I’m in the pursuit of happiness

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There’s a great song by Kid Cudi, the lyrics to the chorus are:
I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold, hey
I’ll be fine once I get it, yeah
I’ll be good.

Now whilst I know he’s not exactly singing about the same topic I’m writing on, I think his lyrics ring true.

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In my teens and early twenties I had not a single care in the world. Not a one. Life was great, life came easy, happiness came even easier. Now that’s a life worth living right?
It was completely awesome and completely fun filled. I travelled fearlessly without a thought for where my next home would be, I worked in whichever country wanted me. I picked my next place of travel by what kind of cuisine I favoured.
I can tell you’re waiting for a big “but then…”. But I’m not going to say that, there is no “but then.” No “world crashing down” moment. Instead It wasn’t anything so dire, instead it was a return to my original passions, a realization that not everything necessarily has to be sunshine and rainbows 24/7. (It would be great, but it can’t always be!)

There’s this fine line that I’m treading at the moment. Keeping happiness and hard work in tandem.
I’ve chosen the path of a struggling artist. Emphasis on struggling, but then again I’m pretty lucky where I am.
It’s not the easiest of jobs, but If it was easy then everyone would be doing it right?

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So what I’m getting at is that there are so many mixed messages out there. Countless websites that tell you “If you don’t love going to work every day, then you’re in the wrong job.”
Instagram sites showing you pictures of a life that is apparently “In your grasp” where you too can live from island to island and be decked out in designer threads.
Articles in magazines and newspapers touting “overnight success stories” and people that have made it on “practically no training or work.”
It’s amazing that everyone is trying to sell this lie that all the best things in life come free and easy. Honestly what’s wrong with a little hard work? You ask anyone who’s at the peak of their dream job, and they’ll most likely tell you that they went through a roller coaster of emotions during the climb up there. I have different thoughts every day on music. (I guess it is a creative job, and that comes with the territory)
Sure there are days when I want to pack it all up and quit. Days when I hate it. But then there are far more days where I love it and throw everything I have into it. The frustrations come from wanting to succeed more than anything else.
I could re-quote so many famous musicians, actors, tech billionaires, CEO’s, bloggers (yes bloggers!) who have been touted as overnight successes, instead they entail how many years of hard work, study, practice and repetition all led to them reaching that “eureka” moment.

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Going back to Kid Cudi’s lyrics. It really outlines how our society pushes this dichotomy of thought “Slave away to get rich and happy, but at the same time don’t you dare work too hard because all those idiots that work hard are simply working for the man and will never be as happy as you living free.”

Simply put, if there’s something you love, something you really want to pursue, then go for it. Know that to succeed it’s not always going to be easy, but it’s also not always going to be painful. There is good and bad with everything, but isn’t it worth it if it’s in the pursuit of your true happiness?
Whether that be in career, a weight goal, a health goal, travelling, trying something new in life..
Just remember it doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen!

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P.s Once again all photo’s have been taken by Louis and I! Hope you enjoyed them and this post <3

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Mel’s sugarfree dairy free chocolate

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It’s recipe time!
I’m usually more inclined to write what’s on my mind, but this time I’m writing what’s in my stomach :)
Now I’m not one of those whom insists on healthy eating 24/7 or denying yourself the delicious joys in life, but sometimes you just have to eat healthy. Sometimes there’s no choice, your body calls it quits and tells you “NO MORE DELICIOUS CANDY, NO MORE DEEP FRIED SNICKERS BARS AND CHOCOLATE DIPPED SALTY CHIPS.”
mmmm just writing it makes me hungry.
Chocolate anyone?

Well I may just have an answer for you. As someone who has abstained from sugar for the past year (394 days, but not counting or anything.) I jump on every chance to find substitute recipes.
My heart leaps whenever I see people posting “Sugarfree cheesecake” or “sugar free custard tarts” only to find that it’s not really sugar free, it uses banana’s, medjool dates, fruit juices as the sugar substitute. Yep I’m in the unfortunate position of not even being able to have fruit. So naturally my heart drops when I realize these recipes are just teasing me. So close yet so far!

If you’ve been abstaining from all things unhealthy, then this might just fill the spot!
So read on below for the simple steps on how I make my sugar free chocolate.
* Full disclosure this chocolate doesn’t completely taste like real deal. It doesn’t have all the delicious refined sugars and dairy :( but it does have cacao, coconut milk, almond butter and lots of other goodness. It’s probably the healthiest dessert ever!

