aim, fire, It’s a perfect match.

A reason to expect a little more attention than usual or a not so subtle reminder that the only attention you will receive is that which you pay yourself.

February 14, the pinnacle; A date filled either with anticipation or loathing – a spectrum of extremes as we buy in to the ideal that our greatest loves are to be found external to ourselves, marked by an age old tradition and outward displays of affection and extravagance. (God forbid if I’m the only one in the office who doesn’t receive a ridiculously large bunch of flowers!)

Excuse me…. but at what point did the 1800’s call to remind us that our lives and name will not amount to anything of value without the ultimate partnership or pairing?

Isn’t it time to put to bed this idea that that the highest and most meaningful forms of self-validation count only when they arrive from external sources? He loves me… I love me… He loves me not… I love me not.. How about… I love me, full stop.

Romance (or lack thereof) aside, surely this constant quest for external acceptance is slowly suffocating our individuality as our unique selves are continually pushed further and further below the surface. And lets be honest, I can have my perfect partner lying beside me and still be searching for the Universe’s ultimate YES. This is not unique to romantic liaisons.
Digital disruption and the access it has given us has made our search for meaning even more complicated than your love story.

Take the quiz; are you more like Kim or Khloe…maybe Kendal is your long lost twin? Are you the Carrie Bradshaw of the group or a little more Samantha Jones?

If you live in the Western world, you belong to a place in time that lives and breathes a culture obsessed with the celebrity and fame of a minority group that appeals to the masses. Pop culture has become more influence and less entertainment and our identities instead of being found are lost, as so many of us find ourselves chasing meaning through identification with individual celebrities; ‘the stars’, ‘the IT model and the muse’ and high profile socialites. Whether consciously or not, we find ourselves in a world of comparison; “If only I lived a life like that; If only I had a love like that; I’d be skinnier, richer and happier and ultimately complete”.

Can we just get real here for a minute? These are lives that very few of us have genuine or authentic insight or access to. What we see is what is chosen for us to see, but our obsessions cloud our perceptions and make everything look so much greener on the other side.

Living our moments vicariously through the untouchable reality of someone else has got to be the ultimate form of torture. It’s time to flip our attention.
Imagine what our worlds could look like if we had a little healthy obsession – one that started with ourselves.

It seems to have become customary for us to identify with other people as opposed to identifying with our self. As a result, our dreams, visions and goals have a strange connection to a life other than our own.

(If we gave half the attention to our own dreams that we give to obsessing over Gigi’s instagram account we might just find ourselves enjoying our own little slice of success).

I admit, it sounds cliché, but the truth is, we need more self-love. Once we learn to find acceptance in ourselves, we become open to discovering our unique strengths, qualities, gifts and talents, and ultimately what we have to offer the world. In turn, the great loves of our life will follow and not just relationships; fulfilling careers, opportunities and dreams will become a part of your experience simply through the process of making room, for you.

Self-discovery is an adventure; what do like, what do you loath, what’s important to you, who are you in the quiet moments when it’ s just you, your pampered pooch and your favourite tee and sweat pants. What do you want to be, when you grown up? Unfortunately when it comes to the truth of these questions, many of us find it easier to tell you whose dating Orlando Bloom and how many times Tori Spelling has moved house in the last 5 years!

But as intimidating as we might find our deepest thoughts, it’s amazing what can transpire when our attention turns…

So instead of coveting Mariah’s diamond, allowing antiquated romantic notions to fill your head, or waiting for the ultimate connection or compliment before you decide you are enough, rise up. It’s your time.

Buy your own damn diamond ring and set your own soul on fire, because the universe needs YOU. (And as much as we love them, the world doesn’t need another Kardashian).

 

#justbeyou

#SuperGimmick

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By Brandis Ohlsson

Recently, Scandinavian brand Lindex, which is basically a European H&M, tapped Christy Turlington, Liya Kebede, and Toni Garrn to front their #SuperRoleModel campaign. All three models are working philanthropists, and each of the models chose a charity that they work with to receive a percentage if the proceeds from the sale of tee shirts emblazed with #Super Role Model across the front.

Lindex has said, “We chose to work with Christy, Liya and Toni as Super Role Models because we believe that the spirit they convey and the example they set will inspire our customers to consider the meaning of beauty—not only on the outside but the inside too.”

I’m trying really hard to have an opinion about this, but if I am being totally honest, it’s just boring me. The most exciting thing about this #SuperRoleModel campaign is the catchy pun (good one guys!) Lindex’s marketing team came up with. The whole thing screams gimmick.

Don’t get me wrong- I am all about philanthropy. How many of us wouldn’t love to have the time and financial resources to volunteer helping others? What these women are doing is amazing, but lets get honest for a split second here; these models have all made millions of dollars because they’re pretty. Those millions of dollars sat in their bank accounts makes it much easier for them, than it would for say, an average suburban woman, to travel the world working for free for the betterment of mankind.

