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CONTACT US I f yo u have ques t i ons or comme nt s, p l e as e w r i t e t o u s : hel l o @si ncerel yyou r s mag. com WEBSIT E www.sym agazi ne. co. u k 2016 © Si ncerely You r s Al l ri ghts reserve d . No p a r t o f th i s p u b licat ion may be reproduced, dist ribut ed or t ran s mi tted i n a ny fo r m or by any means, including phot ocopying or ot h e r e l ec tr o n i c or m ech a nical met hods, wit hout t he prior writ t en p e rmis s ion o f th e ed i to r, ex c ep t in t he case of brief quot at ions embodied in crit ical r ev i ew s a n d c er ta i n ot her noncommercial uses permit t ed by cop yrig h t law. Fo r p er mi s s i o n request s, writ e t o t he edit or, addressed “ Sin ce re ly You r s Per mi s s i o n s ” a t t he email below.

hel l o @si ncerel yyou r s mag. com www.sym agazi ne. co. u k


A place to escape the ordinary, to dwell, dream and discover; a catalyst for change and an inspiration to live a creative, non-conform life that allows to live up to a perfection of your own. Someplace where identity is not always sure but we’re determined to find it.


" So, I c l os e my eye s t o ol d e n d s a n d op e n my h e a r t t o b e g i n n i n g s.�

Nick Frederickson


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index EDITOR’S LETTER

ALLURE

L A DY B I R D

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LINGERIE L I B E R AT I O N

CARRIED A WA Y B Y G U I LT Y PLEASURES

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p.20

DAY D R E A M NAT I O N

SOUL SURFER

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p.44

ETHOS

#ALMOST 30

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SLEEPING BEAUTY

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VENUS

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DY [ S E X I O N ]

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LIVING ON TIMER

THE Q UA RT E R CLUB

LONELINESS

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p.88

p.92

SOUL STORIES

THIS IS MY B O DY

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NOT A BRITNEY MOMENT

p.110

STONG IS BEAUTIFUL

p.104

IF YOU COULD BE ANYTHING

ART & SOUL

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p.124

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E d i t o r 's l e t t e r A new year, a fresh start, a clean cut; a fan wide open to many possibilities to grab, unexpected events to attend, a positive lens through which we perceive the upcoming year. It is the first day of a thrilling journey to virgin territories. How it will unfold is still a mystery. One thing that’s for sure: It will go in the direction of your dreams if you allow it to. I am very proud to present the first issue of Sincerely Yours Magazine focussing on transformation. In fashion we celebrate seasonal changes: a new collection or the latest trend at a runway show. But what if the lights are off? Once the focus is off the way we look in the spotlight, we can focus on so much more – in the Soul Stories section model Aglaë Dreyer talks us through the liberating journey from being a size zero to being a curvy model and how it started to make her life flow. Online at www.symagazine.co.uk in our Snapshot section we have a video series of amazingly inspiring women: jewellery designer Anisha Parmer, singer/songwriter Laura Maidment and theatre director María Isabel Askew. They all transformed themselves and the world around them by simply doing what they love. At Sincerely Yours we believe that inner and outer transformation goes hand in hand and that fashion can be the linchpin to connect these two entities. To us, clothes are meaningful. There is more to it than the eye can see. The items we wear allow us to feel a certain way and therefore they transform the way we carry ourselves through life. After all there is something magical about fashion which London based photographer Lolo Bates captures perfectly in her fairy dusty artwork which you can let yourself be immersed in in the Allure section.

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We clearly aren’t Cinderella and a new pair of heels doesn’t change our lives, but it certainly makes the journey more fun as Carrie Bradshaw would say. How TV, our guilty pleasure, can actually be a transformative space to help us learn a little bit more about ourselves is explored in Allure. If you seek for non-fictional advice, you should turn your head to the Ethos section. Meet Jo Duncombe and Saskia Roddick, the founders of The Quarter Club, a network for creative women, like you and me, to collaborate and consult. These women encourage you to take the first step in a new direction no matter how big or crazy your dream seems to be. Transformation is easier with a supportive network of fiercely ambitious females behind you. After all, we never know what life has planned for us and what changes are around the corner, but if we trust the magic of new beginnings and live up to a perfection of our own, it can be a journey full of surprises and who doesn’t like surprises? Let the magic of the new unfold.

Sincerely Yours,

He l e n Wo lte ri n g

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ALLURE Be in g m a g ica l ly fa s c i n a ti n g th ro u g h cha r m , in ne r g l ow a n d e n e rg y.


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L A DY B I R D words: helen woltering illustrations: claudia biele

Transformation - we certainly cannot change everything about ourselves and our bodies and the good news is: we shouldn’t. We can choose to modify our outfit, loose a few pounds or get a new haircut if we feel like it. Fashion, however, is not about the pressure to conform, instead we can think of fashion as a liberating feeling: celebrating our bodies and expressing our personalities. Often blindsided by predetermined perceptions about what constitutes a fashion model and the associated body image, it can be challenging to expand our vision. Once a certain standard has been established and society reaffirms the set aesthetic, it manifests in our minds. This does not only count for beauty ideals but for all other values and believes in life. But who are we to have the standards set for us? We would like to introduce you to the Ladybird Concept in order to promote a transformational way of thinking. Close your eyes for a second and picture a ladybird. What do you see? Most people conjure an image of a red beetle with black spots, but did you know that there are actually 5.000 different species in all range of colours? Some are yellow with green spots, some are black and others don’t have spots at all. Like the image that is associated with fashion, ladybirds demonstrate how our perceptions have become warped. There is not just one reality, but many. Which one we chose is up to us. In a sense we are all ladybirds, beautiful in our own rights. The talented fashion illustrator Claudia Biele captured a woman’s release from society’s belief system, her clearance of all layers that don’t respond with her true self and her transformation into the beautiful undiscovered.

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W he n s h e t r a n s fo r me d into a butterf ly, the caterpillars spoke n ot o f h e r be a ut y, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to ch a n ge ba ck in to what she alway s had been.

But she had wings.

- D ean Jack son

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LINGERIE l i b e r ati o n words: sandra blazinskaite, helen woltering images: ophélie rondeau

Intimates. The closest thing to our bodies, the last l ay e r t a k e n o f f b e f o r e w e g e t t o o u r p u r e s e l f. W h a t we choose to put on our skin matters. Labeled as the ‘emancipation waist’ a set of fierce women a century and a half ago fought for physical flexibility by stariping off the corset to give us freedom and choice. Instead of being physically restricted, the corset now seems to occupy our minds.

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An early summer holiday morning. Grass burred under the drops of the night rain. A

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white wood framed window is slightly open. The pink sun slowly coming out through the muddy clouds finds its way to light up the wooden floor. A cool breeze makes the linen curtains dance and spin. An open book by the bed waits for the soft fingers to be touched. Fingers, as soft as the whole body of hers. She is the one laying in those white silk sheets. Is she blond, brunette or ginger? Does she have freckles on her face? Or maybe dimples in her cheeks? Pearl earrings or no piercing at all? Is she short or tall? Slim or maybe ripe berry shaped? Is she a daughter, a sister, a mother or all the above? Is there an answer to these questions? There definitely is. Is there a need for these questions to be answered? I doubt it. She is the woman she wants to be regardless of her age, her race, her title or other judgmental feature. She is the woman. The woman she chooses to be. Sunshine will light the room after opening the curtains, and lead her way to the bathroom for some time in the hot and steaming shower. Her feet gently kissing the floor she tiptoes back to her room where she will start a private fashion show for herself only. Her hands open up the drawer and the fingers that touched the book last night, will run over French and English lace, silk and cotton, maybe some crystals and bows. Then they will stop at the powder coloured French lace set – a source of joy, happiness and comfort. What a liberating feeling to have choices. Imagine women a century ago, restricted by a corset that cuts your breath in half until your voice becomes an echo. The concoction of fabric, string and bone was not only a way to force physical allure but also the restriction of a woman’s freedom and a place in society. Not to forget the physical symptoms such as breathing, immobility, fatigue, fainting and digestion problems. The transformative change in dress that women before us fought for, is now a wonderful luxury that unfortunately is not affordable to everyone. Society and media have a huge influence on the image we have of our bodies. Does this bra make me look fuller? Do these knickers make my butt look rounder? Does this slip flatter my curves? Instead of having a physical corset in the wardrobe, we now wear a mental corset in our minds. Symptoms: self-doubt, body insecurities, status anxiety and inner conflict. With the 1850s Victoria dress reform that swapped the stomach-flattened waist- reducing hard shell for tight sleeveless vests came a wave of feminism. It’s not just the shape of lingerie that has become streamlined but also its purpose. The purpose today is to make us feel good about ourselves, feel comfortable, sexy and powerful. The dress revolution called for emancipation, education, suffrage and moral purity. The story underlying all this has to do with changing collective notions about what the ideal female body should look like. Full-figured or svelte, voluptuous or athletic: in different times, different silhouettes were preferred. Time alters meaning. There’s a lot more to women’s underwear than meets the eye. Only a bunch of self-confident and strong women will close their eyes to these suggestions coming from society and will lead their way. They will freely make the choices, run wild and be their own heroes. The other ones will follow the leading forces. They lock their bodies in something that has been offered until… Until they realize that it is theirs, and theirs only, choice.