Step 1
Start with some pure cacao. baking chocolate is fine as long as it’s 100% cocoa or cacao. No dairy no sugar :)

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Step 2
Break it into pieces into a metal bowl or double boiler. 100g – 150g should be enough.
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Step 3
Add coconut oil, a few teaspoons. Not too much!
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. (note, never put it directly in the saucepan as this will cause the chocolate to seize or burn.)

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Step 4
Time for the coconut milk and cream!!
One can is good, add more or less depending on how creamy you want it.

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Step 5
Take the chocolate off the saucepan and let it cool down a little (one or two minutes is enough).
The sweet part! Add 1 or 2 of the tiny scoops of stevia. I use the pure form, anything else might contain fake chemical sweeteners, which defeats the purpose of making this chocolate.
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Step 6
Make sure your chocolate mix has cooled down, if it’s too hot the vanilla extract will react. It doesn’t need to be cold but somewhere in between. It’s a fine line, go with your gut feel.
Add one teaspoon of pure liquid vanilla extract and four tablespoons of almond butter. (Note you can use any kind of pure nut butter, I just prefer almond butter.)
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Step 7
After mixing well, pour out onto a lined tray. spread evenly.

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Step 8
Put the tray into the freezer for 20-25 minutes. It should be hard when you tap it.
Cut the chocolate into chunks and voila you have delish chocolate!
Place back into the freezer and eat at leisure, or eat straight away!

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Notes: At step 7 you can add all sorts of toppings to your chocolate. Coconut slivers, crushed nuts etc

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Why you should stop reading all the articles that tell you “Why you should”

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At least once a day I see a shared post pop up on my Facebook wall saying “Why you should…”
Some of them I click, and others I ignore.

The ones I click are usually the ones talking about wanderlust, advice for being 20-something, things on following your life dreams and goals.
So I read them, I lap up all of the information, I feel like I’m having an epiphany on this “new way of living” having my eyes opened… And then I close the article and feel seemingly empty. Something is missing, I feel unfulfilled, like I haven’t achieved anything in my life, like there is so much more to do, so much to achieve that I haven’t achieved by now.

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Then suddenly after clicking dozens of these articles and feeling none the better after reading them I realized that their click baiting titles and fluff content were nothing but things designed to get you coming back for more.
All this advice comes from so many people that probably aren’t even following their own guidance. There are things in there that say “Give up your job and travel the world.” Then the next article tells you to “Work hard, focus on your dreams and forego the fun things in life, a little sacrifice will be worth it in the long run.”
All these articles are so contradicting I can understand how anyone can get lost in the blogosphere world.

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Do I even mention how patronizing some of these articles can get? One that got me feeling frustrated was the one that said “People are born travellers, others are unlucky.”
As if being nomadic is a badge of honour and loving the country and hometown you were born in, is something to be ashamed of. I’m sure you’re aware that I’ve lived and travelled A LOT by anyones standard, but even I finished the article feeling empty and unaccomplished.
All those amazing travel pictures, of girls wandering half naked through mountains, lovers kissing in a lake, friends jumping into the ocean. Pictures of young beautiful twenty year olds partying with expensive bottles of champagne and dewy flawless skin .. they’re enough to make anyone feel inadequate.

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But here comes the clincher. These bloggers don’t look like that, they’re not really living these lives 24/7. Sure they probably go on great holidays and to great parties but lets be serious, these are not their photo’s or their constant lives.
They’re not some magic fairy godmother that can write the meaning to life in a single blog post.
So I caution you, by all means read these articles however keep in mind that they are a loose “guide” on how to look at life. The minute you start feeling bad about yourself and your achievements, it’s time to take a step back and realize that not everything in these articles is designed to be taken as verbatim for constant living.

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So there it is. Love the life you’re living, do the things that make you happy. Don’t feel guilty about watching TV instead of working late into the night, don’t feel bad about wanting to stay at home instead of travelling miles and miles. Basically don’t let anyone on the internet make you feel bad for doing things you love!

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p.s All photo’s have been taken by myself, and Louis Lay :) Expect to see many more from us, and hopefully you can follow our journey and improvement along the way!

