Your Understanding vs My Reality

Your Understanding vs My Reality

Many a times I am asked the strangest questions; (strange to me) about what I do – or I hear the assumptions and can’t help but have a giggle.

To understand what I do, is to understand why I am doing what I do first. Have I lost you? What I mean is that when you look at my work, my posts on Instagram and my website; there is a general assumption as to what I do without realising what I actually do.

In the past I’ve received private messages on Social Media…

Asking for explicit images of me sometimes posing in suggestive ways. Usually this amuses me; and I always ask what gave them the idea that I’d do that or that I’m a porn star. And usually the response would be that I shouldn’t get offended as I am the one “asking for it” by posting nude images of myself. My first question would usually be : where did I show my genitals and second question : where do I pleasure myself.

You see, we as humans, and we as society have been lied to for so many years that we actually believe that the human body is a dirty, sinful thing when not covered with fabric. We have taught generations of children to be ashamed of themselves. To be embarrassed with what we were born with. That evil creatures will lurk around any corner and will pounce on you for showing a little too much skin. That there would be justification for those acts! You asked for it after all by “exposing” some of what you were born with!!

I was asked in a recent interview what I’d tell anyone who condemns what I do or brand my work as pornography. The difficult thing is that I cannot change society’s mind single handily. I do however believe that if we brought our children up to love their own bodies, and not to be ashamed of their bodies, that we respect each other’s naked bodies – not by hiding it but accepting it as natural and normal. Not to sexualise nudity and skin; that it would solve so many of our crimes and the worlds issues today.

Think about it…

There would be less sexual crimes, less depression due to self esteem issues, less self harm and eating disorders. Imagine a world with more confidence and acceptance of one self? We would have so much more success in every business sector! So many more people would achieve their dreams and optimum productivity!

Captured by Boudoir Fusion Photography

I digress. Years ago when I posed for a boudoir shoot, and whilst changing outfits, the photographer of the day asked whether he could take a shot (picture) of me. My back was facing him and I was dressed in only my knickers. I felt a little shy yet intrigued. I’ve never really had an issue with being naked; yet I’ve never actually thought of being photographed naked.

Once I got changed into my next outfit the photographer showed me on the LCD viewer what he had taken of me whilst topless. It was a gorgeous shot. It summed up to me; what I see in women. Soft, elegant, warm, feminine, sensual, love, beauty all in one. I was amazed that THAT was me! And so I was happy to shoot implied nude. After realising that this not only motivated me to share the beauty of a woman, but also to encourage other women – who do not have self confidence – that they are in fact beautiful in their own skin!

After a few months of shooting boudoir and implied nude; I met Peter from Boudoir Fusion Photography who took my first bodyscape images and I was blown away! Never mind that the images I was looking at; was of me!!! However; the human body is so darn beautiful. And every other bodyscape that Peter have done, took my breath away. I quickly learned that my art, my expression through my modelling and the images taken by me, can show emotion and can evoke emotion.

When you look at my work…

I would like to believe that most people see past the ‘nakedness’. That you notice the colours, the shapes, the textures in the images. That you are able to feel or notice whether there is sorrow, or happiness. Whether the image is more of a fine art piece to be hung on a wall of a surgeons office, or something that could be looked at or admired from your mobile phone screen, used in an advertising campaign empowering women, or used as a PC screensaver. That you can believe that I’m more than a ‘naked woman’; someone who at the age of 39 believes wholeheartedly that ANYONE can love themselves and is art. That anyone – no matter what your age, your size or your background – can love the skin that they are in. That nudity DOES NOT equal sexuality.

I love modelling, photography and matters of the heart and mind. I love art. I love the human body. Combine all of these; and you will find what I do. This is only the beginning…

What I do

What I do


Image captured by Daniel Craig Johnson

How it started

I think one of the common questions I receive is: “how do you do what you do?”. Which goes hand in hand with “when did you start doing what you’re doing?” as well as “what made you decide to do what you do?”. However the most frequently asked question about me would be: what do you actually do?