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Taking off the corset in your mind leaves room to lift your spirit, no matter what size, shape, colour or age you are. There is no seasonality, no colour of the month, no handbag to go with your most intimate self, and most of all, no exposure to social ridicule. It is a private fashion show unless someone has a VIP invitation to watch it. Choice. She takes a look at the mirror and lightens the room with her smile; a genuine and wide smile of a strong, confident, happy woman who is in love with herself. She is the woman she chooses to be.

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CARRIE D AWAY by

g u i lty p l eas ure s

words: helen woltering illustrations: claudia biele

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We a r e a l l g u i l t y: S u n d ay a f t e rn o o n , a n o t h e r e p i s o d e o f Sex a n d t h e Ci t y. I t ’s a l r e a dy 3 o’ c l ock a n d I s h o u l d h ave a n swe re d my e m a i l s, h i t t h e g y m , o r u s e t h e d ay some h ow p r od u ct i ve l y. A n o t h e r c o f f e e, my b o dy c ove r e d i n a co z y b l a n ke t . I may n ot h ave g ot a ny o f my ch o re s d o n e b u t I a m a c t u a l l y b e i n g e m ot i on a l l y p r od u c t i ve.

When I was a teenage girl I was obsessed with The OC, I identified with Summer Roberts because she had long dark hair and hazel eyes. Just like me she was clumsy and most of all in love with Seth Cohen. This was until Carrie Bradshaw showed me the meaning of thirty-something-single and fabulous which has been continued by Lena Dunham and her GIRLS.

TV characters often have two very empowering effects: first, they help us to identify with or distinguish from a certain role so we can learn a little bit more about how we see ourselves. Second, their sometimes so ‘messed up’ lives make us feel better about ourselves. TV is often being criticised as a mindless, frivolous wasteland, but I believe it to be a modern storyteller that can help us to make sense of our culture and the things we’re going through.

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I am sure most of you agree when I say that every girl can connect to a Sex and the City character. They all represent extremes and some of you might relate to different traits in all four of them. Arguably critics might say that a woman like Carrie who spends $40,000 per year on shoes and cannot manage her bank account properly is just naive. Fair enough, but what lies behind this, is the so-called Pratfall Effect. A term first discovered in the 60’s which describes the theory that an individual’s perceived attractiveness increases when he or she makes a mistake. Failure shows us that the perception of perfection is only present in our minds and that we connect through imperfections. Don’t their eternal disgraces, their clumsiness and failures make us feel a little bit better about ourselves? Ab-so-fukcing-lutely!

T h e T h i n g s W e Le a v e B e h i n d Whilst watching the episode of Carrie moving to Paris with Russian artist Aleksander Petrovski, leaving her friends, her home and Mr. Big behind, and realizing that she made a mistake, I couldn’t help but think about what I had left behind to move forward. It was like a 10 second flashback with a firework of emotions thinking of all the people who crossed my path, who loved me, who left me and who will be there no matter what. I started to reflect on my life and thought about the person I have become. There is no doubt that the mid twenties are often times of change and confusion, the media labels it as a ‘Quarter Life Crisis’. As all of my twenty something friends seemed to be affected by it, I needed to find a way to figure out what helps us to make sense of this turbulent time.

Wh o D o Y o u Want T o B e ? When I met with my girlfriends for a Sunday’s brunch at the Breakfast Club in Soho, we realized how much we actually act like Carrie and co. Coffee, pancakes, girls talk, the only difference – we’re not allowed to smoke in cafés anymore, neither can we eat whatever we want without gaining weight. I noticed that our mid twenties are not just a time of temporary confusion but also a time to make essential decisions: in which direction do you want your life to go? Do you pursue the sexy, single and fabulous career like Samantha? Do you want to settle with the person you love and eventually have a family like Charlotte? Are you a workaholic like Miranda or are you willing to put up with a hell lot more confusion and fall for many BIG mistakes as Carrie does? From my experience I can say that the best decisions in my life haven’t been based on logic but on what felt right in my heart. Archetypes are images that resonate with us through the use of emotions. In branding for example, archetypes are used to attract customers by making the brand real and authentic. So can our favourite TV series actually help us to live a more authentic life?

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D o Y o u Li v e A n A u t h e n t i c Li f e ? After all the concept of archetypes is rooted in the field of psychology: Carl Jung, an early supporter everywhere. Let me explain this: Think about Paulo Coelho’s novel The Alchemist. This book has been given to me by a very important person in my life and has guided me ever since. The young shepherd, the so-called lost and found character follows his dream instead of simply doing what his parents wanted him to do. These archetypes are like religious symbols, they work in every culture, they make us believe in something and therefore they empower us. They can strike terror in our hearts or free us from an unauthentic life. Living an authentic life can be a tough call in a materialistic world that considers people as commodities rather than spiritual beings. As a result we try to measure up with standards that have been set by other people rather than living up to a perfection of our own. What holds people back from living an authentic life is fear. If you could try anything without any negative consequence, what would it be? For me it is speaking my mind and telling people how I really feel. Personally, I find it challenging to talk about my feelings especially when they got hurt or rejected. This transforms me into a character that I don’t want to be. Therefore the fear of being rejected drives me further away from what I really want in life.

P e rf o r m T o T r a n sf o r m Theory and observation can only tell you so much. It’s like sitting on the driver’s seat but never trying to ride the car yourself. Do not let your fear or other people’s opinions hold you back from living the way you want to live or being the person you want to be. Do what feels right in your heart and do not be afraid to have to forge your own path in order to get to where you want to be. The way you frequently change moves beyond competition and therefore your personal story empowers yourself and others. After all we should not feel so guilty about our guilty pleasures. Loosing yourself in the imagination of fiction is perfectly normal. It responds to the concept of dreams and we have been doing it for thousands of years, it ‘s what’s inside us and what drives us. Using TV’s transformative space of archetype, dream and myth, we get to an explorative inner space and eventually learn a little bit more about ourselves. As for me I decided that my past mistakes and former decisions led me exactly where I needed to be – in a place far away from home where I sit and reflect on who I am and who I want to be. At this stage I embody a bit of Samantha, Miranda and Carrie, but I truly see myself inspired by Charlotte in the future, so let’s hope for not another BIG mistake. Which character do you choose to be?

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of Freud, calls it the collective unconsciousness, something not of this physical world but yet present


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beauty

Sleeping

words: helen woltering photographs: ed little photography creative direction: helen woltering styling: sandra blazinskaite hair & make-up: maya czarnecka

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In between jetset life and photo shoots curvy model AglaĂŤ Dreyer makes sure to always spend some time on things that nurture her soul: a cup of green tea, the smell of fresh flowers, coconut yoghurt, and a set of lingerie that makes her feel comfortable for a long w o r k i n g d a y. We m e t t h e 2 7 y e a r - o l d a t h e r N o t t i n g H i l l a p a r t m e n t to give you a look behind the scenes.

