Quick fix anecdotes are way better than creating your own well-being. As my insurgence into my thirties continues, I can’t help but feel an oft pious air from many an ignorant recluse who cannot, or safely will not, fathom ease at believing to be & live in freedom. A freedom that they could, at the most part, possibly never ascertain to experience. Instead, herding by numbers seems secure. My quick fix tonic of consuming energy is creating a fantasy alter ego that lives in pictures conjured up by me or magician photographers who also enjoy telling a story caught in single images. I’m chasing my dragon.

Women socializing around women can be a treacherous experience, should you be female. Yea, we’re generally la-di-da peace loving creatures who all dream of puffed up cupcake dresses with the unyielding desire to prevail as brides with dreams of birthing a plethora of little beings made in our own image & that of Prince Charming.

Ho-hum

Savone_Memoirs_of_a_Bald_Bride_JDRP-154

This dear dame unwittingly became punk-ish! She started balding and instead of becoming entirely embarrassed about it the slowly started accepting it. Click on the link to her story on her difficulty and efforts of a new normal.

Fantasy is very important to our daily grind. So much so, that without it, we’d just be truly and thoroughly dull people. Take my friend *Joe, for instance. *Joe is not his real name, but for the sake at feigning an attempt to hide his identity, I give him the pseudonym *Joe.

So, take my friend *Joe. If *Joe did not have an intense fascination with flying & an attraction of one day becoming a pilot (he’s 48, I’m no dream crusher, but I doubt he’ll become a pilot anytime soon) with a vast collection of toy airplane models and other aero paraphernalia accommodated by a strooong dose of aviophobia, then *Joe would just be a dude that is afraid to fly.

But his fantasy keeps him alive, stable and physically occupied. It’s his beast to conquer.

Us social mortals have a sanctimonious habit of seeking permission to live out, legal, parts of our fantasies, or permission to be at ease with inner selves along with a need for the all-powerful “OK” stamp on an invisible passport into social acceptance.

Well, well, well, I herewith provide you with a list of my top five people who I’ve never ever met and probably never ever will meet, that have indirectly influenced my sense of self. They have created their own “I’m-A-OK” stamp and they sold it well.

#1 Dolly Parton & Brenda Fassie!

The sight and sound of Brenda Fassie generally makes me feel happy. The thought of her conjures up pleasant childhood memories.

images: Left, getty images, center- last.fm, right- afripopmag.com

images: Left, getty images, center- last.fm, right- afripopmag.com

 

 

 

WHOA! Miss Parton is my all-time hero. Greatest all-time hero of ALL time. I need to write an entire dialogue to express my deepest gratitude to her! Instead, I’ll administer this little gem from her.

images: Left- The River Unbroken 1987 album cover, Second from left- promo poster, third from left-Dolly Playboy Bunny 1978, far right- pinkisthenewblog.com

images: Left- The River Unbroken 1987 album cover, Second from left- promo poster, third from left-Dolly Playboy Bunny 1978, far right- pinkisthenewblog.com

 

 

 

 

#2 Grace Jones

I know right? Why didn’t I list her at number one, right? Growing up, my dad used to call me Princess Grace Jones or Princess Brenda Fassie. I still do adore both artists and actively still do emulate their stances in the mirror and belt out their lyrics softly when I’m in the shower. Miss Dolly I placed at #1 as she somehow has a pleasant way of saying “Fuck your beauty standards, I’ll create my own and build an empire!”

images: left, second left & far right- pleasemagazine.com, Second right- James Bond 007 A View for a kill promo poster 1985

images: left, second left & far right- pleasemagazine.com, Second right- James Bond 007 A View for a kill promo poster 1985

 

 

 

 

#3 Just Miss Paris

She’s just hooot. I’d hate to “objectify” women as, to me, a woman dressed as virginal as Joss Stone and the likes, can be just as sexualised and objectified as any half naked woman. Misogynistic crassness doesn’t care for wardrobe, the only difference is that the less clothes the easier it is to justify the crass viewer’s behavior/ commentary;  the more clothes equal the more conniving and underhanded the bladed lust. My experience from being demure is that the perverts are the ones you least expect to whisper disgusting things in passing when you’re usual attire is close to that of a burqa.