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#Sheforshe

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I don’t know how to introduce this topic without turning off half of my readers with the mention of one word.
Feminism.
How did it become such a dirty word? How did it turn into this great big “anti-men”, braless, sexless motion.
Let me set something straight. It’s not anti-men.
Wow, how did something that supposed to be about women empowerment turn into something about men? seriously.
I will proudly say that I am feminist, as well as masculanist (did I really just make up a word?) Or perhaps i’m humanist?
Did we ever stop to think that it’s not really the men who tore this “feminist movement” apart, that it might have come from the inside? That perhaps as women, we don’t support each other quite like men do.
I’ve heard so many women shake their head in disgust and spit out the word feminist. Like it’s a bad thing, like it’s something against women. I’ve seen women say “Oh god, I’m so not a feminist. Never, not me.”
I’m not suggesting you run out in the streets shouting it from the rooftop, or wear a badge proclaiming it. However I am suggesting that we as women stand up for each other, try to make our lives a little easier and more successful.

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Heavy topic I know. But it’s something I’m very passionate about.
Feminism: “The theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
This is not a “Women against Men” fight. far from it, it’s looking at Equality for ALL. Women just happen to get paid less (Some may argue that modelling is the exemption, this is not the case. Men get the same rates that we women get, they just happen to have less work available to them.)

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I’m not your “typical” feminist. I honestly don’t think there’s a typecast that we can conform to anymore.
I’ve shoot lingerie, bikini and nudes for my job. I happily wear clothing that might be considered a little revealing, and I enjoy receiving compliments about my appearance, as much as I get them on my achievements.
I’m going to mention a few names, and check your reactions to each.
Emma Watson
Dita Von Teese
Jennifer Garner
Nicki Minaj
Jennifer Lawrence
Miley Cyrus
Beyonce
Amal Clooney

I bet some of those names had you thinking “she’s awesome/hot/cool/great” and others “She’s gross/yuk/I hate her.”

What makes one person more acceptable than another?

Emma Watson made an incredible speech at the UN for her #Heforshe campaign, watch it here

I had the honour of meeting and working with Dita Von Teese for 8 days. The things I learnt off this incredible lady are unmeasurable. Not only was she empowering to every single women she spoke to, she manages to make a living off dressing sexy, owning her own lingerie line and being an amazing burlesque performer with sold out shows filled with men and women. Not exactly your typical feminist.

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Jennifer Garner made a great speech at the Elle Women in Hollywood gala. If you can’t be bothered reading it I’ll sum it up. Her and her husband, Ben Affleck, took notes from a press junket they both had. In every single interview she was asked how she juggled her work life with her family life.
Ben on the other hand was only asked about “the tits on that blurred lines girl” (Emily Ratajkowski who was in Gone girl with Ben).
Jennifer went on to say “they’re real and fabulous.” Showing that her issue was more with being asked about a supposed womans’ role as compared to her husband who shares the exact same work and family life as she does.

Nikki Minaj, Oh wow yep she’s definitely out there and makes her views aware. If she’s not dancing on stage scantily clad, she’s singing about sexy women and about sleeping around.
And you know what, it doesn’t hurt me one bit. Sure I’m not about to star in a video like hers (let’s face it I’m about 4000 squats short of doing that). But that’s just it, she’s owning her sexuality, she’s not being governed by a record label exec, demanding she takes her clothes off for a profit. She’s doing exactly what she wants without being subtle or worrying about the backlash, and I don’t mind it at all. She’s basically creating an antithesis of all the male rap clips out there.
If you can handle it, watch her video clip for Anaconda here

Jennifer Lawrence, what an incredible actress, and even better yet she sometimes refuses to answer questions on the red carpet about “who she’s wearing” and instead searches for food. A girl after my own heart.
She’s been known for asking reporters if they “ask the men that?” when they ask particularly sexist questions. Go girl, keep refusing to answer their stupid questions about what exact shade of nail polish you’re wearing!

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Miley Cyrus. Poor little Miley, everyone seems to keep saying. Nope not poor little Miley at all, the girl has been rocking it. She dresses how she wants, goes where she wants and parties wherever she wants.
She’s been successful and earn more money than I’ve seen in my lifetime, all before she was old enough to vote. To those of you who think she’s being controlled by hollywood, think again, the girl is having the time of her life.

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Queen Bey, she copped flak from “feminists” because she named her recent tour “Mrs Carter”
Notice I put the word feminists in quotation marks. Feminists are supposed to uplift each other, support each other. Yet they’re having a dig at a women for calling her world tour after her name. Yes, her name.
Beyonce has donated to many feminist causes (amongst dozens of other charities), so not only is she stunningly beautiful, an incredible entrepreneur and performer, but she’s also working on saving the world. Yep all hail Queen Bey. Who run the world?