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" A book I adore: Sophie's choice. So sad but so beautiful�

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the less clothes I wea r, “ My favourite season is summer, the more comfortable I feel.�

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" I love big men shirts, cozy sweaters and turtlenecks. I feel so elegant with a turtleneck.�

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ours and shades of red, �My favourite lipsticks are nude col rs.� I love the ones from Dior and Na

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� For breakfast I eat coconut yoghurt, granola and fruits. Sometimes toast with marmite and cheese. Depends on what I feel like.�

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D ay dream nation In the land of men there have always been magic forces. Impulses, i n v i s i b l e f o r t h e e y e, t h a t p u s h a n d p u l l u s . Fa s h i o n i s m a g i c a l t o o : lucky charms, talismans, our wearable memories. No one sees it, but everyone can sense it and we immerse in a magical dust.

photographs: lolo bates creative direction: helen woltering styling: egle andrius hair & make-up: thomasina spender models: macy grootjen, christina, summer Thompson, milk model management london

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and we’ll meet it when it does.”

Unknown

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" W h at ’ s c o m i n ’ w i l l c o m e


soul surfer

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photographs: aleksandra klicka, helen woltering creative direction: helen woltering styling: helen woltering, valentina lopez make-up: iga wasylczuk

Salty hair and gypsy souls – riding the wave of life can be challenging sometimes which is why it is important to feel good in your skin and have your dress reflect how you feel on the inside. What we can take from the Bohemian style is not just a comfortable and unconventional approach to dress but also a way of true living, b r e a k i n g t h e r u l e s a n d s i m p l y d o i n g t h i n g s d i f f e r e n t l y.

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T h e g o l d e n Ve n u s – w e e m e r g e f r o m t h e o l d y e a r t o c e l e b r a t e t h e s p a r k o f t h e n e w : a n e w s e a s o n , n e w t r e n d s, n e w a d v e n t u r e s. L e t ’s make sure we wear something that lifts our spirit.

creative direction: helen woltering photography: stephanie galea production assistant: valentina lopez styling: natalie jacob hair & make-up: maya czarnecka, karolina guzowska

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ETHOS T he s p ir it of a c u l tu re m a n i fe s te d i n i ts a t t it u d e s , v a l u e s a n d b e l i eve s .


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# Almost

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W h at it f e e l s l i k e t o b e i n a q u art e r l if e c r i s i s

words: louisa newton edited by: emma lindgreen images: ophélie rondeau

So picture this: you’re in your twenties, there is nothing categorically ‘wrong’ with your life and you are at your physical prime. But you c a n ’ t h e l p b u t f e e l d e s p a i r, a n x i e t y a n d s t r e s s t o w a r d s t h e g i a n t w o r l d around you and how the h*ll you’re going to manage.

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Am I studying the right course? Am I in a job that empowers me? How long do I see my relationship lasting? Do I even have a relationship? Is any of this worth it? Is any of it making me happy? Should I pack up, move to Mexico and spend the rest of my days living a simple life on a beach somewhere? (Would I be able to get Wi­-fi there?) All perfectly reasonable questions we ask ourselves. Single ladies, not­-so-­single ladies, ladies in general. Welcome to the Quarter Life Crisis. Our twenties are supposedly the best years of our life. A time when we can dance until 6 am, three nights a week, and wear outrageously high skirts. The Sunday morning ‘tubes of shame’ are surprisingly uplifting, and we soon learn that a pair of Gucci sunglasses and a packet of face wipes can work wonders at hiding our indiscretions.

A Mi dl if e C ri s i s f o r T wenty S o meth i n g s The term ‘Midlife Crisis’ is so easily thrown around in pop culture to excuse radical changes in adult behavior, but when it comes to the younger generation; we’re told it’s all part of “growing up”. According to Dr. Derek Milne, a clinical psychologist and author; Midlife Crisis’ affect adults when they feel they’ve reached life’s halfway stage and begin to experience anxieties over what they’ve accomplished so far, turning to a period of depression. It’s your uncle Kev wearing lycra shorts in his red convertible with Olly Murs on full blast. It’s your mum partying more than you do and using emoticons rather than words in texts. But a Quarter Life Crisis? You’re looking at it (it helps if you look in

Wh y we g et co nf us ed What it is: A period of uncertainty and inner turmoil. The symptoms: feeling lost, scared, confused about what steps to take in your life. In theory, life should be great. We’re told we can do whatever we want, whenever we want; providing we turn up to work and there’s enough money in our bank to pay rent next week. The women of generations before us put their well manicured middle fingers up to patriarchal society, provoking a revolution of sass and independence for us: their future counterparts. Nowadays, of course, the inequality between men and women is far smaller than in previous generations. Whilst ‘the glass ceiling’ may still be apparent in too many industries, the rise of impartiality between the sexes is ever growing. In Western society, we can vote, we can work, we can choose the life we want. At twenty, the world seems to lay down to our feet, the world is our oyster. We have a h*ll of a lot more than the previous generations of women, but with great power comes great responsibility. We fought to stand on our own two feet; swapping copious amounts of ironing for long working hours, and nursing babies to nursing a double vodka on a Wednesday night. Our twenties are a confusing time, that’s an understatement. We’re led by society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’, questioning our motives for the future. We strive for perfection in every area of our lives; from physical appearance, to job and emotional satisfaction. We’re force-fed superficiality and materialism through social media, guilting us into thinking we’re missing out. And the truth is; we’re not. We not missing out, we just aren’t going that extra mile to ensure we’re getting the most out of life.

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Man y Mag i c Mi stake s Research has found that the Quarter Life Crisis lasts an average of two years and can be a positive experience. Said crisis has four phases, moving from feelings of being trapped to a catalyst for change, then eventually the building and cementing of a new life. Regardless of how we should look or act, this is about how we should progress. What’s important is how, and if, we transform our worries into fuel for advancement; stimulating our career and emotional growth. But the pressure that we decorate ourselves with is an unnecessary accessories. We still have time, a lot of time to make wrong decisions, date the wrong guys/girls, wear ridiculous outfits, live for the little things that make life so worth it and fun. After all, a little magic won’t hurt us. If we would have everything figured out, there’s no room for surprises. And we are women, we love surprises! So girls, it’s time to wipe off last night’s makeup and open the curtains. We’re women, we’re tough, and we’re down right incredible. This is the time to put behind all the negativity, laugh when we make mistakes and pick ourselves up from the floor, literally. We are #fierce. You’re never alone, and we all feel lost at this age. Confusion can be a load of shit at the best of times, or it can be a catalyst for self-improvement. You name it! We have to

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live our lives using our own values, because nobody else can do it for us! Sometimes, it might feel easier to accept that we aren’t Cinderella and life isn’t going to chuck us a handsome prince and a Louboutin glass slipper. But in the long run, we’ll kick ourselves for not marching down to the Fairy Godmother’s house and demanding an Uber to the ball. And after all, if Quarter Life Crisis is just a phase, let’s make sure we incorporate as many mistakes as possible. Before it’s too late. Because hopefully, that will make our thirties such a more harmonic place to live in.

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dy[s ex i o n] words: helen woltering images: ed little, christabel macgreevy

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Ve n u s a n d M a r s . M e n a n d w o m e n – w e d o n ’ t a l w a y s s e e t h i n g s t h e s a m e w a y. B u t w h e n i t c o m e s t o a r t m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y p h o t o g r a p h y, how different do the two sexes see the female body through a lens?

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Photographer and co-director of Keep Hush, Ed Little and Central Saint Martins graduate and photographer Christabel MacGreevy had planned an exhibition called dy[sexion] - an experiment that examines the dichotomy between the impacts of the photographer’s gender on the image creation process and the model’s performance. The project illustrates an on-going attempt from both artists to dissect the female form in their own exploration of sexuality.