Such a detour of thoughts, inspired by this alternative model of which I know so little about. I, in all earnesty, have tried to find out more about Just Miss Paris, other than her being born in Germany and that she is a Hip-Hop industry model.

images: cutiecentral.com & tokenblackgirl.com

images: cutiecentral.com & tokenblackgirl.com

 

 

 

 

#4 Samantha Lebbie

She is my unicorn. That is all.

images: tokenblackgirl.com; Full Blossom magazine cover

images: tokenblackgirl.com; Full Blossom magazine cover

 

 

 

 

#5 Stacey McKenzie

The Jamaican born beauty defies everything that is normal. I’m not into super model fandom and I’d never purchase anything they’re marketing. But I admire this lady’s tenacity at spinning around constant rejecting for model jobs and eventually got what she wanted. I love everything about her!

http://www.theeyecasting.com/blog/tag/stacey-mckenzie/

images: left- Sirthy & Pratha, centre- clutchmagonline.com, far right- Toronto Life Magazine

images: left- Sirthy & Pratha, centre- clutchmagonline.com, far right- Toronto Life Magazine

 

 

 

 

The existence of these dear darlings have somehow morphed the idea into my, below average IQ’d, brain, that it is “OK” to just do SOMETHING with in life and not just stagnate into obscurity.

Currently, in my life,It is frequently escalating to awkward as me being “the eccentric friend”. But, albeit slowly, I am finding like minded people through the back splash that is my  hobby I have selected which is creating myself as a niche, so that I can open up minds and doors for other socially awkward penguins.

Yes, tattoos are mainstream now . Having tattoos is even less exclusionary even. Yes, it slowly gladdens me that it is so, as the topic as a whole opens up the idea that maybe, just MAYBE, tattoo stereo types are not just trailer trash, bikers with beards, Pamela Anderson, Pop starts acting “tough”/ “cool”, prostitutes, porn stars, gangsters and teenagers who lied about their age to the tattoo artist. The ever annoying growth & normalization of the craft indicates that, soon, barely an eyelid will flutter at the sight of skin with pictures on it. In fact, I don’t even mind fueling the “commercialization” of the industry, to an extent.

The World is huuuuge. It is also estimated that it is filled with somewhat 7,116,100,000 human beings.

So, go ahead and chase your own dragon.

The more lavish the walls and intricate the facades we construct to keep the perceived monsters at bay; the more we’re all just a little more vulnerable than we think.

I am female. That is all.

August 23, 2013

Feminism is a double sided blade that slits many a user’s own tongue. Some think it’s to demand equality by being treated like a man. Plenty think it’s to hate men. Misogynists regard it as women who refuse to follow “religious” instruction on the role of a woman. I think it’s to know yourself and know what you want and be confident enough to handle your process of existence. So I, confidently and firmly, readjust my rose tinted glasses in the mirror and I say: Your sex is just your sexual reproductive organs and shouldn’t precede your persona. Your sex is part of your persona, but not all of it.”

When you’re handed lemons, Google “uses for lemons”.

And all that I can see, is just another yellow lemon tree

And all that I can see, is just another yellow lemon tree

Which includes skin lightening, lemon as a disinfectant,

I consider Kim Kardashian a feminist. I don’t admire her and am pretty indifferent to her lifestyle, but I respect her and I love her shoes. To those unfamiliar with Miss Kim Kardashian, she is a female, she has sex sometimes and she has a baby. Oh, and then-boyfriend put a homemade montage of her having relationship sex with him on the internet. And years after that he released a song named: “I hit it first”.

What did said woman do after having her sexuality & sexual activity paraded, criticized, scrutinized and being “slut shamed”? She decided not to take it lying down.  She grew a thick skin and turned her circumstances on its head by grasping the media attention by opening a boutique store (she’d been a fashion item reseller before the sudden popularity of what and who her vagina did) and bagged a TV show that, in a way, pays the way for the “whore” label to sting less and make amends with her family. I have no clue in what order this all came in, but I know the sex thing happened first.

The best way to attack a female is to attack her vagina: Mentally, physically and publically. This woman refused to just cry and commit suicide. She made lemon juice, perfumes, and clothing and made herself walk tall in her fabulous high heeled shoes even when pregnant. She’s a feminist because she believes in herself and surrounds herself with people who do too.

Because its always awesome to bash pretty girls and humiliate them because you saw their rose bud.

Because its always awesome to bash pretty girls and humiliate them because you saw their rose bud.