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Amal Clooney, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing who she is, if not for her famous last name. Recently married to George Clooney, feminists lost their mind when she changed her last name to his. Last I checked this was pretty common?
She’s a renown human rights lawyer who not only fights for the worlds injustices, but manages to deal with her husbands industry pestering her 24/7.
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But all of these celebrities aside my main point is that it’s not always the men who are putting us women down. Sometimes it’s the women who hate the most.
Are feminists not allowed to get married? be sexy? Be the biggest advocate to their husband, boyfriend, best friend, brother? are we meant to be moderate, respectable, private, not wear bras, and not take our husbands last names?
Oprah. One woman who worked her way through an incredibly white male dominated industry at the time. Watch her talk about it here. She has been described as bossy, rude a man eater, lesbian, fat, emotional, damaged.
None of these words are empowering or constructive. Who gives a damn about her weight!? She’s not a damn nutritionist.
Who cares about her sexual orientation, straight, gay, bi whatever she chooses doesn’t really affect you or I (unless you have some kind of dream crush on her, which I then wish you good luck!)
Bossy, rude, all the words that when used to describe a man are “Forthright, strong, capable.”
Emotional… what the hell is that one, is that meant to be a put down? I’m glad she has real human emotions, she has empathy and her show was certainly the most successful talk show in the world because of it.

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I align myself with amazing uplifting powerful and loving friends. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it with all of their heart. and we need to support each other. We need to stop the bitchiness, stop the hate and the jealousy, stop the drama and the self importance. Imagine how far we could get if we all believed in each other.
It’s a tough world for a women, yet we as a population love to see the downfall of others. I am not immune to this, I can tell you the very first time it hit me that I was having negative thoughts about someone else was when Britney Spears had checked back in to rehab. All I could think was “what a train wreck, ha! glad I’m not like that.”
Then hollywood did an amazing thing, and both men and women started wearing t-shirts with slogans to support her, they mentioned her in their speeches. People were genuinely caring about another human being who was going through an immensely tough time.
From that day on I made it a conscious decision not to judge and not to feel false happiness from someone else downfall.
We help each other up, because that’s what humans do.
Feel elation at hearing another person has created something brilliant, and as always find what you love and go there with all of your being.

I’m always for supporting one another, no matter what your sex, pay grade, looks etc. But I felt that this post was important because lately I’ve seen so much hate from women against other women.
So I hope the next time you feel jealousy from hearing your friends new job promotion, or seeing another celebrity getting fat, or going into rehab, you rethink your thoughts.

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(This quote isn’t as true as the others. I think if you look at young girls they just love to play games and be happy, they’re not thinking about how much the other girls have in comparison to themselves.)
*To help you along, I started with little things. I tried to gossip less, talk about others less (unless it was to discuss their achievements). never mention weight gain. Always ask people what their goals and dreams are, follow up on those things. Work on and share your own goals.
Ignore the haters, so easy to say but also very easy to do. Shut down social media if you can’t avoid it on there. Take up mediation or playing an instrument, read books that interest you. Find groups or friends or a partner that you can discuss your interests with.
When I’m with my friends I usually introduce strange and weird topics into conversation, just as they do. Take interest in their lives but steer them away from negativity in a gentle way :)

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Know-it-all

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While I’m definitely not the authority on social commentary (as much as I would like to think so), I can tell you that I know just how important privacy is.
There are varying degrees of privacy and whilst I’m happy to share various parts of my life, there are certain things that I don’t want the random public to know. (Bet you can’t guess what colour underwear I’m wearing… I’ll never tell!)

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Sometimes it can be good to keep your lips sealed 

There are some people who have a strict “No posting” policy of their children, weddings, birthdays and other important life events. I kind of like it that way. At weddings almost every shot is ruined by a hand holding a phone in the way. Why don’t we all just sit back and relax and enjoy the day, trusting that the photographer is doing the job they’ve been hired for (I can guarantee that their skills and expensive camera sure beat your iPhone shots!)
As for children I can totally understand parents wanting to post up adorable pictures of their little one for their friends and family to see, just as much as other parent’s want to ensure that random people on the internet aren’t able to find their pictures.

Then comes the question just how much do we expect of celebrities and people that have jobs in the spotlight, to share with us?
Politicians, Actors, Musicians, Instagrammers, Bloggers… none of them are immune to the media war raging against them. Each editor pushing for the latest scoop, the stories behind the person.
I understand that being “famous” comes with certain responsibilities, but being human should also come with certain moral responsibilities. We are NOT entitled to know every little gritty detail about a celebrities life and death.
When famous pianist Liberace died, his family and friends tried to keep the cause of death out of the media. Am I interested? sure (the movie was quite good!) but if it wasn’t published I wouldn’t actively search for answers about someone I never even knew.

