MUA: Abbi Rose (assisted by Georgia Shults) / Hair: Charlie Wilkinson (using Annabelles Wigs) / Photographer: Condry Calvin Mlilo (see the full series on his website)
What is the key to success? This is a difficult question and I believe that it varies from person to person. What works for one person, may not work for another. For me, my strength has always been my confidence. Or, actually, the illusion of confidence.
What I mean with this is that I am not always confident. I am very often shitting myself on the inside. Like, proper shitting myself. But I choose to portray an exterior of confidence. “Let them believe that I know what I am doing, and then I can try to figure it out later.”
I remember when I was young, really young, this was back in the 90’s. My mum used to make me order at McDonalds. “You want an ice cream? Then you have to go and order one.” While this is a pretty basic thing, I remember shitting myself on the inside. What if I said the wrong thing to the person behind the counter? What if he/she did not understand my order? Or what if they laughed at me? But I also remember thinking that I really wanted that ice cream. So I had to suck it up and go to the counter and order. And can you believe it, I was always fine.
I think this really set the way for me for the rest of my life. If you want something, you cannot let fear get in the way. The fear of being laughed at. The fear of being rejected. The fear of getting a “No” or a “You do not fit the profile”.
I remember when I was going to the Swedish School in London when I was 13 and I was asked to be in the Spring Show and sing solo…in French! My French was basic and my singing the same. But I loved being on stage and I did not want to turn down the opportunity – especially when someone else believed in me. They had asked me to sing this particular song, they had not asked my classmates. So I did it…and it was fine and people applauded me and I had a great time (although I cringe every time I watch it now). Further to this, I did many more spring shows and many more solo performances – although, not in French!
Another time is when I was doing my work experience at my current job when I was 20 and had just started my second year of law school. Two days into the experience, they asked me if I wanted a job there. I was baffled…I did not think my contribution during those two days had been significant or even good – I had completely and utterly fucked up several times, yet they asked me if I wanted a job? Once again, I was shitting myself. I did not know anything about family law, nor did I know anything about working in a law firm. Would I be able to live up to their expectations? Would I embarrass myself? But I accepted the offer thinking: “Ok they have clearly seen something in me that they like. They have confidence in me, so why should I not have confidence in myself?” 3 years later, I am still at the same firm.
Similarly to this, as you all know, I was offered a modelling contract shortly after I got the law firm job. I was approached by an agency saying they wanted to sign me right away. Once again, I was confused. I did not look like a model, I did not have the height or the body. Would I even get any work? What if I could not even model? What if I was shit at posing? Suddenly everything Tyra had taught me during all those nights in watching ANTM were completely forgotten. Yet, I did not hesitate, and I signed the contract straight away. Now, looking back on all the work I have done, for various make up brans, skin beauty campaigns, and having my face in magazines, I am happy I said yes.
I think what I am trying to say is that even though you may doubt yourself and your ability to do a certain task or do a certain job, if you want to do it, especially when someone is offering you, then just do it. I have always thought that even if I do not know something, I can learn. If someone asks me to do X or prepare Y, and I have no clue what either X or Y means, then I always start off by saying “Sure!” and after I try to figure out what it is. Usually, the internet can tell you, or a book, or a co-worker. By not hesitating in your response, you create an illusion that you are confident, and I believe confidence is one of the major keys to success (DJ Khaled voice).
It is in this way I live my life. And it means I never miss out on any opportunity that comes my way, because I always say “Yes”. It may not last long, I may fuck up, or I may realise that actually, this was not for me. But then at least I have tried it. And I will not have any regrets as I did not let fear rule how I made my decisions or how I lived my life.
Har ju länge velat gå till Duck & Waffle, som ligger i Heron Tower, samma byggnad som Sushi Samba. Så när mamma var i London förra veckan så gick vi dit på söndagen för en brunch. Maten och utsikten var fantastisk, och mitt sällskap likaså, men dock tyckte vi båda att servicen var ganska dålig. Alla servitriser stressade på oss som bara den, och vi fick knappt ha ett samtal utan att dom kom och frågade om vi hade bestämt oss vad vi skulle ha. Jag är glad att jag varit där, men skulle inte gå dit igen.