So while I would love to sit back and consider their spirit, and the meaning of beauty, do you know what would really impress me? A campaign that would shine light on the volunteer warriors who don’t have bodyguards protecting them when they’re in the trenches doing good. The women who spend their rare moments of free time they have between working and caring for their families to help others. Don’t these women deserve some recognition, maybe even more than the supermodels do? I think so. That, would get me to buy a tee shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

Things I Wish I’d Understood In My 20’s

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By Ellen Hancock – A Not So Model Life
@gypsy_revival

The era of my 20’s is creeping towards an end. I still have until June… but I can already feel it coming… my 30’s! The feeling is a little unexpected, because honestly I’m pretty darn excited. After all my depressing birthdays over the last few years I didn’t think I’d ever be happy about getting older. But I am!

When people say your 20’s are rough they aren’t kidding! We go through so many changes during that period of time. Some changes are voluntary, and some are involuntary. We experiment with who we are and who we aren’t. Or sometimes the world sends us huge rude awakenings. We’re trying to start careers, find love, pay the bills, and still manage to have some fun. There is so much on the plate of a 20-something that it’s overwhelming just to think about it. I’m honestly ready and looking forward to the next phase in my life.

Over the last decade I have been trying to figure my life out, and guess what? I have absolutely not succeeded! And that’s ok! I think my 30’s will be a more calm, self-aware, and accepting era of my journey. Which leads me into the point of this article. As I look back on the last ten years of my life a few things really smack me as things I wish I’d grasped a little sooner. I was always stubborn, one of those people who had to learn by making their own mistakes. In some ways I’m grateful for that. I can honestly say I’ve lived a full life so far – with many ups and downs, and stories to tell. However, there are a few lessons I wish I had been wise enough to avoid. At this point though I just hope my experiences might be enough to help someone else on their journey. It’s a potential upside… so I’ll give it a shot.

1. The important thing is that you add to your value.

At no point in anyone’s life do they have it all figured out. The important thing is that you accept the journey and continually focus on ways to add value to your marketability. So many skills are applicable in ways you wouldn’t even consider, so don’t hesitate simply because you’re not sure if what you’re going after fits into the entirety of the rest of your life. Often down the line you’ll find that all your skills intersect in quite unexpected ways, or get you thinking in unexpected ways.
The important thing is that you just keep working hard and keep adding to your abilities. I wasted a lot of time not doing anything simply because I didn’t know what I ultimately wanted to do with my life. You don’t have to have your whole future planned! Just think of ways to build your value, and go from there. It will lead to somewhere, I promise.

2. Sex does not equal intimacy.

The most intimate you can be with someone does not require you to take your clothes off. Real intimacy is letting your heart be vulnerable. It is letting someone see you for who you truly are – the good and the bad. It is making a commitment knowing that things won’t always be easy. If you can wrap your mind around that it will really change the way you think about love and what it is you’re really manifesting in your relationships.

3. You shouldn’t rush into living with someone you’re dating.

Most relationships don’t work out in your 20’s, and living with someone truly complicates things. Having to split belongings and decide who keeps the place makes breaking up so much more painful, too. I wish I hadn’t jumped into living with a couple of guys so fast in my 20’s. Looking back I wasted a lot of energy I could have devoted to myself because of complicated living situations that dragged on way too long. Give yourself at least a year with someone before you even consider it.

4. If you are depressed or unhappy drugs will only make things worse.

In the age of legalized marijuana I think it is important to acknowledge it for what it really is. A lot of people enjoy it and use it, but like every other drug (ahem, alcohol) it has its downsides. It can make you lethargic, and it can bury your feelings. Sometimes you need to let yourself feel all those not so pleasant emotions rather then covering them up. Because if you don’t face those feelings and pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, then guess what? Things just get worse.

Your emotions get confused the farther you bury them, and they don’t go away – they just start to manifest in other ways. You’ll start to lose sleep, you’ll get anxious about all the things you should be doing, you’ll fail to fix the problems that are actually the cause of your unhappiness, and so on. The farther down that rabbit hole you go, the harder it is to find your way out. If you are down in the dumps that is exactly when you should not be getting high. Treat weed as a reward for a hard days work, for a happy day off, for good times with friends – or stay far away from it. If you are at all using it as an escape, don’t.

5. It’s ok to break up with bad friends.

I think women in particular feel obligated to be friendly with people. We put on happy faces and try to please others. We feel a need to do the things that friends ask of us. But what if those people let you down on a regular basis? What if they are only good time friends who fail to show up when you have a crisis? What if they abuse your friendship or take advantage of you? LET THEM GO. It is ok to let go of a “friend” who really isn’t a friend at all. You don’t have to be dramatic about it, but start to set limits. Stop giving them your valuable time and energy. You should absolutely not feel guilty about needing genuine friendships in your life. It’s better to have no friends then fake friends.

6. It is never too late to turn around or start down a new path.

Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes without judging yourself too harshly. We all screw up sometimes. Acknowledge what happened, give yourself some love, and move on. Continuing down the wrong road longer will not turn it into the right one. Get excited about new beginnings! Your whole life is one great adventure. Don’t ever be overcome by fear of the unknown or the beginning of a large task. Just the fact that you get to start fresh is a blessing – think of it that way.