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In a split second so many assumptions could be made from a simple photograph. Shoot for Cleo Singapore. 

We almost have this sense of ownership over the people we constantly see in the media. I’ve seen girls berate models over their choice of work (Quite literally it was a young model shooting for a young girls’ fashion label. And the trolls in question were angry that her work was not high fashion enough.)
It seems that the magazines and tv shows feed our addiction to wanting to know all about celebrities. We’ve gone beyond asking questions about their latest role/concert/photograph or talking about the craft of what they do. Now a “really good interview” is one where Oprah gets someone to break down and cry, admitting their drug addiction or whatever horrible past experience they’ve had. The audience ohh’s and ahh’s, saying how they have a friend or family member who’s gone through something like that. And then the camera’s cut. The interviewer stops hugging the person and pretending they care, they walk away with their expensive fee and the celebrity is left cold, having dredged up some of their deepest darkest things all in the name of “entertainment”.
But this is not entertainment. Watching someone break down over months, weeks or days is not my idea of enjoyment. Laughing at memes about how “stupid, fat, ugly, hopeless, addicted and train-wrecked” someone is, can’t be good for you or for the other person.

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Another picture that could easily be misconstrued. (On set for Miracle Condo’s TVC shoot)

Humans are curious creatures by nature. If we weren’t, then we wouldn’t have discovered that we could utilize fire (thanks homies!). But stop and think about it. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable having those questions asked of yourself, and broadcasted to millions of people, then perhaps it’s not something that should be asked.

This leads me to my least favourite type of television. “Reality.” as much as you complain about how terrible it is, or how much you don’t want to see “Celebrity A” pick her nose on TV, if you keep watching it then the tv channels are going to keep paying to create them.
I think that the influx of  “reality tv”, seeing every aspect of someones life, has changed the way we think about privacy. But I’m telling you right now that if someone want’s to be private then it’s NOT OK to push them to open up more and “spill their secrets”.
If you agree with anything I’ve said, it’s so easy to let the world know. Simply don’t watch bad tv and don’t buy gossip magazines. Easy peasy!

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Is this my real wedding picture, or a simple dress up? :P 

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Reminiscing about the Future.

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Thinking about what to write for my first blog post of the year proved a tough one.

There are so many things that go through your mind when the new year is about to hit. Resolutions, all the things you have and haven’t achieved, the future… It’s almost overwhelming, this one day of the year everyone’s scrambling to make up new resolutions for all the things they didn’t do in the year. We feel so guilty, like we haven’t achieved enough. Like there wasn’t enough time in the world, enough money or enough opportunities.
Not that getting nostalgic and viewing your past through rose coloured glasses is going to help you any more or less anyway.

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Turn around and look at the past year you’ve had.

 

What I’m trying to get at is we put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve what everyone else is achieving. And whilst this is great (never stop striving to be better and do great things in your lifetime.) we tend to view others’ lives as more daring, much more successful and leaps and bounds ahead of ourselves.
Trust me everyone goes through this (if you don’t, then good on you!) it’s what keeps us on our toes, to want to push forward and do better.

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Then there are those that say “I’m going to make 2015 my bitch” (Don’t laugh, I only just heard this phrase myself… maybe I’m out of the loop!)
As in, they’re about to OWN this year like no other. Amen to that. To be honest 2014 was not a good year for me. it was just not my year, but then again I probably learnt a hell of a lot that will come into play in 2015 and the future. But maybe we should stop categorising things by year, month and day. Maybe it should just be “I want to achieve this. and I will work towards it every chance possible.”

So there it is, the first post of 2015. Let’s hope this years’ a good one… no wait, let’s hope that the future is as bright as the past!

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Children of the world

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One thing a friend told me, has always stuck with me. She was travelling with her boyfriend and we were both living in the same apartment block in Bangkok.

“We are the faces of the future!” she exclaimed, when I had told her that I was eurasian like her.
It’s not that it was an uncommon thing. Trust me, modelling in Asia you find plenty of Eurasian “brothers and sisters.” who look same same but different.

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South Africa, Slovakia & Australia.