Though there is no definitive answer to these questions, I figured I’d tell you a little more about how I happened to get into this profession; what else I do and reply to some of those exciting rumours going around.

You’d be surprised to know that as much as I am a shmodel, I do have a few qualifications and do in fact come from a learned back ground. I am also a dork; and love big words, big books, big subjects and most of all big love.

A few years ago, I made the decision to turn my life around. Always being an outcast; always being different and always battling to fit within the expected norm of society – it took it’s toll and I had to make some changes.

I did a fun shoot for a friend, and after was approach by another photographer to do a fun lifestyle and boudoir shoot. I was really flattered as I never saw myself pretty enough to do any such shoots, let alone good enough to be approach by a pro photographer. During that shoot, I had no problem getting changed in front of this particular photographer, who later asked if I would be willing to shoot nude, which in all fairness was a pretty liberating thought; however being from a corporate background and married with children, I declined. Why? Because of the fear of what others would say and think.

Goodbye Corporate

Fast forward a couple years when I had shot with various photographers (mostly amateurs) and started posing nude more often.

I was at work the one day and realised how wasted my life was. Getting up each day, dreading what I did, dreading the people at the financial firm, dreading contacting my network of people having to do meetings when I’d much rather sit and chat to them about their lives – rather than selling them the next “exclusive investment”. In the interim I also co-owned a separate business assisting people to invest in a diverse portfolio of investments (currency, precious metals, property, crypto etc)

I lost my rag a couple times at the office and one day Marc our senior manager called myself and a colleague in for a “chat” about performances etc. Marc was really lovely about my , non performance, yet I decided right there and then that I will not return or fight or beg. I phoned my husband and the decision to quit my corporate life was then made.

**I still have a financial company in which I am a silent partner, and still assist people investing in anything but fiat currency**

Image captured by Daniel Craig Johnson

My vision and passion

I started investing more of my time (no pun intended) in photoshoots and created a website. Working alongside professional photographers, I have created a vast portfolio of images that have since been used and sold for marketing, art, sketching, advertising etc. Since this decision was made I have started to mentor younger models and fitness athletes as well as young individuals in various aspects of their lives to achieve their goals. I am a life coach and busy studying psychology to become a trauma counsellor.

Along with the above you may call me a serial networker, influencer and artist. My business now extends to assisting companies and brands with their marketing through my contacts and models/athletes.

Those Tellers of Tall Tales

Rumours will always be around. You simply cannot be in my industry if you do not have a thick skin. One thing I have made peace with, is the fact that you as the viewer and reader will make up your own mind. Whether I take my clothes off (and therefor a “porn star”), or whether I create something beautiful on film: is an opinion you have that I do not control. My aim is to create something beautiful visually. And furthermore to show others that they can “start over” – at any age. You are not limited to what you can do and when you can do this.

My personal goals are to inspire as many people as possible and to make a positive difference in their lives.

I do socialise a lot and therefore I will always be seen with several people. This does not mean I am romantically involved with them. I have two children one of which is at Uni studying art, and the other being gifted as he is; is at home school and a junior SA gymnast. Both are successful and driven children and both are very proud of me.

My family are all very proud of me. Some of them are very religious and others are not. They are my biggest fans and accept what I do just as they would accept another person in a different industry.

If you would like any information on any of the services I offer; feel free to mail me on: [email protected]

Let it be…

Let it be…

We are all guilty of hypocrisy. It certainly isn’t intended, yet we all do this.

I have yet again had a rant on social media regarding some of my posts being deleted from my pages. Taking it rather personally sometimes; I can’t understand why people would report my images. It’s art after all! If people do not like it; then they should scroll past or unfollow me!

This morning I read a post that made me stop and rethink this thought process. If you know me; you’d know I’m all about love and kindness. About tolerance and acceptance. Yet here I am throwing a wobbly like a three year old, because I am not having my way. Because people are unfair!