H ow di d t h e i dea a bou t t h e e x h i b i t i o n e m e rg e ? Ed I saw Christabel’s work and thought it was amazing, so I got in touch with her. I was already planning an exhibition with my curator, Hugo Wheeler, so it seemed like a perfect fit. We are still very excited about the exhibition but we were thinking of including more photographers, in order to create a really diverse and hopefully thought-provoking show.  H ow do you ex p er i enc e t hi s s t ud y a s a wo m a n /m a n ?   Christabel Taking nude photos of my friends is not so much a project, but an ongoing documentation of events around me. My photographs are a depiction of the very natural and easy complicity that develops when you know people well. I have huge affection and love for most of the people whom I shoot nude, and I think that ease is possibly visible in the ethos

final outcomes. Ed For me, female nudes are a bit trickier. The complicity Christabel talks of is more difficult to achieve as a man – it takes a deeper level trust, because, often, there is a sexual element involved. You don’t want to be perceived negatively, but at the same time you want to take the images you love. Like Christabel, I also mainly take photos of friends, but for me the photographs have to be slightly more premeditated as the nude aspect is more difficult to navigate.  Wh i c h element s do you p ay a t t e n t i o n t o w h e n t a k i n g p h o t o grap h s o f a fem a le body?    Christabel I want them to look good. It’s not about necessarily making them look sexy, but about highlighting the beauty I see in them. I use natural light, and the settings that chance around me. By focusing on specific parts of their form, I create a composition and design the image. There is usually not much premeditation because it is often a sudden idea that arises in a location that I think worthy of a backdrop. Ed Obviously lighting and setting is important but for me it’s more about the attitude. I want the model to be present. Having said that, the mere fact that someone is naked doesn’t make a good photo – there is such a fine line between creating something tasteful and arty and something that errs on soft porn.  

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Wh a t i s t h e c ent re of a t t en t i o n fo r yo u wh e n p h o t o grap h i n g t h e fe m a l e body? Christabel The centre is always the body; even if it is not the centre of the frame, or the largest part of the scene. Ed The eyes and the pose! I want people to feel that the model is looking directly at them and that they know, she knows, that you are watching.  In that respect, it’s more about the essence, energy and emotion rather than just the body itself.   H ow do you feel a s a fem a l e /m a l e p h o t o g rap h e r i n a m a l e d o m i n a t e d i ndu s t r y? And h ow do you t h i n k t h e fe m a l e b o d y i s re p re s e n t e d i n t h e m edi a ?  Christabel I have noticed that images I am drawn to often turn out to be taken by female photographers. However, I don’t really think about these things. I just continue taking my own pictures. I am not a fashion photographer and feel outside of any competition or industry. The representation of the female body in the media is a device to be used as much as

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to oppose. It can be fun to play up to these things as well as refute them. Ed Whether in art or in fashion, I think it is curious that the male photographer still tends to dominate. Even amongst my friends I know a lot more male photographers than female ones. Maybe there is something more inherently masculine about a ‘big’ camera and a ‘powerful’ lens than let’s say a paintbrush or pencil. You can, however, always find exceptions to the rule, and, generalisations, while intriguing to explore, aren’t always healthy to posit. 

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You were wild once . Don’t let them tame y ou .

Isadora Duncan

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LIVING ON

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TIMER words: giosiana giannatiempo, helen woltering images: tori ferenc

“ C a r p e D i e m ” L a t i n s s a y. E v e n w h i l e w e s p e a k , e n v i o u s t i m e h a s p a s s e d : p l u c k t h e d a y, p u t t i n g a s l i t t l e t r u s t a s p o s s i b l e i n t o m o r r o w. Long we have been taught to do so: live the day at the fullest and d o n ’ t w a s t e a n y f l e e i n g m o m e n t . Yo u w a n t i t a l l , y o u l o o s e i t a l l . And how fast can you chase the present without overtaking it?

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The Busy Trap Time is the only thing we share in common: we all have the same 24 hours a day. We live in a world in which the term workaholic is rooted deeply in our vocabulary and a 60 hours working week is common sense. Unless we move to Sweden. The country recently announced a six hours working day. The aim: Getting more tasks done in a shorter amount of time and therefore giving people more energy for their private lives. Unfortunately, not all of us live in Sweden, but we certainly can take the Scandinavian style as a leading example for increased productivity and well-being. Minimalism is not just another fashion trend. Minimalism is actually the golden rule that we can apply to our lives in order to gain more time. Described as ‘simple living’ or ‘slow living’, this concept has been applied by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus who call themselves ‘The Minimalists’. Two successful entrepreneurs who realised that money, status and more ‘stuff’ didn’t make them happier. Actually, the contrary was the case. By getting rid of the clutter in their lives and breaking it down to the essentials, they have been able to focus on what really matters: relationships with other people and with themselves. This makes sense regarding the explosion of available goods that has made us feel more numb than ever. We struggle to decide what to buy, what to eat, where to travel. If there are endless ways to fill your time, it is only natural to crave more of it. Simply wasting

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time became a shame in a society where being busy is common courtesy. It’s a busy trap and we’re all in it together.

We l co me to th e S o c i al Stre ss T eam For the ones born or raised in the time-lapse era, when one minute can be summed up in a split second and thousands of human actions squeezed into a short speed video, seizing the moment has turned into an extreme sport whose secret lies in a game of coordination and multitask. The Starbucks Espresso mechanically sipped with a Belgium friend on Skype, the breaking news of yet another attack in Syria read on a train seat, the soup re-heating in the microwave while dirty clothes are inboxed in the washing machine. It seems we are programmed to live multiple realities simultaneously, as if we could miss the world by simply focusing on one. “There is no time for you that the fortune are willing to fetch, no rest for the early bird that the worm is going to get!” no slogan sounds more fitting. So roll up your sleeves, optimise, maximise and… go! What gives shivers is how the “rushian” roulette hypnotised us all. Whether the first of 8.65 million Londoners or the last of 800 privileged inhabitants of The Vatican City, you too play against the present. Sadly, you always beat it. Every time you watch a movie, your left hand digs into the popcorn box whilst the right fellow digits rhythmically on the keypad of your phone, you beat it. Club songs only get your attention when it comes to type the title-right after the hash to describe a selfie, you beat it. You might love the melody but are distracted by the Instagram filter. Again, you beat it. To whom who consider themselves part of the SS Team (Social Stressed Team) I would ask: How often when you meet a friend for coffee, the phone is switched off and the conversation on? Even that daily routine affects the present by hijacking it somewhere distant from the real one.

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In our selfie generation we constantly switch between two realities: the experiencing self and the remembering self. A moment is gone in a blink of an eye and what’s left is that beautiful vintage filter photo. Rather than feeling the moment, you choose to remember it, frame it. In a way you become an architect of your own mental narratives. This is a healthy way to look at it, as long as you don’t forget to put the reality check back on once the picture is posted.

D o Not S ett l e Living in the now means commitment. Commitment to a thing, a situation, a person. The millions of options that are offered to us, make it difficult to pick and choose one. It starts with 35 different variations of cereal in the supermarket and ends with 60 matches and more on Tinder. How do we know which option is the right one for us? Truth is, we don’t, that’s why we try all of them, just to make sure we’re not missing out on the next better thing. FOMO. You want it all, you loose it all. Juggling a million things at a time only allows you stay on the surface of the experience because there simply is no time to feel it fully. So you keep hushing because nothing feels truly satisfying. What is it that

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you are truly hushing for?

Li f e i s T o o S h o r t T o B e B u s y So here we are, running relentlessly towards a life we have no time to live, nor attention to savour fully. But what if we could pause the run for a moment? Press stop, now. Whatever you are doing close your lids and try to picture any single detail of the place you are in. I am sure you caught half of the objects which surrounds you, the other half is blurred. Once your eyes open, lend yourself a second to absorb the new world. It is different. Like in “Limitless” where the brain reaches the highest peak of perception, the reality transforms into a colourful prism of higher sounds, brighter shades and deeper emotions. A complete metamorphosis that allows you to finally feel 100%.

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We l c o m e t o

t h e q u arte r club “There is something very electric and rare about being in a r o o m f u l l o f w o m e n , i n a g e n u i n e l y f u n , e x c i t i n g s p a c e.�

words and images: helen woltering

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When you are young, you think that growing up means having it all figured out until you hit your mid twenties. You will find yourself either unemployed with unpaid internships or completely stressed and overworked and on top of that, there is no one to turn to for much needed advice. Hello “Quarter Life Crisis!”

After graduating from Warwick University Jo Duncombe and Saskia Roddick travelled to Ecuador and Colombia. Together they started a blog which cemented the fact that they want to work together. They’ve always been desperately looking for a place that allows them to collaborate until they invented one – welcome to the Quarter Club.

Tell us a little bit more about the Quarter Club, what is it about?

SAS: The Quarter Club is a space that enables women to get together and share their stories, inspire each other and collaborate whilst having a bloody good time. It enables women to kick-start conversations and pitch their ideas within a safe and informal space. We have frequent events that women can be part of.

What are the events about?