I had never thought of it that way. I identified with my sister, my cousins, the rest of my family who were all mixed. It didn’t seem like anything special. But then I thought about it, there were plenty of countries where diversity in families was a rare thing.
Wow, being eurasian was actually different!
That’s where modelling and travelling has introduced me to everything new. I’ve seen pretty much every combination you can get. 1/2 mixes of asian and european, 1/4 mixes… African and European, Australian and South American, Pacific Island and European… and let me tell you every single one of them is absolutely stunning and special.
But there’s something more with these mixes than just the pure beauty, with it comes a completely different outlook on life. As my parents liked to explain it we get the “Yin and Yang” of life.
From my fathers European side, my sister and I were taught to strive for the very best in ourselves. To work hard at what we wanted, to be self reliant and understand the how and why of everything.
From my mother’s Asian heritage we were taught to care for family and take pride in the accomplishments of any family member as that reflected well on the whole family.

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UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Brunei

Growing up it had seemed like a completely normal way of thinking. (I had many eurasian friends at school!)
Being understanding of other people and other cultures was natural… Intolerance was never an option.
I recently spoke to a friend who’s daughter is going to an international school. She said it was incredible. Each child had to work through their differences, they could never simply say “He’s stubborn because he’s from XYZ” or “She’s quiet because she comes from ABC”
No longer can we blindly generalize a person or personality because of where they come from. Sure culture plays a part in shaping someone. But I know many vivacious Brazilians who love to dance, sing and party all night long. I also know just as many Brazilians who prefer to stay at home and curl up with a good book and a glass of wine.
This is simply being human.

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Russia, New Zealand, Canada, Australia

We have a running joke that the “Russian smile” is being deadpan. No smile at all.
Guess who started that. My Russian friend. Yep she laughed and smiled a lot. In fact more than most of us!
As easy as it is to generalize and point to someone and blame their actions or personality on their country of origin, that’s no longer an excuse. Mostly we have access to the internet, to education and humanity?

So I’m making my new years resolution to be more understanding of each person as an individual and not to judge them based on their country. I want to know more about where YOU grew up, your dreams and hopes, what you like and don’t like. Surely that’s more important!

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Can’t even begin to name all the nationalities in here but let me try: Aussie, German, Vietnamese, Canadian, Thai, Korean, American, Swiss, Swedish, Hawaiian, Chinese, French, Japanese, English, Spanish…. there’s so many more!!!

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A model club, revisited.

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I’m sure by now if you’ve been following my posts from the beginning, then you would have read my most popular post on “the truth about model clubs”

Now i’m about to re-open the subject, but this time it covers the return to a no longer elusive world. But trust me it might be different, but it doesn’t meant it’s any less fun. So sit back with your hot chocolate (or pina colada for my southern hemisphere readers) and enjoy the ride.

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You’ve been on a plane for twenty hours, the child in front of you has been screaming and crying. But none of this matters. On touchdown you’re about to be reunited with some of your best friends.
Bags are thrown into the models apartment. You know the drill already, this doesn’t phase you anymore.
Some of the newer models stare up at you expectantly. You don’t have time, you’re out of there and straight into a cab.
Your hair is a mess, so you throw it up into milkmaid braids, it’s the easiest “pretty” hairstyle you can do in the back of a car. Your makeup is half done, it’s ok. You’re a model, it’s expected if you to be in various states of makeup.
Eyeliner is swiped on, clothing is acceptable. You’re ready to go.

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The cab arrives and you practically bound out and straight into the club. The security remembers you, they’re already holding the velvet rope aside. You thank them as you call out their names.
As you stride up to the table, you can already see the gazelles standing around the bottles. Sparklers and fresh bottles of champagne are paraded out by girls dressed in playboy rabbit costumes. The music and lights shine brighter as if they’ve recognized your arrival.
The promoter is the first to spot you. But to you they’re no longer a way into the club. They’re the friend that got you home all those drunken nights, the friend who made sure you knew all of the models in town, the friend that’s always going to celebrate your first job, first birthday away from home… many firsts.
Around the table girls and guys are greeting you with hugs and kisses. Now this is what homecoming should feel like.

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Models speak in mixed languages, interchanging between English, portuguese, french and their native tongue. You surprise yourself and realize you can finally speak and understand this strange amalgamated “Mixed model” language.
You have now become “that model” the one that people speak of from legendary nights out, the one that new models know about before they even arrive in the country.
The club is electric, the feelings rush back. No matter how many times you come or go it’s always going to be an adventure.
Somehow in one night alone, you miraculously bump into at least ten friends that you haven’t spoken to since you left the country. It’s like nothing has changed at all. You pick straight up where you left off.
This is what it feels like to return.

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Beautiful Bullying

“I feel sorry for models, they have such a tough life.” – Said no one ever..
But perhaps it’s time to rethink all of that. I’m not saying you should outright pity us, or start a “save the models” fund, but for the people thinking that leading a models life is the answer to everything, sorry to burst that bubble, but it’s not.