Some useless information to concider: Over 2 million people viewed her notorious home sex tape the day she got married to Chris Humphries as opposed to the usual daily 300 000 views…http://ebengregory.com/2011/08/24/over-2-million-people-watched-kim-kardashians-sex-tape-with-ray-j-the-day-she-got-married-video/#more-169377

Because over 300 000 people with media units, somehow, care about it.

Objects! Objects! Objects please!

Personality and fortitude trumps everything!

Personality and fortitude trumps everything!

Female sexuality is a touchy subject. It is filled with preambles, mass ambles, preconceived ideas, misunderstandings and the all condemning public judgment factor. There are so many expectations from unrecognized sexism. What is sexism? Sexism is when you choose your role or you are placed into a role or expectation limited by your sexual organs, where said notion dictates your abilities in a social, work, family, travel environment. When does it happen? Every day and moment when you interact with other persons, when you listen to music, it even happens when you choose a shampoo or feminine hygiene product.

How do you prevent it? You don’t. You just define yourself and do what works for you. You do you.

“A lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed”- Ludicris

It's safe inside the box, but all the fun happens outside of the box. Just saying.

It’s safe inside the box, but all the fun happens outside of the box. Just saying.

It’s strangely discomforting how many people I know who draw inspiration from lyrics from a hip-hop poet. It is catchy, I concede, but to base your future companion on the idea of Stepford-wife servitude is disconcerting. (Nasty Girl by Ludicris with lost of pretty girls in a modern take on CheeseCake Pin up mode)

Once we mentally leave the trammel hem in of our parental care and wander into the vast unknowns of social synergy with our peers, we bare ourselves open & witness to many interpretations of the human dream and life ambition, which I’ve come to believe, and also reject, as:

Men: Meet females, always try and shag them because that’s what men are supposed to do; get a job; marry candidate who has no sexual experience as she shouldn’t have nothing to compare you to and she’ll wear chiffon and sex is on your command; get money; own a home; get kids- don’t worry, she wants them too- doesn’t matter if you can afford to or not; have pets; buy things and stuff.

Women:  never stand out, always look like the media ideal of beauty; follow fashion fads; coy giggle, never laugh; be a fantasy; multicast multitask, apparently women are good at that; don’t have sex for fun; marry the orgasm giver, cos apparently orgasms= true love; marry; have kids, manage your weight; be owned because ‘love’ is ownership not growth alongside your companion; as a parent, make sure you sacrifice being a person because people will measure your parental ability by your capacity to be a robotical image of amicability and servitude as you’re teaching your kids how to be a human and NOT how to be human; take your frustration out on feminists and other non-conformist, passive aggressively of course; let supplementary bourgeois declare who you are because they have Big Brother cams inside your head; take tonnes of selfies in the bathroom mirror or wherever a mirror happens to show up to reassert your self confidence; buy things and stuff.

Both sexes: Live accordingly to catch phrases from music verses, because life is supposed to imitate art and please don’t forget to depend on spectators judging your life.

Because, Stepford wives are the ideal dream come true for both sexes... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073747/

Because, Stepford wives are the ideal dream come true for both sexes… http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073747/

I prefer supporting everyone, of my acquaintance, in their dreams and ventures, learning from other’s failures and laughing with them like hyena’s hooked on chronic. I prefer a partner who walks beside me instead of tugging a leash around my neck. I prefer being around people who understand the differences between fantasy, ideals, criticism & positive criticism. You learn from supporting each other and trying new things, doing things differently and finding a way to make every day new and exciting for you. Men who expect their female partners to be straight out of a Cosmo-Woman’s Weekly- House & Home- GQ are just filled with self-effacing faux sincerity, they aren’t looking for a partner and women who look to such ideals are not looking to be women, they’re looking to be a maid and a sex slave. Men and women should striptease each other of the preconceptions. Just be what feels right for you and everything else will fall into place as sure as death and taxes.

Oops! I spilt some feminism! I’ll wipe it up with my ego later.

It's catchy. I like it, it's like a good sneeze

It’s catchy. I like it, it’s like a good sneeze

“If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability and then be tough enough to follow through” -Rosalyn Carter

In addendum: I decided to try out trying a Suicide Girls set. (If you click on the link I attached to the word “Suicide Girls please note that it is NSFW).

Because I am female. That is all.