JO: We organise so-called ‘Salons’ where we invite a handful of speakers. The idea is

to encourage conversations between the attendants. Each Salon has a theme; so far we have had ‘Courage’, we are now in ‘Balance’ and we are about about to move to ‘Satisfaction’ in 2016. We put a lot of focus on Prosecco too because, well, why not.

“M e d ia we r e d ia gnosing us as suf f ering f rom ‘A Qua r t e r Life Cr is is’ which seemed to be presenting ye t a n o t h e r p r o ble m and no solution.”

How did the idea of the Quarter Club emerge?

JO: We are both freelancers in the arts, Sas works as an actor and I curate and produce film festivals, and we were both finding aspects of the freelance lifestyle tricky: no fixed roots, trying to juggle a whole lot of balls, no HR department. This can leave you feeling a bit out on your own.

Our eyes were suddenly open to the fact that were surrounded by many brilliant women doing amazing things, so we created a way to change this negative dialogue about the ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ into something positive and empowering.

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that the speakers may spark ideas or pose questions that are then carried on in the room


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s as Who are the women joining the Quarter Club?

SAS: Fiercely ambitious women who take their careers seriously but not so much themselves. Certainly we have found that there are a lot of women in their twenties who come

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to us because they want to make a change. Often they are a few years out of university and afraid that their career path will define the rest of their lives, or that it is not suitable to a future they want to create. There are a lot of women who seek support or co-collaborators for a project, and the room is always filled with highly-skilled, hard-working ladies so it is the perfect space to be in.

How do you define a quarter life crisis and what are the symptoms?

JO: We don’t like the term ‘crisis’ but it ultimately targets anyone who is going through a time of transition, uncertainty or change. Times like these are too often branded as ‘crises’ which achieves nothing except exacerbating feelings of fear. Mid-life, later-life there is always some kind of ‘crisis’ we can fall victim to. The term crisis does not quite work for us. It is about addressing the underlying issues of dissatisfaction and finding a solution.

What are common concerns of women who join the Quarter Club?

JO: I guess their main concerns are often not having the courage to take the next step in whatever they are doing, be it in their personal or professional lives. It is incredibly invigorating to see someone who you can relate to telling a story of how they practically did what they did.

“Ch a n ge, h oweve r big or small can be an incredibly p owe r ful t h in g.”

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jo How do you encourage women?

SAS: We just get them in a room together. It seems like such a simple thing but everyone who comes arrives open and up for seeing what happens. We aim to create a safe and inspiring space. Women can ask questions in person rather than through an intimi-

There is something very electric and rare about being in a room full of women in a genuinely fun, exciting space. We also have ‘Speak Easy’s’ where you can sign up for a slot on the night to chat about whatever you want (last event ranged from start-ups to Buddhism).

“Th in gs be c o me c le ar and suddenly totally achievable.” Which empowering advice can you give women who find themselves in a ‘crisis’?

JO: Recognising that you are frustrated or unhappy in your personal or professional life can be an instigator of wonderful things and does not have to be a mad ‘crisis’. And hey, you are not alone. So many women feel the same. Just find your squad, so to speak, and use it.

How can women use the quarter life crisis as a positive force to transform?

SAS: By using their feelings to fuel positive interactions and do something they would not have otherwise thought about doing before. For us, the ‘crisis’ has allowed to meet a whole bunch of incredible women who we would never have crossed paths with otherwise. And that’s a pretty amazing thing.

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dating microphone for instance. This is supported by good music, good food and drinks.


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THE UNDERN EATH PROJECT

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lone li ness

s h ou l d we escape or embrace it ?

words:

emma lindgreen

illustration: roguehip

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In fashion, self-expression through clothing is a way of communicating to the outside world what we feel on the inside. With every layer taken off we get closer to our skin, our bodies, our souls. The power of femininity is to integrate our emotions, not let them tamed by anyone. Emotional maturity is to allow us to feel anything and everything: happiness, success, fear, anxiety, vulnerability, failure, shame, loneliness. You name it. This way, feelings can unfold their magical power and transform us to become the most authentic version of ourselves.

”I wo uld n eve r c r y in public” – is a connected world ma kin g us mo r e lo nely ?

This issue’s Underneath Project features Flamina Vannozzi, a London based Fashion Media Creative who recently produced a film about loneliness. Her perfect English accent and brownred, curly hair makes it hard to tell she’s Italian. But her designer clothes, shiny jewellery and passionate way of expressing herself does reveal her origin. This fall Flaminia Maria Vannozzi (23) is finishing her MA in Fashion Media Production at London College of Fashion and has decided to focus her final project on a film about loneliness – a feeling she means all people have experienced at least once in their lives.

For the past six years Flaminia has lived in four different countries. In other words; she’s changed homes, friends and cities many times. But it wasn’t until she moved to London that she experienced how it is to feel truly lonely. ”I grew up as an only child, meaning I spent a lot of time playing by myself. I never felt lonely though. But arriving alone as a young woman to a big city with no friends or family here, and living in a room that basically only had a bed and a wardrobe, made me feel very small.”

“Th e id e a o f d o in g a project about loneliness came a ft e r r e a d in g a n article which said that during 1 a .m. a n d 3 a .m. t h e words lonely and loneliness are go o gle d a lmo s t 5 0 % more times than during the d ay.”

”I couldn’t stop to wonder why. We live in this digital era, where we’re supposed to feel connected 24/7 – but is technology actually making us feel lonelier?” Flaminia started to research how women feel about loneliness and decided to shoot a short documentary where she’d interview women in front of a camera, asking them do uncover how they felt about the word. ”I found it to be extremely hard to get women to sign up and it was almost like just talking about it was taboo.” But Flaminia managed to get five women to reveal themselves on tape. ”It was beautiful. And surprisingly, the answers were very similar even though the group of women was very diverse.”

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B e i n g co n n ected b ut fee l i n g di s co n n ected


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D o n’t tal k en o u g h abo ut l o n e l i n e ss The interviews showed that being lonely is to some extent equalised with signs of weakness or vulnerability. But it also showed that there’s a clear difference in doing things alone and being lonely. “One woman said that she loves to spend time alone; doing yoga, taking a walk or just watching a movie, but that she can’t stand the thought of being lonely. And what surprised me a bit is that there also might be a generation gap. Being a young woman in 2015 means you aren’t necessarily married at 25, with your second child on its way. So the idea of not having a partner may make loneliness feel different today than compared to what it did in for example the 50’s.” By producing this film, Flaminia hopes that more women will start to address the fact that loneliness isn’t necessarily negative, and that it’s ok to feel it sometimes. “I want this project to acknowledge that women do feel lonely. Sometimes. Often. Once in a while. And that’s alright. We all do. But we also need to stop showing off a perfect life in social media. We want to paint a picture of a life that’s full of success, friends, family, relationships. But why are we so scared about exposing our true selves online? I’m sure that feeling lonely is something probably every woman in the world could relate to.”

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“ I wa n t th i s p r o je c t t o a ckn owledge that women do fe e l l on e l y. S o me t ime s. Oft e n . O nce in a while”

How has this project changed your attitude towards loneliness?

Flaminia: “I’ve always been a bit restrained from showing my feelings. I would never cry in public. If I was sad about something, I’d wait until I was at home by myself to show any type of emotions. This project has changed that. Because I’ve realized that to make loneliness a less taboo topic, we need to address it. Talk about it. Help each other understand that it’s not only ok, it’s perfectly normal to feel lonely sometimes. What it is, is just a disconnection. A lack of something. It’s a feeling; it can and it will eventually go away.”

Wa t ch Fla m in a ’s f ilm a bo ut lo n elin ess o n www.symag azine.co.u k

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"If y ou get the i nside ri g ht, th e o uts i de w i l l fall into place�

Ec k h art T o l l e

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SOUL STORIES Hear t lessons that t el l us wh o we re a l ly a re a n d w hy we’re here; th e eter n a l b ea ut y o f t h e s c a t t ere d s o ul .


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This is my body The relationship we have with our bodies can be one of the most intimate or distant connections we experience. It can be a vessel f o r p l e a s u r e o r p a i n . Wo r l d r e n o w n e d c u r v y m o d e l A g l a ĂŤ Â D r e y e r reveals the story about her journey from being a size zero model to being a curvy model.

words: helen woltering edit: emma lindgreen photographs: ed little photography

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” It’s n ot n e c e s s a r ily t h e lo o ks o r siz e, but her energy, th a t m a ke s a wo ma n be a ut iful.”