An article was recently written in an Australian magazine about a model who happened to have been my roommate at one point in my life, while on contract in New Zealand. While she has gone on to be wildly successful in her career, I’ve watched proudly as she’s walked shows for all of the big names and booked the best campaigns.
The article in question is not worth reposting, the “journalist” clearly seemed bored with having to interview a model that didn’t fawn over him or act enamoured with him for his benefit. He speaks of her breasts being “unimpressive” in the first sentence, and at having “been staring at them on the internet for the last while”…
Imagine writing that about any other cover girl/boy. Would you interview an actor/politician/humanitarian and discuss their breasts/bodyparts as a way to introduce them? I think not.
Yes I understand as models our bodies are on display, our faces are our passport to our job and to travel the world. But it’s more than that. Personality does play a huge part. I’ve spoken to many show organizers and casting agents for tv commercials/campaigns. It’s more than just a pretty face, they want someone who embodies the brand. At castings these days, the client will take the time to talk to you, ask what your hobbies are, interests, favourite countries/music/food…
No longer are models nameless coat hangers. Instead they have followings of fans, instagram and twitter opening new channels to communicate with them.

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Kate Moss who has been called many many names, I applaud her ability to ignore the haters and keep doing what she wants.

The question I pose to you is: Do you think it’s ok to bully a model/person and write slanderous statements, simply because they’re pretty and surely must “have it all?”
Are models expected to only talk about insubstantial things, are we only to talk about fashion, diet and “skin/makeup tips”?
In the same article I mentioned above, the model in question spoke about practising feng shui, being an artist (something she has been doing long before modelling), her burgeoning acting career, travels, the long hours of working and dabbling in music. I found it fascinating. I wanted to know more about the correlation between modelling and her other passions. But instead the article kept skewing back to how much the writer disliked her and that he had “heard rumours” that she was “difficult.”
What a waste of an interview of an iconoclast. And I wasn’t the only one to think so. Several writers took to writing about how the article was written in poor taste, and the twitterverse was awash with backlash for the writer. Nobody personally attacked him, they were above that, unlike he was. Instead they highlighted that it’s NOT OK to write a misogynistic article, that this could have been an amazing article if he hadn’t focused so much on her breasts and instead focused on what she was saying.

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Robyn Lawley who has been called both “too fat” and “too skinny”.

Difficult is a word reserved for women who are not submissive, who do not dress and behave the way other people want them to.
This is the 21st century, we can all behave how we want (obviously within reason). Both men and women should be able to travel when and where they want, sleep with whomever they want, pose however they want and take whatever job they want.
The same writer questioned how she chose to pose topless “A lot of the time” according to him. (A quick count of her most recent photo’s, less than 10% are topless, not that the number should matter.)
As a model who has posed topless numerous times, I enjoyed the experience and the result. I loved the pictures and never felt pressured into doing anything I didn’t want to.
If you don’t want to see the pictures, don’t read the type of fashion magazines that are going to print them. Don’t search for them on the internet. It’s as simple as that. No one is forcing you to search and look at things you don’t want to.

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Barbara Palvin who has been scorned for moving into acting, and also for her weight. (both too big and too small… Can one ever win that debate?)

When i started modelling I was so keen on seeing my first runway pictures. The agency usually does this for you if it’s for magazines, commercials.. anything that you can use in your book. But runway pictures are not a necessary thing for your portfolio, so it’s left to the model to find them.
I was 16 at the time, and eagerly searched the internet for my photo’s. When I found them I was so excited, until I read some of the comments.
“This girl was such a bad walker, she looked like she was struggling the whole time.”
“Why does she look so scared. I could do way better”
“She shouldn’t be in this show, the blonde girl after her was hotter.”
Sure there were some nice comments, but it seems people are more inclined to write something mean than nice. At first I thought to defend myself. “But I’m only 16, I’ve never worn heels before, this was my first fashion week! I’m new at this, please give me some time to learn..”
But I didn’t say anything. I’m sure that those people assumed the model they were writing mean things about would never see the comments, but I did.
Did I let it affect me? maybe for a second, then I thought back to the amazing week I’d had, and brushed it off. I vowed never to look at the comments on runway pictures again, and got on with life.

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Kate Upton dubbed everything from “too sexual, too fat, too blonde, too american”… She is one extremely intelligent girl, watch full length interviews of her she has a hell of a business mind and is more than just a pretty face and great body! She’s religious and used to show horses at events, but you won’t find that in many articles.