In the grand scheme of things; I don’t really matter. And I don’t think having tattoos is cool. Currently, owning tattoos on one’s body seems to be heavily based on ego and status.

Tattoos have become loud visible representations of the wearer’s ideology and pretence of self. An attempt at freedom. I see the current trend as simultaneous longing to be different and inherent vanity.

I speak of persons whose tattoos wear them and who form their personality around their artwork instead of the other way around. I speak of persons, celebrity and average Joe, who wear it as a badge for an exclusive club that only allows for contrived coolness.

Are you yourself or are you acting as yourself?

Then it occurred to me…. I am offended by hipsters (shame poor hipsters get a lot of salt) and One Direction look-a-likes and trendy folks.

Personally, I know I have a sickness. A disease even. I need the tattooing process from concept of a piece; I need the implementation process and healing in order to be mentally fit to live and kill off pathogen-like thoughts. I need it as a form to smear Bepanthen over my mind. It’s a conscientious succession from wanting to scratch, bite and/ or punch people in general.

If you hang out with smokers you’ll smell like a smoker and be thought of as a smoker. That means you will be a smoker.

In part, due to my perpetual fear of conformity, tattoos have confined me. I find myself unjustly automatically categorised a member of society that breeds on superfluous “YOLO” mentality.

YOLO

Abbreviation for: you only live once
The dumbass’s excuse for something stupid that they did
Also one of the most annoying abbreviations ever….

Guy 1: “Hey i heard u got that girl pregnant”
Dumbass 1: ” Ya man but hey YOLO”

Guy 1: “Hey i heard that you broke ur leg falling off the balcony at that party”
Dumbass 1: “Ya but hey YOLO”

My need for ink is not as bad as a tik-monster’s (extreme crystal meth addict) need that would get their hit anywhere, although I’ve made one or two questionable choices of tattoo artists including maliciously blinding myself and roping myself into the personality and charisma of one that was easily accessible, at that time.

I try to pretend its fashion for me. I pretend it’s for beautification. How intimate can one be in a social setting when faced with the question: “Does it mean something to you?” Is it really necessary to explain to a new found best friend whose name you cannot remember?

Or what reply can one attempt to a snark: “I’m also getting something done/ I also have, but mine have meaning though…”  Mine don’t?

"Baa Baa Black sheep"

“Baa Baa Black sheep”

“Anything popular is wrong”- Oscar Wilde

In truth, I am a basic failure at life. I don’t suck at it; I’m just a failure, for now as success is in the eye of the beholder. Regarding being a parent I find myself in a constant inner struggle. Both my kids inherited my headstrong “go large or go home”/ “let’s do this” genus and, dare I say, “fearless” nature. I’m scared for them.

But there are billions of people without tattoos who also lead my life. All I’m willing to admit is that, at times of stress, my desire for fresh ink burns deep; where I sink into an even deeper field of depression than my ordinary practice of manic depressiveness, when I am not fulfilled and nothing else matters until the itch is scratched. It’s hard to claw out of the selfishness.

Based on principle!

This is my only reason for resenting the current “coolness” of marking your body. I have developed a standard diplomatic stance when faced with giddy freshly matriculated persons showing me an insect that represents freedom that they got for R200 (Akz1800, US$20) by some guy who has a machine whose name they can’t remember. I do love hearing stories of how individual tattoos on said persons came about and I do intend to document the practice and how it thrives through the conservative South Africa and other Africa, BUT…. It irks me that insect/ eternity loop/ kanji/ flame tribal wearing persons are the main contributors to the notion of regretting having tattoos done with pathetic reasons such as: “I was drunk”: no ARTIST will touch you while inebriated, “I just wanted something sexy”: confidence is sexy, fake it till you believe it. “It was a phase”… seriously?

Because, to be relavant and add to the "YOLO" experience, and appear "Badass" you needs tattoos... Especially if you're in a boyband.

Because, to be relavant and add to the “YOLO” experience, and appear “Badass” you needs tattoos… Especially if you’re in a boyband.

And what’s the dealio with the rush to have a full bodysuit mapping your life events, history and experiences before the tender age of 28? Do people stop experiencing and living after 28? And what’s with the “tough guy/ tough gal” posturing when wicked ink sleeves reside on some character’s arms? My vanity can’t withstand it!

A generation of their own.

