I’ve recently decided that I have too many eggs in one basket and too many fingers in a pie. And as much as it’s brilliant to think that I am a “Jack of all trades”- reality is that where you focus you grow. And unfortunately it is impossible to grow in too many avenues.
I have had to deal with a few personal challenges which caused another Lupus flare. This consisted of mostly extreme fatigue, flu-like symptoms, aching joints and recently swollen face. Not being able to sleep comfortably yet feeling so incredibly exhausted really took its toll. Then the social media frustrations…
As most of you know; I’ve taken a short break from Social Media. This was prompted after the frustration of not being able to follow other accounts, like others’ posts at times and not being able to comment on other’s posts. Should you not know this; these actions are all integral for the growth of your social media profiles. (Besides the fact that I actually enjoy interacting with my followers.)
I do not take it [social media] too seriously; however I do depend on getting work through some of my social media pages. This all led to me deciding on a little detox. Now as much as such a decision is rather easy; allot of my close friends continue checking up on me asking me whether I’m “coping” without my Social Media accounts. Was I really that much on those platforms that people thought I’d struggle?
Whilst all of this is said with tongue in cheek, one of the scariest realisations recently is that people place so much value on social media that they actually identify their social standing or even their life accomplishments on being “available, present and seen” on their profiles. Their “likes” and “followers” become such an obsession that they begin to identify themselves with it! Studies have now shown that teen depression and teen suicidal tendencies are at its highest ever. This largely due to the pressure of a “false life” on social media.
You see it way too often on the story lines. You see someone you idolise at some prominent restaurant and perhaps take a short video of sipping on some exotic drink with bags of shopping around them. This now seems very ideal; and probably cool to the average teen, who copies this. Only they try and emulate what they saw. Perhaps trying on the newest brand clothing and posting it as if they have just bought it. Another peer sees this and envies this. Perhaps goes to a bespoke bar and takes a snap insinuating that they dine there. This is seen by others who now feel so depressed that they are unable to afford these kind of life styles exhibited by their peers. And so the circle continues. Talking to people “in the know”, social media is still so new that these issues that come along with it is just as new, and our experts have no experience in treating this. Or very little at the moment.
It’s become quite evident how Social Media can take over and how one can allow it to affect them. Taking breaks and also limiting the amount of time you “check” on what’s going on, “checking in” to see what is going on, and “checking new likes and follows”, all will benefit your mental health I assure you. What I have personally realised from this is that when I have a spare moment I usually grab my phone and try catching up.
When I announced that I’d take a break, I deleted every social media application off my phone. This not only takes away temptation to “just quickly check what’s going on”, but also in those moments that you’d forget about your decision. I am so surprised that I have continuously had a couple moments free time and automatically went for my phone to catch up, only to see a void where the apps were – and feeling literally confused and lost. Like what now? What can I do with the time I used to spend on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter?
With most smart phones now; you are able to gauge how much time is spent on your phone, and reminders “to take breaks”.
This break from my virtual reality made me realise that I’m not only “detoxing” from Social Media, I’m freeing up “thinking space” and allowing my creative juices to flow freely. Less human interaction – which in reality exhausted me – and more ME time. Whilst social media is an integral part of what I do; I will from now on take one day completely away from all social media, as well as once a month take a four day break. I’d suggest to anyone and everyone to do the same. Take days completely away from Social Media – to allow your mind a break as well as to connect with nature/family/real life/ hobbies etc. It is so easy to get carried away with this virtual reality. So easy to loose sight of YOU. So easy to get caught up in other people’s (pretend?) lives and neglect your own self.
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!
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…
If you are a loyal follower; you would have seen a while back that Ive posted some of the weird and wonderful DM’s I receive from followers. Most the time these are from the arb guys. The “passer by’s” I’d like to call them 😂
Note that I don’t always disclose their names as I really dislike “naming and shaming”. A lot of you disagree with this; however I do not feel good/satisfied/better/empowered in embarrassing someone else; and certainly not out there to “teach lessons”. This is good comical fun though…
I’m often asked how I even deal with it or cope with it. Very easily. 1. They have no idea who I am, 2. They were raised not respecting women 3. They have problems with their sexual lives 4. They are trollers
U no pretty anyway!!!!!
Sugar Daddy Proposal
Wanting to get spoilt rotten with good money, afford luxury clothes, shoes and good lifestyle with a weekly allowance? Am a sugar daddy looking for a loyal and honest sugar Baby to take care of, kindly HMU if interested.