I was brought up by my mamma to accept that everyone will never think the same way, believe in the same things, and feel the same. Example being that different religions; one believes modesty as part of their religious culture and that it would be a sin to bare any skin or hair. The other believes it would be wrong to eat certain kind of foods. Does it make either religion wrong or right? No. There is no wrong or right. Similarly when you have someone who believes a high protein or Keto diet is the way to go, and someone else believes that you should really only have a plant based diet. Neither is wrong; you do what is best for you and what is good for your reality.

So this post I read that was posted by a close friend; states that nudity will always offend someone. Will always be “too this or too that”. There’s no point in fighting this as we are all human and all very different. And it dawned on me that I am an advocate for equality. For supporting one another no matter what your thought processes are – yet here I am getting angry for people not seeing or believing what I am, believe or stand for.

Consider this

Surely it’s disrespectful to dismiss other people’s point of views, opinions and beliefs? Yes it certainly is unjust for those to then preach what is wrong with what you do and condemn you for it; however we live in a society – all be it unfair mostly – where we have freedom of speech and beliefs. Therefore surely we should be more considerate of one another’s lives and how they choose to live it; or how we choose to express ourselves. Though I’d implore each person to look past the superficial and perhaps to dig  a little deeper as to what others do and how they live prior to condemning them; I’d certainly also suggest to move along should it not be your kind of “thing”. You know? Like when you get an invitation to the movies, but you much rather sit at home? Or you’re vegan and invited to a Buckhurst festival? You would politely decline and get on with life!

Based on the above I’ve decided to acknowledge that though I am on a mission to not only empower other women – to feel proud of being themselves and in their own skin, but also not to care what other’s think; I will respect the fact that not everyone agrees on nudity. I may not understand why. I may not necessarily agree on their thought processes; I will however respect their opinions and move on. Rather than having a tantrum as to why people don’t see life through my eyes.

I will continue with my work. Doing what I do; I hope to perhaps have some see something beautiful in what I do. Some to change their perception on the nude human form. And if I don’t; that is also okay.

All that ink for what?

All that ink for what?

I am often asked about my tattoos and it’s certainly a great conversation starter.

You may notice that I have a few and, they are all rather random. What I love about it; is that each of them has some meaning behind it, and whilst not everyone gets it; I feel that I’m a walking piece of art with a pinch of my biography.

Taken by Peter Driessel from
Boudoir Fusion Photography

The very first (Mistake)

My very first tattoo was a home job; done by a high school friend. In fact, he bought a tattoo gun but wasn’t quite sure how to use it. I actually repel to think what we did. We used the needle from the gun and manually poked my ankle whist dripping ink into the wound. Mine was a cross.

A badly done cross.

This sat on my ankle for 2 years.  My mum wanted to kill me!! Thank goodness my mum was only thinking that, as my friend’s mum took sandpaper and bleach to hers. She didn’t come to school for a few days after that, as her ankle was badly infected.

The second which is still the first

I then became close friends with Pieter who had his first tattoo shop across the way from my house.

Pieter “fixed” my mishap of a cross and covered it with a blonde angel. This was for my 17th birthday – and he designed/created it.

An angel with a snake wrapped around her and my star sign (Aquarius) above her head. I still have this piece on my ankle. This represented me (I was blonde at the time), and life experiences having a hold on me (the snake).

Tramp Stamp Generation

A year later I fell in love with the idea of a ….dum dum duuuuuum TRAMP STAMP! Not any tramp stamp…. A  TRIBAL stamp – which I designed myself. It was pretty and fluffy and feminine. And Pieter did it for me too.

I then decided I had enough tattoos… That was short lived though as whilst living in the UK, I wanted more I realised. This took a backseat since I had to “adult” first and raise two babies.

Phoenix Rising

By the time I moved back to South Africa, I had decided I wanted a side or back piece (Only about 10cm big) of a phoenix. I have faced many adversities and managed to get over many stubbling blocks in my life time.

Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again

I went off to a recommended tattoo artist who told me that the bird I wanted was never going to look the way I wanted it to look, at the small size I wanted. So they set out drawing what they said would be the right size…. My entire back.

This was beautiful, and powerful and gorgeous. And I wanted it so badly, I told them to go ahead.