// I have for a long time wanted to go to Duck & Waffle, which is located in Heron Tower, same building as Sushi Samba. So when mum was in London last week, we went there on the Sunday for brunch. The food and the view were both amazing, and my company too, but we both thought the service was rather bad. The waiters were all stressing us out, and we could barely have a conversation without it being interrupted by them asking if we had decided what we wanted yet. I am happy that we went there to try it out, but I would not go there again. //
… relationships. It is something that has really been in my head lately. I feel like I have been forced to change my views on the matter as I have seen a different side to it.
Those of you who know me know that I have not always been treated right. Now, being treated “right” differs for many. For some, it is being financially supported by a partner, being spoilt with gifts, for others, it relates to loyalty and time. Essentially, being treated “right” has to do with your standards and your values. For me, I think this started off quite high, I felt like I was being treated right and I felt loved, but through heartbreaks, cheating, lying and abuse of various kinds, somehow those standards were lowered. You think to yourself: “He is not the nicest guy in the world, but at least he isn’t a cheater like X” and in that way you become stuck in a circle of lowering your standards comparing worse with worse. And that is where I have ended up. So this last year I have actively chosen not to get in to any serious relationship, because in my head, love equals hurt and a sense of not being good enough.
A friend of mine once said something that really made an impact on me and stuck with me. She said: “You have such high standards in every aspect of your life – your friends, your career, your studies. Yet, when it comes to your own well-being in relationships, those standards are lowered drastically.” And this is true. I see myself as a strong woman who is a winner and who stands up for injustice and lift others up. Yet in relationships, that strong woman has disappeared. I have disappeared. I have become someone who is weak (although I know I am not weak). And I have hated that feeling, so I have stayed away from serious relationships and have felt happy being alone and being the strong woman I am.
Yet, lately I have experienced what it feels like to have it all. By that I mean, being the strong me, while also being able to share myself with someone else. I watched this clip yesterday of Eartha Kitt on love and compromise. She brings up the concept of compromising in a relationship and dismisses it completely. Instead she says: “I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. And I want someone to share me, with me.” And that is how I currently feel. I am in a place, surrounded by people, who encourage my strength, who nurture my fire, and who embrace my free spirit. I feel loved, I feel appreciated. And it is so different from what I have felt before. I thought I had felt love, but now I know that whatever that was, it was simply a bypassing moment of nothingness. What I feel now, this feeling right here, is pure, it is real, and it is beautiful.
I’m basically happy af.
Who doesn’t love glitter?! Gjorde för ett tag sedan ett shoot som precis kommit ut som har fått namnet The Glitter Series. Under plåtningen tog jag som vanligt selfies – fick denna gången med uppbyggningen av glittret och sminket på mitt ansikte. Älskar verkligen denna looken med den vitsilvriga peruken och det isblåa glittret. Snacka om att jag levde upp till mitt alter ego – ice queen!
// Who doesn't love glitter?! A while ago I did a shoot which has recently been released called The Glitter Series. During the shoot I was taking selfless as I usually do - this time I managed to capture some of the build up of the make up and glitter on my face. I really love this look with the silverwhite wig and the ice blue glitter. I really lived up to my alter ego - ice queen! //
I am going to write this post in English as most of my Swedish readers know English fairly well and the text is simply too long to translate myself (yes I am feeling a bit lazy!).
I know that this last year the updating of the blog has been slightly inconsistent, with intervals of daily posts, varied with periods of time with no posts whatsoever. The reason for this is because this has been a rather trying year for me, with a lot of emotional trauma and some sort of an existential crisis. As you all know, I am very career driven and I like to keep busy when it comes to work and university. But that also means that I barely allow myself to take time to be upset when I need to be upset. I also do not like being upset, as I am all about good people around me and positive vibes. Yet I have realised that when I am not in a good place, I am not able to give any positive energy back to these people around me – I realise this because I self-evaluate a lot and have realised that no one likes a miserable prick. So I tend to exclude myself when I am down and I try to heal on my own.