Should I ever be faced with any of my kids wanting ink, I would point them in the direction of a good artist along with the task of first acknowledging their motives for the desire and a vow not to denounce it after they regret it!

"Har-Har-Har!!"

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”- Vincent Van Gogh

And I didn’t want to do it anymore!

It’s taken a lot of soul searching to make confessions such as this. Meeting Alistar (Allistaire) was the best and worst day of my life. He is a paranoid graphic artist who creates fantasy images from the stock-photos he takes. It was chance and fate that brought us together in mutual admiration. It was agreed he would teach me about my body, movement, posing errors and what to do with my face and expressions that suit me.

I really really really know how to laugh at myself!This one always gets me in a laugh fit!

I really really really know how to laugh at myself!This one always gets me in a laugh fit!

 

It was agreed that I would be a big girl about what he had to say.

Mercy!!! Shooting with him was perfectly demoralising but it built a strong friendship. From him saying in his mild manner: “I don’t know if you still intend to lose that tire around your waist, but if not then you better know how to angle it girl” to then proceed taking pics, show me how they look, angle and re arrange my pose

et voilà, he’d show me suddenly flattering images.  He directed me into practicing “fluidity”, “Unclawing the claw hands”, avoiding

“hands on hip” stance, “back arches” “Faux Ballet” and how to avoid my “I don’t know wtf I’m doing” face!

I left his Durbanville home studio feeling very unwilling to proceed with my curiosities. I felt bored with it especially having rejected other TFCD (trade for CD) work as the only inspiration the talented photographers I’ve communicated with were interested in doing the “tried and tested ever popular Bette Page pinup style. Im no ‘50’s style girl, Im just not into the retro thing. It was apartheid back then anyways. I’m much more into Space Odyssey Nubian woman stuff. Or warrior bush woman. Concrete jungle action. Afro punk.  Tired. I even confessed to a close friend that I didn’t want to do this venture anymore.

Then Al sent me a veeeeery long email giving advice and a cache of pics attached to notes. First off,

 

 

I was amazed that he believes in me and my abilities and prospective growth.  I loved the fact that he loves my off key humour and advised me to entertain my quirks & silliness in future projects (where suitable). I’m even more grateful that he would like to work with me again and help me define myself.

Claw hands, fingers not straignt on extended arm, knee bend at lower angle and your back needs to be arched more

Claw hands, fingers not straight on extended arm, knee bend at lower angle and your back needs to be arched more and bum should stick out more.

 

So I continue my self-education in becoming an alternative model.

I learn a lot of things from the internet. Not limited to how to apply make-up, how to safely remove make-up, repurposing and decorating old furniture, decoupage, DIY facials, fitness  tips and how to be a schmodel. The latter is tough though as it is a social interaction game. I’m rutted in being socially awkward. But I grow and learn.

One thing I’ve noticed while I scan through the very informative, cruel, judgemental  and biased internets is that even Alternative models don’t know what Alternative modelling is.  I’ve noticed that its very easily slipped in the favour of Goth, gore and Pinup.  I’ve even stumbled across high end models claiming the title as theirs. This Alternative modelling community is schizophrenic! And I’ve noted a tone of love-hate for alternative models becoming “mainstream”.

Saying there’s an Alternative Model community is equal to saying there’s a tattoo community. There is no such thing. There are no high fives, air fist pumps and back slapping when you get good ink done or achieved a high level of creativity. There is no memo circulating on how to act or behave. I have to stress that both genres are not communities. They are sub-cultures.

Both you either live, experience or observe. But to define it is gruelling.

 

 

As a curious experimental being I stumbled upon an Alternative Models’ advice for newbies apparently inspired by beginner level models such as myself and the criminal habits we have that undermine her talent and her profession:

10 Tips For Girls Looking To Make It As An Alt Model

by Countess Havok – Alternative Model (Notes) on Thursday, 7 February 2013 at 12:59

So the reason I am writing this note is because I have seen so many girls out there claiming to be alternative models, creating pages, etc without any real modelling experience, which almost undermines the girls who have worked hard to create an image for themselves over a period of years. There is a LOT more to alternative modelling than most people think.

I am not saying that I am perfect, but I believe that if you are serious about breaking into the world of alt modelling you should be taking a few important things into account and accept the fact that you are still learning and don’t know enough to call yourself an alternative model just yet.