5 hours later; my body went into shock. The outline was done, but because I was so very skinny at the time as well as 5 hours is a long sitting – we called it a day. After that day I had another 4 sittings with this tattoo artist. A couple years later I went to a female artist who coloured my bird; added beautiful tail feathers and extended the wings.

Shortly after that I had my first thigh piece done. A crystal heart that represent my household, surrounded by my husband and children’s birth flowers.

Taken by Peter Driessel from
Boudoir Fusion Photography

The love affair continues at AWHE

But the bug has bitten. A couple years ago I went AWHE Tattoo’s and had my thigh piece added to. I am obsessed with geometry and ancient geometrical shapes – and the meaning of it.

I’ve added two triangles that are meant to be prisms with a rose inside of each.

One is facing up and the other downwards. Triangles represent the past, present and future as well as body mind and soul. Pointing up triangle means strong foundation or stability; pointing downwards would signify ascend from above/heaven. Upwards triangle also indicates male as downwards indicates female. This all tied together with a plant motive (although the triangles aren’t together they grow together)

Medusa

My next piece is my Medusa.

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone.

Though Tony and I stumbled across the idea, it has deeper meaning to me. And without divulging too much into that; it does represent a stage in my life where I have questioned male intentions.

Skull

Along came the skull. This piece is probably the only piece that doesn’t have a personal attachment for me. It’s F*#king amazing right?? At the end when we all pass away we return to bones then to dust. My pretty skull lady has my favourite flower (Orchids) on top her head and a mandala behind her and you can see glimpse of it through her eyes.

Flower of Life etc.

My next piece was my butterfly with the Flower of life and Metatron Cube. I am very spiritual and upon my journey to figure out what my purpose is; I have learnt that I am a 22 (in numerology this is a powerful number) and that I’ m a powerful healer. Metatron’s Cube starts with the Fruit of Life shape, and connects all 13 circles with straight lines.  It’s named after Archangel Metatron, who watches over the flow of energy in creation and provides a connection to the divine.

My piece on my arm (which will likely grow into a sleeve) is from my very favourite artist Chiara Bautista. Her art is a mixture of love stories. To me I see the universe in all of them.

My latest tattoo is a vine-like plant on the right side of my body. This has so much potential to add to should I wish. I love plants and I’m rather surprised that I don’t have more on my body. Plants remind me of growth, Mother Nature, natural healing and most of all renewed love and beauty. Like second chances.

NEXT!

My next tattoo will be done on April Fool’s day. Though Tony and I have a couple things we are adding to my art work; I still keep thinking of new ideas.

I want people to want to take a closer look. Not think that it’s just another body covered in tattoos. Tony’s talent is beyond amazing!! I am blessed that he is my artist and has become such a dear friend. All of the AWHE team are incredible.

You may get hold of Tony on 072 248 0092 for any tattoo related quotes and bookings. Check him out on IG: @tony_barcelos and @awhe_tattoo_lifestyle_studio

Wild Woman

Wild Woman

WILD WOMAN (n) A woman who has reclaimed her birth rite as an emotional and powerful being. A woman who does not confirm to societies expectations of her gender: but dances to the beat of her own drum.

She is sensitive and soft, fierce and honest. A truth seeker, wisdom carrier, and messenger of her ancestors 🖤

A wild woman is so many things, but this archetype is often misunderstood. 

To every archetype there is both a shadow and integrated side

Wild women are mothers who have reclaimed themselves. Committed lovers who prioritize self-love and understand that freedom is an inside job.

Wild women are single women who choose to laugh, make love and play with whoever lights their spark, free of societal pressure or self judgment.

A Wild Woman with integrated qualities has a thirst for knowing herself and a desire to go deep beyond the surface of what we see as normal. She is fierce, loving and honest. She is a seeker, a wisdom carrier.

She is willing to walk alone to have what she deserves and she is willing to let love in when it arrives.

She isn’t wild because she lives a certain way, she is Wild because she lives by the guidance of Spirit and her Heart.

From @risingwoman