It has been a trying year, but I finally feel like I am happy. For the first time in literally a year (except when I was in the Caribbean) I feel really happy and content. I have had to come to terms with a lot of intimidating and scary things this year, such as not knowing what the future holds and what the meaning of life is (an existential crisis if you will) and at times I have wanted to just curl up in to a little ball and not have to deal with reality. But I have had patience and faith in the very obvious fact that everything will be okay. Life has its course and all we can do is enjoy the ride, go with the flow, make the most of everyday and be in the moment. Be here and be now.
And I truly feel this. I have found myself feeling a wave of appreciation and love for the people who are in my life right now. They are not many, but the ones I do have are damn good ones. People I laugh with, people I cry with, people I trust in, people who will literally fight for me (hahah you know who you are!) and people I respect and learn from. Good people who make me happy. People who make me feel loved.
And the best thing is that I actually feel I can give this love back. I can be there for them too, like a symbiosis of energy. They give me energy, and I give it back. And perhaps that is the meaning of life?
Något som jag tycker är jobbigt på vintern är torra läppar. Tyvärr är det allt för vanligt och det händer även den bästa. Det är helt enkelt oundgängligt! Så jag tänkte dela med mig av 3 tips på bra läppbalsam.
Den första kommer från TERRY och heter Baume de Rose. Den känns nästan lite som ett lipgloss och ger även samma effekt som ett lipgloss, så om man vill kan man under vinterhalvåret helt byta ut sin normala lipgloss mot denna och ha mjuka läppar 24/7.
Den andra kommer ifrån NUXE och heter Rêve de Miel. När jag först testade denna tyckte jag den var lite konstigt för den har lite av en grynig konsistens, men så fort den kom på läpparna så blev den en favorit. Inte convenient om man ska ut och se snygg ut just på grund av den gryniga konsistensen, men perfekt att ta på läpparna på natten eller en stund innan man börjar göra sin make up.
Den tredje kommer ifrån det Koreanska märket SHISHEIDO och heter Water in Lip. Detta är helt enkelt ett chapstick som håller ens läppar mjuka. Om man letar efter ett simple and plain lipbalm så är detta the one.
//One thing that really annoys me during the winter is having dry lips. Unfortunately it is common and it even happens to the best of us. It is inevitable! So I thought I would share with you 3 tips of some good lip balms. The first one comes from TERRY and is called Baume de Rose. It feels a bit like a lipgloss and also gives the same effect, so if you want you can change your normal lipgloss with this to ensure soft lips 24/7. The second one is from NUXE and is called Rêve de Miel. When I first tried this I thought it was a bit weird as it sort of has a grainy consistency, but as soon as it hit my lips it became a favorite. It is not very convenient if you're going out and want to look hot as a result of the grainy consistency, but it is perfect to put on your lips at night or before starting to put on ones make up. The third one comes from the Korean brand SHISHEIDO and is called Water in Lip. This is simply a chapstick which keeps ones lips soft. If you are looking for a simple and plain lip balm this is the one. //
Each and every day I read Isabella Lowengrips blog. Not so much for the content, but for the comments section… It is rather entertaining to see so many people get worked up over matters which do not affect them. Anyhow, I was reading a post that the blogger had uploaded about her recent trip to Riyadh and how she had had a pleasant trip, which was accompanied by a picture of her in a an abaya and two other women in niqabs. By default, I went to the comments section and was met by statements glorifying the freedom of us Swedish women while criticising the oppression of women in non-Western countries.