Through my own experiences I have noted many common mistakes that all amateur alt models make. Here is a list of a few things not to do/do if you are serious about alternative modelling:

1. Don’t start a Facebook page if you have only done 3 or so shoots.

Upload them to your personal profile if you wish but there is no need to start calling yourself a “public figure” and “alternative model” when you probably haven’t even learnt how to pose in a way that makes you look flattering or professional yet. In most cases people who have done so few shoots don’t quite know what they’re doing yet and don’t have the experience of having done a shoot with a whole crew (Makeup artist, hair stylist, stylist, etc) or having shot with a photographer that isn’t as good with directing you and telling you how to pose for a good shot.

2. Just because you receive a lot of photos back from a shoot, it doesn’t mean that you should upload every single one.

Many girls make the mistake of thinking that they should upload every photo that they get back from a shoot. This is definitely not the case. I think that the best idea is to select 2 or 3 shots from a set that are your favourites to upload or 5 at the very most. I have even seen many girls upload the same photo twice with the only difference being that the one was in black and white. There is nothing interesting about uploading 20 photos that look the same save a tiny gesture that is slightly different.

3. ALWAYS credit the photographer (and anyone else involved in the final result of the shoot.)

It really bothers me when girls don’t bother to credit anyone who was involved in producing the images from a shoot. It is a simple sign of mutual respect when you credit the photographer/makeup artist/stylist/hair stylist/designer/editor in your photos. I’m sure that as a model you wouldn’t be too happy with not being credited if someone else posted the photos everywhere? Be professional and respectful, without other creatives the shoot would not have been possible to begin with.

4. Do NOT wear the same outfit in every shoot.

In the alt modelling world, models often have to make do with outfits that they own for a shoot unless they are lucky enough to be shooting for an alt clothing designer. I have come accross girls who model the same corset in about 80% of their shoots which is not how it should be done. It is okay to wear a certain item of clothing repeatedly in 2 or at the most 3 shoots if you have done a lot of them already (This does not work if you’ve only done 5 or so shoots before) but the idea is to put together outfits that are unique from shoot to shoot to avoid your photos becoming boring and identical.

5. Don’t be afraid to be versatile. No one wants to see an alt model do the same style of shoot every single time.

If you want to be an alternative model, versatility is key. No one wants to see an alt model do the same type of shoot every single time without a variety in style. There are many different sub-genres of alternative modelling including: Gothic, fantasy, fetish, artistic, metal, pinup, cosplay, gore, art nude and many others. Switch between genres and try as many as you can. Not only will you find out in which one your passion lies, but you will show others that you can pull off many different looks instead of limiting yourself.

6. If you’re not happy with any of the pictures from a shoot, don’t upload them simply to bulk up your portfolio.

I’ve personally been unfortunate enough to have wasted my time with 2 shoots where I hated every single picture and didn’t want people to know what I had anything to do to creating the photos. Although not every picture us alt models like is necessarily the best one, our assesments of photos that we consider bad probably do have some kind of merit to them. Your portfolio should contain your best work so don’t use bad photos simply to make it look like you’ve done more shoots and thus have more experience.

7. Arrange your photos properly when you have a page (i.e not an album for every different shoot.)

Amateur girls often arrange their photos in albums according to shoot to make it look like they’ve done more shoots. This simply looks unprofessional. Arrange your photos according to photographer, genre or (if you’ve been doing alt modelling for many years) by year. It’s simply more appealing.

8. Don’t call yourself an alternative model if you haven’t earned the title yet.

Many girls do this and it becomes an insult to the models who have been doing alt modelling for many years. If you do want to showcase your photos by creating a page rather call yourself an “aspiring alternative model.” You need to have been modelling for at least a few years, have a strong portfolio with a variety of good images or both. Having been published, whether it is in an online magazine, calendar or print is also a plus.

9. Don’t feel pressured to do nudes, especially if they aren’t classy.

A lot of girls seem to jump into doing nudes these days when they haven’t even done 5 shoots yet. When you don’t have experience, it often ends up looking incredibly trashy and unattractive. Not all alternative models do nudes, so don’t feel pressured to jump on the bandwagon. A creative photo done with effort and an interesting wardrobe is better than a hastily done nude any day.