The golden sun over Portobello Road Market was touching her rosy cheeks when she took off her ray bans to look for me. ‘Let’s get a lemonade and a falafel, this is one of my favourite places in town, you have to try it.’ Her positive energy immediately swapped over to me and I felt like I have met her before. “When I arrived in Ghana, the women called me the little skinny one”, Aglaë Dreyer says while putting the hazelnut brown corkscrew curls behind her ears. “Believe it or not but it’s actually undesirable to be skinny there”

Trave l To Reconn ect When Aglae Dreyer (27) was 18 years old, she decided to give up her model career after finishing high school to spend almost a year in Ghana and Costa Rica. The trip was first and foremost just about taking some time off; to study Spanish and to teach young children. But the change of scenery made Aglaë put the ideals of how to look into a new perspective. “I spent a lot of time learning how to cook local dishes, less time on how I looked, and eventually gained 15 kg during the ten months I was away. At the same time, I felt reconnected with myself again.” Aglaë  went back to Europe to start her university studies, but coming back to a society where skinniness constantly is encouraged made her long back to Costa Rica. “At the time I couldn’t get my old jeans over my thighs and I started to hate myself and my body. It was like there were skinny girls everywhere I looked.”

Something Had To Change A few years after Aglaë was back from Costa Rica her previous model agency contacted her to say that there was a new market for so called “plus size” models. At that point, Aglaë’s self-esteem had almost reached rock bottom. “It was like I didn’t recognize myself anymore and their call made me think that I needed to loose weight again, and change, but they actually told me I looked fantastic and that my size would be anything but a problem.” Aglaë was now back in the model business soul stories

with her beautiful size 42/44 and started to notice more and more curvy models taking place in the industry.

Did the label ‘plus size’ make you feel liberated or restricted? A: To be put in the spotlight and told that you’re beautiful with size 42/44 is a really good thing and extremely empowering. Growing up, we were always told that being big and curvy isn’t necessarily something desirable and because of that, I was very self-conscious in the beginning of my “second” model career. By the age of 23 though I felt great, seeing other gorgeous curvy models feeling good in their skin and to see their bodies being celebrated was truly liberating. And honestly, I could finally embrace life again and started to enjoy eating good food.

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" O n ce t h e fo c us is o ff t h e way we look, we can focus on so much mo r e than appearance.�

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What did this mean for the quality of your life? A: My life basically started to flow again and everything fell into place. I think that once the focus is off the way we look, we can focus on so much more than appearance. I used to count calories in everything, which meant I was never fully present when, for example, having dinner with friends. But I think that when you are actually relaxed and happy, there is more positive energy revolving around you and people are more attracted to that energy rather than the way you look. For me, the transition from being a skinny to being a curvy model meant more projects, more

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success in my work and after all more harmony in my personal life.

What is your advice to other women who struggle with their body image? A: When you feel insecure about your body it is important to acknowledge that feeling and to realize that it’s ok to feel insecure. I think everyone in this world feels insecure sometimes. But remember that it’s just a feeling and it can and will go away. Take control of your thoughts and do something else to take the thoughts away; go for a run or a walk, take a shower, put some lotion on your body. Think more about your well-being rather than the details of how you look. Before castings or shows, I tend to get a bit nervous – thinking about how my face might look tired or that my hair is dry, but when I arrive at the casting and I find that no one else is noticing this, I realize how much of our negative thoughts are just in our head.

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What is a beautiful woman to you? A: Beauty is definitely a feeling. A beautiful woman is a confident woman; she is nice, smart and humble. Sometimes I see gorgeous looking women but who have a negative energy or aura and my notion of their beauty changes in a second. And then you see a woman who perhaps isn’t breathtaking at a first glance but who has this positive energy which makes her the most beautiful person. All in all, it’s not about physical beauty but about harmony and energy.

"Pu tting all women in one body shape seems w r ong to me and it’s really not that creative.”

Who are you role models? A: My mum of course, she is a really strong woman. But also my friends, I admire our differences and how strong they are. Of course there are beautiful celebrities; Naomi Campbell, Candice Swanepoel and Romy Schneider to name a few, but it’s the people around me like my family, friends and model colleagues who help me to love myself and who make me feel beautiful.

If you could change the society’s image of the female body and how it is represented in the media, what would you change? A: Agencies should use different body types to a much bigger extent, from size 0 to size 18 – because putting all women in one body shape seems wrong to me and it’s really not that creative. Even from a stylist’s point of view I take it would be more of an exciting challenge to style different shapes and body forms. There should be space for everyone; having clothes flow on different body types is beautiful.

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Strong is b e a u t i f u l words: helen woltering photographs: jack thomson

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It is us, emotionally strong women, who motivate the rest to push on and who emerge as voices of change. Emancipation allowed for us to be strong in so many ways: the tough business woman, the strong single mother, the adventurous twenty something. As long as we, and here comes the twist, embody strength through the way we look: slim, slender, toned. Physical female strength is often considered as something that belongs to men only. However, our bodies are not made to please a certain norm but for us to perform on the stage of life, for doing what we’re best at: living the dream. Originally from Singapore, Adelene Stanley discovered her dream was dancing very early on and she pursued it ever since. After moving to London at the age of 16 to attend Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, she won several Outstanding Performance Awards and scholarships. Her muscular body is a symbol of her achievements. What is it about dancing that empowers you? To me dancing is a truly empowering feeling as I get to experience a state where I am in total control of the flesh. My mind, body and soul are connected. I find great satisfaction to use my body as a tool to communicate my thoughts, ideas and my feelings. The greatest thing is that become hypersensitive to my body and all the surroundings which enables me to be fully present and aware.

”A strong woman does not allow society to define who she is and r e s t r i c t w h a t s h e ’s c a p a b l e o f a c c o m p l i s h i n g.” How does it empower other people? Dance can be many things to many different people. To some (like myself), it is a profession and to others it can be a mere experiment. I believe that both would allow one to experience liberation and empowerment through the joy of movement. How much do you exercise? During the training period, it is usually 2-3 classes a week, which are around an hour and a half each. In a company setting, the training can increase to 4-5 hours of dance rehearsals per day. As I travel a lot, I always have a yoga mat and a roller handy so I can soul stories

do Pilates and body conditioning whenever and wherever I want. How did you perceive the transformation of your body through dancing over time? Through dancing, my body got stronger and more agile. I became more aware and sensitive to each part of my body I’d say. Would you say that your physical strength makes you feel mentally strong? Yes, I think you can draw a connection here but I wouldn’t say that one completely affects the other. Plus there are other factors that would make you feel mentally strong such as emotions and experiences.

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You also work as a model, how does the modeling industry perceive a female with a rather muscular body type? There’s a growing trend to fit muscular bodies. However, when flipping through magazines and watching runway shows, it is still clear that female models on the runway are skinny and slender-figured compared to being muscular and well-built. It strongly depends on what you expose yourself to, though. Health and fitness magazines promote healthy diets and muscular toned bodies. They are not fixating on skinny mannequin-like figures and crash diets which is the opposite of health and fitness. What is a strong woman to you? A strong woman to me is someone who is confident, independent, who is determined, a goal-setter, someone who is aware of her strengths and weaknesses and accepts and embraces the flaws in herself. And most of all, a strong woman does not allow society to define who she is and restrict what she’s capable of accomplishing. How would you define beauty? I think beauty can be so diverse, but recently I see it as the ability to radiate joy and happiness. People are attracted to happy people and therefore being happy is beautiful. To freely allow your spirit to shine through in whatever you’re doing – that’s beauty. Dance is a lot about balance. How do you keep the balance in your everyday life? I am surrounded by art and dance every minute of my day so balance is already a part of me. Having said that, I find balance by seeking out other things that make me happy, whether it’s religion, or surrounding myself with the people I love and at times not taking myself too seriously and just relax. I always tell myself to breathe, soak in the beauty around, enjoy life and enjoy people. Life is just too short to let anything pass you by. When do you feel most alive? When I dance. Whether it’s for thousands of paying audiences or for myself quietly in a studio exploring, reconnecting, rediscovering. For me, this is a constant journey. I

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discover new things about my body and myself every single day.