I was surprised. Perhaps because I have not lived in Sweden for a few years, and I had forgotten how narrow minded people can be. Do not get me wrong, Sweden IS an amazing country in so many ways and I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up in a country where I have almost been treated as equal to men, because I am very aware that that is not the case in many countries around the world. But there is something very dangerous about “othering” and glorifying the West… let me explain what I mean with that. When talking about women covering their bodies, many people make the mistake of “othering” these women they are referring to. For example, as a Swedish woman I may think that because Sweden is one of the most equal countries in the world when it comes to opportunities for both sexes, the way women are treated in Sweden is the right way to be treated and the way women are treated in other parts of the world is oppressive and incorrect.
What is dangerous about this is that it creates a divide between women first and foremost. Not only are we portraying us Westerners as some kind of almighty saviours who’s way of life is the way to go, trying to teach the rest of the world how to be just like us. But we are also making the situation considerably worse for these women as by belittling them and their way of life we are further marginalising them. If a woman in Saudi has been forced to wear a niqab, having Birgitta, 63 year old dog owner from a suburban town in Sweden deem it “oppressing” in a comment section on a blog, will most likely not actually make a difference for the woman in question. All it does is create an incorrect preconception.
I can admit, I was the same a few years ago, writing my first ever essay during my Law degree on specifically the veil as a tool of oppression. I was of the view that of course the covering of a woman’s body was a tool of oppression and that any woman who did wear the veil or niqab was oppressed. Part of me wishes I could go back in time and re-write that essay because I feel it was based solely on my conception of the veil as a non-religious Western woman. After 3 years at a university with a majority of Asian students, a lot of who were Muslim, and after a year at UCL studying a Human Rights degree, I slowly started to get a different picture of what covering up meant, or what it did not mean. When speaking to some of my hijab and niqab wearing peers, not a single one suggested they were forced to wear it. Many actually said that their family was against them using it, but that they had done so anyway because they wanted to as it made them feel closer to Allah. Another story included a young woman who’s hair simply did not want to cooperate, so for her, the hijab was convenient as she no longer had to worry about her crazy hair affecting her self-confidence. Other women suggested that they wore it as they did not want to be sexualised and objectified – which is something that I can relate to. I have in recent years stopped wearing make up on a daily basis and started wearing more baggy clothes which are not sexy as I was tired of being cat called and tired of being sexually harassed and assaulted.
While of course, there are women who wear the veil who are also oppressed, I think it is incorrect to assume that the two are mutually exclusive. Women are oppressed all over the world, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, social class and age…oppression is not limited to non-Western countries and definitely not to one religion. And to be honest, what a woman wears is not the issue. As a Western woman, if I wear too much or clothes that are not sexy, I am told to dress nice and show a bit of skin because men like that. If I am showing skin, and cleavage and all the goods, I am told to cover up and to respect myself because no man wants a girl who looks slutty. How is this any different from the apparent oppression only the niqab and hijab can incur? In terms of oppression, it seems that what us women wear is not the problem, but that the men telling us what to wear are. While a piece of cloth that covers a woman’s body is quite a concrete and easy target for Westerners to put the oppression stamp on, oppression will usually not be as clear cut and straight forward as a scarf. It is a lot deeper, more difficult to see, and definitely not as stylish. And as a feminist, I think it is important for us women to stand together rather than ”othering”. To understand and respect each other and have an open mind towards cultures and religions different to our own, in order to eliminate real oppression of women.
Kommer ihåg att jag alltid tyckte det var spännande att besöka Fästningen när jag var liten. Det var med skräckblandad förtjusning som man tittade på Bockstensmannen medan man lyssnade på historien om hur han troligtvis dog. När jag var i Varberg sist så blev det inget museum, men tog ändå en liten tur på Fästningen för att kolla på den fina utsikten. Tycker det är så fantastiskt när gamla byggnader bibehålls!
// I remember that I always thought it was so exciting to visit the Fortress when I was little. It was delight mingled with terror when watching the Bocksten Man while listening to the story of how he potentially died. When I was in Varberg last I did not visit the museum, but I still managed to take a little stroll around the Fortress to look at the stunning view. I think it is amazing when old buildings are preserved! //