10. Enjoy what you do, have fun, work on improving your skills and get noticed!

It is always important to enjoy yourself when modelling and to work on improving with each shoot. Practise poses at home in front of the mirror, come up with interesting concepts and just put in the effort. Don’t be ashamed to approach designers, photographers or publications when your work is strong enough, it is possible that people just haven’t come accross your work yet and will love what you do and give you a chance!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you learned something important enough to take with you on your journey to becoming an alternaive model! 

The view is always nicer from the top.

At the risk of sounding salty and like I gulped down Hater-ade, everything needs debate in order for it to be discussed and explored. Personally I use Facebook to chronologize my journey and show that all the mystery and glitz is just a minuscule part of the whole process. I use my page to show that “Ëven a nobody can do whatever it is they want and however they want to do it ”. And I use it as a minor platform. I wouldn’t really show my Facebook page to a client, photographer etc. I either print out the best shots or load it to my tumblr if I can’t meet people in person, which is the case as living in Angola there is close to nothing for an Alternative girl to do.

And yes! As a beginner amateur alternative model,  I started a page with images from my 1st ever shoot!

 

 

Hannes Erasmus MUA Faikah Ganie

Hannes Erasmus
MUA Faikah Ganie

 

All my hard head gets from the somewhat snippy kitchen table advice from an admired and experienced alternative model lady,

is: “Don’t annoy people by your faux pas that make me look good & shape you”

Anyways, I don’t disagree with her advice & I admire and respect her work, but there are more than 100 ways to skin a cat and so the learning continues.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams

Greg from W photography

Greg from W photography

Being naked in the nude. Oh dear. I’ve been making notes and scribbling down references on my thoughts and experiences thus far but haven’t committed the vastness via my laptop keypad onto Microsoft Word.

Words can really express my impressions.

Society is always willing to take the blame for many an injustice, imbalance and corrupted soul. Something as easy as blaming a fellow being’s mother for all the wrong they do.  As easy as the rhetoric: “Look what he did! Didn’t his mother teach him?”

Just as being a mother is not just one single entity (the title is pregnant with pretences and expectations) so is the title ‘society’. Society is not just one single entity. It is a collective. I will take this opportunity to grab that statement as a defence as to my being an individual. I am not just a single entity.

I refuse to be loaded and goaded with preconceived role-plays, biasedly based on social insecurities and self-loathing.

I’d always dreamed of ‘just fitting in’. For a while I was almost successful at mastering that trickery. I chemically relaxed my Afro with the ever popular “Brazilian Blow-dry’ process. My hair was long and I was finally considered pretty… beautiful even. I did a wardrobe revamp to pastel colours… but it slowly morphed back to black, grey and pink (my go-to colours). I purchased the highest quantity of denim jeans I have ever owned. I still have those two pairs, one of which I wear as I write this.

This aforementioned identity crisis happened most five years ago. Today I am ever grateful to have come back full circle to my inner confidence and have the strength to reject friendships based on the confining dreams and hopes of others for my life path.

Photagrapher: Alistar MU: Anidea

Photagrapher: Alistar
MU: Anidea

I am not blind to the snide remarks and comments from friends in sheep’s coats. I just choose to ignore both the friendships and the comments. Remarks such as: “Natasha, you’ve come so far, now you changing back to the way you used to be”. Instant friendship killer right there.

“You just want to show off your tattoos” I wear what I want, depending on the formality. “I’m prettier than you but you’re getting all the attention. But it’s just because of your tattoos” (I love being around people with strong personalities/ characters. “You have such a good husband, why are you doing this to him?” Didn’t know I was supposed to magically become a square the moment I said the proverbial “I do” and I’m amazed how many people who attend weddings do not pay attention to the vows spoken. Who knew. We adapted ours to our life. There were things we refused to say in a vow as it would make liars out of us both to each other.

There was nothing wrong with ‘the way I used to be’. The major change into trying to fit in was when my mentor crushed my spirit. She wanted a normal disciple. She wanted instant gratification in a can filled with dreams she wanted to experience vicariously through me. So I changed my life accordingly. But the ‘me’ inside never really died.

I am back.

What has this got to do with Alternative modelling?

Over the past six months, having worked with art, fine art, graphic art, street art, fashion & pin-up photographers. Having done nude to subject orientated work, I find that I enjoy being part of another creative person’s creations. I love being part of their story. Naked or not. If its art, it’s not porn. Even if it were the latter, it would be as classy as can get. I also realise I am to lose a lot of ‘respect’ and will be treated badly and rudely and crassly by men. And women.