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" The moment y ou change y o ur percepti on is the moment y ou rewrite the c h e m i stry of y o ur b o dy �

D r B r u c e Li p t o n

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NOT A BR IT N E Y M OM E N T THE EXTREME CROP

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Many women have turned to a new hairstyle, looking for a dramatic c h a n g e i n s i d e t h e m s e l v e s t o l e a v e t h e p a s t a l o n g w i t h t h e h a i r. Z a r a B a r r i e, E d i t o r o f E l i t e D a i l y s ay s t h a t “ w h e n a g i r l f i n d s t h e c o u ra g e t o c u t o f f h e r h a i r, s h e i s f i n a l l y o w n i n g w h o s h e t r u l y i s . ” We l l , with that being said – women who do still enjoy their long curls can o f c o u r s e s t i l l b e t r u e t o t h e m s e l v e s , b u t t h i s a r t i c l e i s a b o u t t h e f e w, a n d e s p e c i a l l y o n e , b r a v e w o m a n w h o d a r e d t o c r o p a l l t h e w a y.

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edited by: emma lindgreen

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words and images: helen woltering


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Nieke Reinds, a 24-year-old fashion creative based in London, talks us through the liberating power of shaving her head. She recently exchanged her long strawberry blonde hair for a soft touch of nothing.

How did this decision make you feel? N: Relieved... I never thought I could feel so happy, free and liberated at the same time. Why did you shave your hair and what does your new style mean to you? N: I was just tired of having long hair. I couldn’t even concentrate anymore because I thought of shaving it all the time. I wanted to know if people like me for who I am – that it’s not all about the beautiful long hair. I was actually really excited and curious how people would react.

" T h e i d e a o f s h avin g my h a ir h as been with me for q u i te som e t ime. I’ve a lways liked my hair either ve r y s h or t or ve r y lo n g.” Do people look at you and treat you differently now? N: Yes. They certainly do. Some people actually look at me, giving me that “oh, you poor girl-look”, thinking I’m having a “Britney moment” (laughs). I usually don’t mind, but I do find that the general perception of me when walking in malls or stores has changed. For example, never before have so many security staff members asked to look through my bags when visiting grocery stores. And then, the “are you gay-question”. I think people are interested in things that stand out. Do you perceive a difference in how women and men react? Clearly. Some women look at me as if they pity me, others just look surprised. As for men, well everyone has a different taste. Some are attracted by the look of “otherness”. A female friend recently advised me to wear a cap for a job interview, but why would I want to hide underneath a cap?

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What exactly changed after having this new look? N: People would now come and approach me for photo shoots or interviews like you guys (laughs). This never happened before. A magazine in Paris even flew me in for a shoot. Most of the people compliment me but they also want to know if I am ok, if I am sick or if my hair burned, it’s hilarious. But believe it or not, I am still the same person – even without the hair.

Does this haircut make you feel more powerful? N: No it doesn’t, but it showed me that I can totally trust my gut feeling and my intuition which is somehow powerful.

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" I am still the same person” Do you feel like a leading example for other women to show courage? N: I certainly pushed the boundaries of femininity for myself and the people around me, but not for the general public. This is really personal.

"W h e n I am bored on the tube I imagine how th e wo me n sitting opposite to me would look like w ith o ut h air” Did your perception of beauty change? N: No, not at all. To me, beauty is not related to hair or hairstyle. But one thing did change though; When I’m bored on the tube or somewhere else I look at other women and imagine how they would look without hair. Sometimes I see a woman with long hair and I think to myself: “you would be so hot without hair”. (laughing) What does hair mean to you?

and goes.

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N: At the end of the day nothing really. It’s just hair. Like everything in life, it comes


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ART &

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words: helen woltering artworks: debora saveriano

L e t ’s g o a n a l o g f o r a m o m e n t : i m a g i n e o n e t h i n g t h a t y o u a l w ay s w a n t ed to do but haven’t done yet. What would it be and how would it feel? Close your eyes and paint a picture.

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Li vi ng t he d r e am, g oi ng for w hat we wa n t a n d l e t t i n g i t ch a n g e o ur l i ve s i s s c a ry fo r m o s t of us. If d r e ams s e e m t o b e t oo b i g, we p o s t po n e t h e m t o ‘ s o m e day ’ . ‘ S o m e day ’ b e c o m e s a word t hat i s r oot e d d e e p ou r vocab u l a ry w i t h o u t k n ow i n g t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f i t ’s m e a n i n g. ‘Som e d ay’ me ans you s t ay i n you r c o m fo r t z o n e a l i t t l e l o n g e r, ‘ s o m e d ay ’ m e a n s yo u p ri o ri ti se ‘u r g e nci e s ’ s u ch as e mai l s, p ho n e c a l l s, m e e t i n g s ove r t h e t h i n g s t h a t t r u l y m a t t e r t o yo u. ‘Some d ay me ans you comp r om i s e m e di o c re ove r ex c e p t i o n a l . W h a t i f ‘ s o m e day ’ wa s today and t he r e was no mor e t i me t o do t h e t h i n g s yo u a l way s wa n t e d t o do ? Pl anning you r l i f e b e g i ns w i t h l i s t e n i n g t o w h a t yo u r h e a r t h a s t o s ay a n d h av i n g a n i d e a o f what you r e al l y want t o accomp l i s h i n yo u r l i f e. C h r i s G ui l l e b e a u, A m e r i c a n e n t re p re n e ur and blog g e r of t he ‘A r t of Non-Confo rm i t y ’ B l o g fo un d o u t w h a t s t o p s pe o pl e f r o m m ov i n g fo rwar d : i t i s havi ng no cl e ar s e ns e o f d i re c t i o n . T h i s i s n o t s ur p ri s i n g w h e n l o o k i n g a t t h e educat i on s ys t e m. We ar e t au g ht al g e br a but we do n ’t g e t a ny g u i d a n c e o n h ow t o f i g u re o u t our l i ve s. A ccor d i ng t o G u i l l e b au , t h e bi g g e s t ch a l l e n g e s a r e i n s i d e o ur s e l ve s : t h e f e a r o f fai l ure, t he f e ar of s u cce s s and f e ar o f ch a n g e i n g e n e r a l . Fear kee p s p e op l e f r om answe r i ng s e e m i n g l y e a s y q u e s t i o n s s u ch a s ‘ w h o a m I ’ a n d ‘ w h a t d o I want ’ ? Mi ck Uk l e j a, A me r i can au t ho r a n d Le a d e r s h i p C o n s ul t a n t , fo u n d o u t t h a t i de n t i t i e s are o ft e n t i e d t o w hat you we r e d u e t o p a s t ex pe ri e n c e s, b u t n o t w h o yo u a r e ri g h t n ow o r who yo u w i l l b e i n t he f u t u r e. Se l f - r e f l e c t i o n h a s b e c o m e a l ux ur y i n a wo rl d g ove rn e d by cl ocks and w hi s t l e s, not many p e op le c a n s e e m t o a f fo rd i t a ny m o re. B y po s t p o n i n g e s s e nti al thi ng s t o ‘ s ome d ay’ we can d r i f t f u rt h e r away f ro m o ur s e l ve s t h a n we m i g h t t h i n k . Im agi n e, w he n p i l ot s t ake of f onl y 0 . 2 % , s o o n e c o m pa s s d e g r e e t o o m uch N o rt h , S o u t h , West o r Eas t , t hey can e nd u p hu nd r e ds o f m i l e s away f ro m t h e a c t ua l d e s t i n a t i o n . T h e refo re th e s e e mi ng l y s mal l p r ocr as t i n a t i o n s we m a ke m i g h t h ave a m uch bi g g e r i m p a c t t h a n we thi nk . Bu t t he r e i s a t u r ni ng p oin t i n o ur l i ve s w h e r e we n e e d t o l i s t e n t o o u r i n t e r n a l com pa s s and b e t r u e t o ou r s e l ve s. R h o n d a B y r n e, a ut h o r o f T h e S e c re t Law o f A t t r a c t i o n , cl ai m s t hat vi s u al i s i ng w hat you wa n t a n d s e e i n g yo ur g o a l i n f r o n t o f yo u r eye s w i l l h e l p to m ani f e s t i t i nt o you r l i f e. If ‘so me d ay’ was t od ay, we s hou l d g et be h i n d t h e s t e e ri n g w h e e l a n d dr i ve i n t h e di r e c t i o n of o ur d r e ams. We as ke d f i ve wome n i n t h e i r m i d t we n t i e s t o t e l l us w h o t h ey wa n t t o be i n f i ve ye ar s and t u r ne d t he i r f u t u r e vis i o n i n t o a n a r t wo rk fo r t h e m t o s e e t h e bi g g e r p i c t ur e. soul stories

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L AU R A Y VO N N E

International Law student at the University of London, 25 years-old, London

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That's me Curious, courageous, empathetic

My dream is To live a courageous and loving life that constantly challenges myself and that doesn’t conform to any perfection but my own.