I’m still waiting 😎
Dude: Hey kan u send naked video pvt
Me: You first
Dude: Ai jis do video call
Me: No, just send me a video of you
Dude: No do not hafe video of me
Me: Send me a video of you
Me: Send me a video of you
Me: A naked one
Me: Dude – seriously? Let’s think about this. Really carefully
Me: You really think I will send “naked pictures or videos” of me? To you? Who are you even? If you want naked videos or pictures go look on pornsites. Bye
Me: BTW send me your parents details – I need to congratulate them on teaching you manners and respect
Dude: Hiiiiiiiii sexy
Dude: You are so gorgeous, and have an incredible delicious body. Tell me, would a fine women like you be taken? Let’s hook up sometime and I can show you a few things *insert an unusual amount of arb emoji’s*
Dude: I guess the cat caught your tongue *insert double of the above amount of emoji’s*
Me: Hey there, thank you. No – however you did appear to message me at 3am. And in all fairness I was catching up on some much needed beauty sleep. No kitties in sight! That leads me to my next answer. I have never gone anywhere against my will, therefor not “taken”. I am however married 🙂
Dude: Aaaaaaaah sorry. Just delete this message. Thanks. I didn’t mean any of it anyway
Me: WHAT? Are you telling me I’m ugly?
Dude: That is not what I meant.
Me: Oh, so I’m not gorgeous, nor fine?
Dude: No, you are very beautiful
Me: Oh you’re assuming that I won’t be lost anymore since I’m “taken” therefor you won’t need to show me “a few things”?
Me: Out of curiosity; what exactly were you going to show me (considering you appear to be 19 and I am 39)
USER NOT FOUND
Too Easy 2
Dude: Can I ask you something?
Me: (think: here we go….) Typing: Sure 😊
Dude: When you pose, do you get horny. Or do you turn the photographer on?
Me: No, and no. This is a job. Do you get turned on at work?
Me: Well I don’t
Dude: Can I send you a picture?
Me: No thank you
Dude: Have a nice evening
Dude: If you change your mind……
Dude: Thnx 4 da follow love ur gallery wow
Me: Thank you
Dude: Pleasure do you mind sharing some pictures or videos mwa
Me: You may find all my images on artbyam.com
Dude: Was hoping u would make it more special by sending it 4 me Swt *insert roses and hearts and kisses and hearts and roses*
Me: Thanks. I’m a professional model. I don’t swap images. All my images are “special”
Dude: Im totally aware of that but u caught my attention and I find u so attractive its also my dream and vision to become a pro bodybuilder
Me: I suggest you do your research prior to addressing any lady and disrespecting her. I am not a porn star. One of the lessons I suggest you learn (on your way to get your Pro card and being a prominent figure within the industry) is respect and being humble. NOT asking to swap nude videos.
Me: Have a nice life
Dude: Hey! hgd?
Dude: halo sexy; wmj?
Me: what does that even mean?
Dude: jmr mooi dang. js bja mooi!
Dude: Jys rrg bja mooi
Whilst I do try and engage as much as I can with my followers on IG, I limit my time on Facebook. I also found that the people on Facebook are – in general and not everyone – a little more rude and crude. Perhaps I have just started loosing interest due to the very strict rules and restrictions. Regardless, I value each person who follows me, respects me and takes the time to appreciate what I do. Whatever their thoughts, assumptions or intentions are!
Version 3 will most likely be posted soon! Hope you had a little giggle 😜
I have been quiet, I know. I’m not sorry though. The past year was a toughie. Not just on me…I know a lot of us have had to face demons, stumbling blocks and other challenges. It’s been a goodie and a baddie. We have seen the end of so many wicked ways and the beginning of new chapters. Alone time – alot of it – is needed. And if you are not making time to be alone and work on your heart and mind, then I’m afraid the challenges will continue.
Personally, the hardest part of some of the challenges was griefing – when someone was still alive (not that it is easier when someone pass). PTSD; when something rocked your world so hard, yet it was such an unobvious event to have caused such trauma. I’m not just talking of my own experiences, I know that many of us have faced this.
During this same period, many people have searched inwards too. Questioning life and the way things are. A true awakening or consciousness. Becoming aware of what’s hurt or broken within themselves or within the world, and the deeper realisation that we are all responsible to make a difference or change.
I’ve loved and despised this journey – my anxiety and depression rolling to and fro in waves. My autoimmune disease teasing at the tip op my front door. My chronic fatigue taunting me every so many hours. This has however taught me how friggen strong and stubborn I am. That my love for my children and my determination and will, to be successful and to continue to run successful business’ is stronger than all the mental and physical games I’ve glanced at yet not succumbed to.
The biggest challenges or lessons for me is being vulnerable and letting go. Letting go of the past, and letting go of the hurt. And following that; allowing myself to be vulnerable.
This is to remind you that you will be okay. Do not give up on yourself, or your goals. Do not be so hard on yourself. Stop resisting the lessons and curveballs the universe is throwing at you. Instead, acknowledge it and ask yourself – what am I meant to learn from this? Go easy on yourself, make yourself a priority, and most of all smile!!!