I can only imagine that sort of vulgar reaction to my modelling vocation could not be indicative to the types of images I pose for, rather indicative that such self-proclaimed-Christian valued persons and advocators of augury have no decent or efficient actions and practices and prefer to act like uneducated beasts with sharp self-righteous tongues. I lay foundation not to point any fingers as I prefer to have an apt firm grasp on my creative drive.

Photagrapher: Alistar MU: Anidea

Photagrapher: Alistar
MU: Anidea

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

-Edgar Allan Poe

So while I lay wait for my planned arrangements to fall into place let me write about something that confuses me no end. What do you call persons who inject ink under your skin in a pattern to form an image in your dermis?

To my detriment, I don’t pay much attention to titles. And name calling is considered rude.

I once stood before a magistrate (I will not elaborate too much) where she looked at me in amusement as I addressed her completely wrongly and with fallible title. To this day I don’t really know what ‘contempt of court’ is and why she said it but I remember non-specific warnings, lots of people either giggling or in fits of laughter, including officers of the court, then being led down below to the cells- not into a cell, then making a call (I did not own a mobile) to my Knight in Shining Armor uncle, who entered the ‘cellar’ shaking his head and chuckling while he paid some sort of fine for me.

Looking back, I think it annoyed her that I did not refer to her in the accepted form and title. I do have manners and believe I was polite when I approached her as ‘you’ and ‘Mrs. Judge’. American & British law themed shows ran through my mind with titles like ‘Your Honour”, “Honourable Judge”, “Madam Judge”, “Your Worship”, “My Lady”… I still don’t know which to use by way that I don’t intend to be near any court again in further chapters in my life. Knock on wood.

So what is it about titles?

People study for days, weeks, months or even years to earn a title in-front of, behind or below their given names, so why not indicate them as exactly that. The CEO of a corporation wants to be acknowledged as a CEO of a corporation. A chairperson of a committee wants to be identified differently to committee members and wants to be acknowledged as a chairperson. True also for a landscaper who doesn’t want to be indicated as just a gardener.

As easy as that?!

People who tattoo are at times a fickle bunch.

I’ve only walked into and paged through portfolios at 11 tattoo parlours in the Cape Town District and cruised on past 16 dodgy looking ones. I dress conservatively in long sleeves and thick leggings to not show a millimeter of inked skin, regardless of weather, so that I can cross out prejudiced egocentric tattooers. Therein lay my definition of “Tattooer”. I define a Tattooer as that person who tattoos and is all costumed up to a chosen stereotype and expects to receive a photocopy stereotype client, as a fundamental right to his profession. A “Tattooer” befittingly ignores any hypothetical client who steps in by virtue of not looking the part.

This specimen usually has an air of: I’m just too cool and hardcore to even acknowledge your presence in my parlour because that would just be… uncool.

I take a flip through their portfolios and haul my uncoolness out of there. The portfolios are stately filled with nothing I haven’t seen before and probably have seen numerous people with the exact tattoos. (Random fact: I remember persons by their tattoos and thus never forget their names if they provide me with one).

Some Tattooers incense me to spit fiery words.

But Tattooists and Tattoo Artist’s leave me twisted. Under my definition both are extremely talented. A Tattooist is flexible and they can manage a range of styles and techniques but have no identifiable trademark, yet. Trademarks take a lot of studying, observing and curiosity on the tattooists part.

I believe a Tattoo Artist has not necessarily developed a technique but has a unique style or tattoos only in specific niche genres e.g. Russian, Photo-realistic, 3D, Pointillism, cartoon, Sci-Fi, Biomechanics, Portraiture or they’re more adept at tattooing specific themes or concepts to the effect of Animals, Sugar Skulls, Zombies, Script and so on.

To me both are equally adequate but I don’t understand why some people who tattoo have this glint of injury in their eyes when I mistakenly err in calling them one or the other.

Either way, for me to gas on persons who inject ink under the skin as a GOOD Tattooist/ Tattoo Artist beyond apparent talent, is propped on how they feel and act about their profession and how they treat disciples or prospective loyal patrons. I in turn target at keeping my attitude sincere and in check in their company and in speaking about them, of course relying on my fractious temper.

Maya Angelou said it best: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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