But others are not so lucky, Celebrities, supermodels and your average school kid all get cyber bullied day in day out. For them there is no escape. Kids going through this at school, I can’t even imagine what it’s like. You leave school and the terrible day is over right? Wrong, as soon as you log onto your instagram, twitter, Facebook, myspace.. any social media, it starts all over again. Except that the bullies are even worse, they’ll say things that they’re too cowardly to say to your face. Post hurtful comments, tell someone “to kill yourself.”
I can’t imagine saying that to my worst enemy, but apparently it’s ok to say it from behind a computer screen. Extremely low, extremely cowardly, they’re probably not even thinking about the impact of the words they’re saying.
Celebrities are not immune to this. No amount of money, fame, and the good life can shield you from the effects of cyber bullying. Take Charlotte Dawson for example. She was a successful model and TV host, stunningly beautiful, had great family, money, health and loved by many.
But she was attacked day in and day out on twitter and instagram by countless trolls. It’s so easy to say “ignore it” or “Focus on the good things in life.” But I’ve never been under the immense pressure and spotlight like that, as I’m sure not many of us have.
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The late Charlotte Dawson.

What it comes down to is, should we really be judged on our own personal choices that don’t affect anyone else? #sorrynotsorry

*Make sure you watch the video above, it highlights school kids going through bullying and just how much it can affect a person.
Keep some tissues handy!

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A models first 3 days overseas.

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Day 1: You land, bleary eyed, excited and nervous all at the same time. If you’re lucky a booker is there to pick you up (which you will later find out is charged at $100 as “Chauffer” fees) If you’re not so lucky, you have the address written down somewhere and make your own way to the models apartment.
Navigating your way through this strange city is like adventure time, never mind you’ve just spent the last 23 hours in a small cramped tin cylinder that they call an “Airbus”.  More like a torture chamber for the claustrophobic.
If you’re overly tired then a taxi seems like the most sensible option. However if you’re a young model without much money and have a strong sense of adventure, then you find the nearest train station or bus that’s heading to the city.
12 wrong turns later and you’ve made it! Welcome to the models’ apartment.
What greets you is definitely not what you had in mind. The place is stuffed full of junk, an old couch. Coffee cups and plates lying around. Several eastern bloc models look up at you, then go straight back into their conversation in their native tongue. Ignoring you completely.
You open several doors to various rooms and bathrooms, before finally finding a spare bed. Dump your stuff. Lock your passport in your bag and slide it under your bunk bed. Yes you read correctly, grown adults sleeping in bunk beds.
This is the glamorous life of travelling models.

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Day 2: Luckily there’s a model heading into the agency to collect their pocket money. So you dutifully follow them to go and meet the agency for the first time in person.
The conversation on the way there is strained, you both struggle to understand each other. But hey, at least someone’s talking to you now. Once you get to the agency however, they leave you standing at the door looking like an idiot. Waiting to see who it is that you should speak to. They flounce off to the accountant, complaining loudly about needing more money.
Once the bookers realize you’ve been standing there for 5 minutes, they sit you down and go through measurements, take digitals, catwalk video, intro video, look through your book and make sure you get the rundown on how to get around this new country.
It doesn’t matter that all of this has been sent weeks before in advance to the agency. You spend an hour or longer in there. Until you realize you’ve been sitting there and no one has spoken to you for the last 5 minutes.
“Are we done?” you ask.
The booker looks up, “Yes, sure you’re finished.” Then she goes back to typing furiously.
The rest of the day is yours to explore and go to castings.
A hand drawn map is handed to you with half an hour to get to the place. You’re definitely going to be late. Oh well, first time in the country.
Once you get to the place there’s a dozen models waiting around, shoes off and music blaring out of an iPhone somewhere. You think it’s a techno song from poland…
A model looks up and smiles at you. You smile back.
“are you new?” they ask.
A FRIEND! You try not to freak out, but finally there’s someone being nice!!!
“Yep” you reply.
You go and sit with them. conversation ensues about how to get around, the rundown on who’s in town and where the best/cheapest places are to eat.
Once you swap numbers and are introduced to all of their friends, you feel like you can finally relax a little. There are people here who smile and want to hang out!

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Day 3: You wake up to find someone shuffling in quietly into your room with suitcases. They are the new you… They look confused, probably having met the same non-greeting from your other housemates that you received the night before.
“you speak english?” they ask.
“yeah.”
Relief. complete and utter relief. Little do you know this person is about to become your best friend for the next 3 months….

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