I feel most connected to myself when When I live in the moment and when I’m with people where the connection is so strong and intense that I completely forget about the world around me.

Something I always wanted to do Throw a huge garden party with my friends from all over the world: Istanbul, Iran, India, Germany, London…

One thing I want to make happen in the next five years Work outside the EU and absorb as many cultures as I can.

My next step is Saying yes to all the things that my heart wants and say no to the things that do not feel right, and finish my Master’s successfully of course.

A word that I should use more often Love, I think it’s the only way to overcome life’s challenges, whatever those might be. soul stories

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That’s me Warm-hearted, ambitious, vulnerable

My dream is To get on a plane, traveling to different places without booking it in advance, just going where my heart would take me.

I feel most connected to myself when I feel comfortable and free. When I am all alone, watching the ocean.

Something I always wanted to do Paragliding!

One thing I want to make happen in the next five years Meeting someone who loves me for who I am.

A word that I should use more often

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Wanderlust – Live is not meant to be lived in one place, it is a continuous discovery.

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A N T JE G R AU L

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Phd Marketing and Business student at Leeds Business School, 26 years-old, Leeds, United Kingdom


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That’s me Passionate, positive, confident

My dream is To be happy and pleased with my career. “Love what you do” Living in a beautiful nicely decorated home, with my future husband, two children and two dogs. I am a family person.

I feel most connected to myself when I am able to live the life I’ve created for myself. When I can run my own business and be creative. I want to know that the content I produce reflects my personality and inspires other people and therefore makes their lives a little bit more beautiful.

Something I always wanted to do Travelling to Madagascar.

One thing I want to make happen in the next five years I feel like the next five years will shape my life, career-wise and on a personal level. It is impossible to name one thing. I am in a phase of transition, again. Having my own business is my baby, until one, day I have a real one. Getting a dog, as silly as it sounds, but it is one of the things on my to-do list.

My next step is Investing in new equipment to refine my videos.

A word that I should use more often soul stories

Willpower – Nothing is impossible in life, if you work hard. Everything pays off at the end of the day.

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JAMIN A NICO LAYSEN

Youtube Beauty Vlogger @jamina1404, 27 years-old, Hamburg, Germany soul stories

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JU L I A N E F R I S S E

Managing editor, Munich, Germany, 29 years-old

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That’s me Communicative, chaotic, curious

My dream is To be unconditionally happy and manage to do something that makes other people happy as well and therefore improves their lives.

I feel most connected to myself when I can dance.

Something I always wanted to do Living abroad for a longer period of time, probably New York.

One thing I want to make happen in the next five y ears I want to travel more.

My next step is Planning a trip to Mexico and finally give myself a break.

A word that I should use more often Yes – because the word means commitment.

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If you could be

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anything, what would you be?

photographs: emmi hyyppä styling: helen woltering hair & make-up: iga wasylczuk, mattie white words: helen woltering

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Finnish photographer Emmi Hyyppä researches empowering photography through creating individual fantasies. Empowering photography questions the traditional relationship between photographer and subject - and shifts it around. They become equal, in a dialogue with each other, where the subject has the ability to bring their personality and story into the photograph. Asking people the above-mentioned question Emmi manages to dig deep into her participants' minds and get genuine answers that may trigger the subject’s feeling of vulnerability as well as strength. Based on their answer the fantasy-image is created in collaboration with the subject. Through the project participants have a unique chance to discover something new about themselves and to bring forth their real or hidden identity. What makes the journey special is that the participants will be able to see themselves as they would like to be seen and eventually feel empowered. Sincerely Yours collaborated with Emmi and we asked four young women in their mid-twenties what they would want to be if they could be anything. Let yourself be immersed in their fantasies.

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Katariina Salomaki, 27, Finland If I could be anything, I would be genderless.

"It was cool to explore ideas with Emmi and her crew and then try different things in the shooting session. This project enabled me to see another side of myself definitely. I also realised how challenging it is to find the expression that can capture what you really want to communicate to the outside world. This made me to

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think how easy it is to be misinterpreted in real life."

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Anaïs LY, 23, Paris, London If I could be anything, I would be an arctic fox.

“I never though it would be possible to be an arctic fox in London. Being in a cold crowded urban space around the Tate Modern, feeling the crisp autumn wind on my face whilst being warm and protected in my nest surrounded by birch trees was a compelling experience. I felt empowered by fitting into an un-

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usual environment.”

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Emma Lindgren, 26, Sweden If I could be anything, I would be sustainable.

“Managing to combine the green, nature setting with urban London really empowered me. This is where I feel I’m at my best. The flowers that covered my arms

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made me feel very beautiful and calm.”

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Marin San Martin, 23, Mexico If I could be anything, I would be water.

“I have been able to stop my thoughts in this ice cold water and I was completely present in the moment which is really rare nowadays. I always have a million thoughts in my head. Being immersed in the nature and becoming one with the water was a truly power-

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ful experience.�

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"Yo u n e e d ch a os in you r s ou l t o g i ve b i r t h t o a da n c i n g s t a r.� Fr iedrich N ietz sche

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Sto c k l i st A d e l e n e S t a n l e y / h t t p : / / w w w. a d e l e n e s t a n l e y. c o m A g l a ë D r e y e r / w w w. w i l h e l m i n a . c o m / w w w. i n s t a g r a m . c o m / a g l a e l o v i n y o u A l e k s a n d r a K l i c k a / h t t p : / / k l i c k a p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m A n n a B o a t e l l a / w w w. c a r g o c o l l e c t i v e . c o m / a n n a b o a t e l l a A n i s h a P a r m a r L o n d o n / w w w. a n i s h a p a r m a r . c o m A s o s / h t t p : / / w w w. a s o s . c o m C h r i s t a b e l M a c g r e e v y / w w w. c h r i s t a b e l m a c g r e e v y. c o m C l a u d i a B i e l e / w w w. c l a u d i a b i e l e . p o r t f o l i o b o x . m e / i l l u s t r a t i o n s D m i t r y G o t s f r i d / w w w. s h o w t i m e . a r t s . a c . u k / D m i t r y G o t s f r i d E d L i t t l e P h o t o g r a p h y / w w w. e d l i t t l e p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m E g l e A n d r i u s / w w w. e g l e a n d r i u s . c o m E m m i H y y p p ä / w w w. e m m i h y y p p a . c o m F r e e P e o p l e / w w w. f r e e p e o p l e . c o m H a i l i J i n / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / j i n h a i l i s t u d i o H u y k e L o n d o n / w w w. h u y k e . n e t / J e s s i c a S h a w / w w w. j e s s i c a s h a w l a b e l . c o . u k K r a s i m i r a S t o y n e v a / w w w. k r a s i m i r a s t o y n e v a . c o m L o l o B a t e s / w w w. l o l o b a t e s . c o m N a t a l i e J a c o b / w w w. n a t e e y. c o m / e d i t o r i a l N i c h o l a s R o c h a s / w w w. i n s t a g r a m . c o m / n i c h o l . a s s O p h e l i e R o n d e a u / w w w. o p h e l i e r o n d e a u . c o m R o x y / w w w. r o x y - u k . c o . u k S t e p h a n i e G a l e a / w w w. s t e p h a n i e g a l e a . c o m T h e Q u a r t e r C l u b / w w w. t h e q u a r t e r c l u b . o r g T h o m a s i n a S p e n d e r / w w w. t h o m a s i n a m u a . f o r m a t . c o m To r i F e r e n c / w w w. t o r i f e r e n c . c o m

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Sincerely Yours Magazine  
Sincerely Yours Magazine  

Personal Development, Identity, Fashion

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