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JULY 2015



PRETTY GRRRL MAGAZINE DEAR GRRRLS, It feels like it’s been forever since the last issue came out! Crazy how time flies. Anyway, the school year ended (at least in the US) and the stress of academia is behind us. *Cue collective sigh of relief.* I hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful and relaxed summer. Eat a popsicle. Go for a swim. Walk your dog. Eat another popsicle. Eat 34 popsicles. Sit on your couch and watch Netflix all day. You do you.

founding editor in chief



THE USUALS 07 ............................................................................playlist 08 ...............................................................................looks 09 ..................................................................who to watch 10 ..............................................................................words

FEATURES 12 .............................................................................not his 15 ..................................................................................she 16 ...................................................................feel the bern 18 ..................................................................................slut 21 .......................................................................#lovewins the loony bin and back 23 ................................................................the selkie girls 28 .......................................................................wildflower 30


founder / editor in chief aly ransom assistant editor bethany elliot cover photo aly ransom playlist maker harriet denntin

issue two // july twenty fifteen

contributing writers monse arce, madeline buckshaw, heather delaney, bethany hardy, lilly kujawski, aly ransom, micaela rigley, maxi seagroatt contributing artist(s) heather delaney description pretty grrrl magazine, an online publication based in michigan with a team of brilliant girls from all around. we aim to embrace the female gender as the powerhouse it is, and to simply find things that make us feel good while saying what we want. our goal is to share our thoughts unapologetically. connect inquiries images: all images sourced via tumblr

coverage: lilly kujawski

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how to look cool as hell with minimal effort 101.

cop the look: skirt: tennis skirt in patriot blue by american apparel shoes: erin black flat riding ankle boots by parisia fashion bag: white cities bag with strap by american apparel the top is just a white button down, and then a jean jacket. those will vary.


aly ransom

who to watch Laila Fahim is a 20 year old college student from Pittsburgh that is currently making waves in the music world. Her first EP, Sad Girls Club, hit iTunes store on June 24th, and made it to #12 on the Top 50 chart in the

stay connected with laila twitter @loserlaila tumblr instagram soundcloud itunes

singers/songwriters category. Her smooth voice and soft guitar playing give an aura that will make you crave nothing more than a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a good cry. harriet denntin

L aila

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soigné \swän-ˈyā\ (adj.) 10


possessing an aura of sophistication in dress, manner, or design; presented or prepared with an elegance attained through care for the finer details pretty grrrl magazine // 11

NOT HIS When I walk down the street and you tell me my ass looks great, in my head I’m like “fuck you! I know my ass looks great, that’s not a compliment, you’re scaring me.” On the outside, I smile, mold myself into something that belongs to you, your toy, your friend, your baby. I am not yours, we don’t even know each other, and I don’t want to know you. You hate those girls who are so good looking you want to cry, and you do, you whine and plead with her: “come on baby”, “I’m such a nice guy”, “I love you”, and when she says “no”, you don’t listen you don’t care, you see yourself as entitled, to her silken skin to her velvet lips her luscious hair, she is your doll, your sweet, innocent… No! She is a motherfucking tidal wave, she is an earthquake, a thunderstorm, you are a raindrop rolling off her cheek, she is bounty, fury, 12

incredible, power, you are a piece of dust, and she just stepped on your face, you can’t own another person, she, I, we are not yours. Your entitlement makes me sick, you are disgusting she is a part of the night sky, and you’re a piece of space junk, she is waterfalls, mountains, hurricanes, you are pebbles, she is a forest, and you are a twig falling from her branches. She is everything good, and beautiful, and golden, you are nothing. She is the sun, and you are a raincloud fading away. I love her like my little sister, I don’t even have a little sister, but if I did, I’d tell her: You are the most beautiful breath of fresh air, you are rainbows and daisies in the spring, don’t let a man treat you like his cigarette, don’t let him put you out, you are not his bad habit, or a quick escape in the evening before you’re disposed, lifeless in an ashtray coffin, you are a torch that burns on and on, pretty grrrl magazine // 13

you are so much better than him, you are better than his empty beer bottles, you are better than his worn out leather jacket, tossed on his living room floor, you’re better than the tobacco he chews, and his gambling problem, he keeps playing, but he’ll never win. Know yourself, know your thunderbolts that shoot through your veins, know the flowers that grow through your body, nourish them, water them, love yourself, love yourself like you love your cat. He might pluck your petals, but he can’t tear your roots up, you will continue to bloom and bloom, don’t let him stunt your growth, you are a garden, you are a princess, you are everything, and you do not belong to him. lilly kujawski


sHe I see her in every speaker’s passionate pause, I see her in the daylight that breaks through the swaying green leaves. I see her in the brittle broken china teacup, I see her in the crisp new air of winter’s dawn. I see her in the nervous hitch of breath starting the phrase ‘I’m…’ I see her in the first lip quiver before an emotional downpour. I see her in the trip the mailman makes over the curb - every single time - when I get new bills delivered, I see her in the fresh print of a new book. I see her in the reflective pennies at the bottom of a fountain, I see her in the lick of a finger before turning a catalogue page. I see her in the sublime falls of a hidden waterfall, I see her in the dense woodland looking up at the starry night sky. I see pieces of her everywhere I go, but I have not seen her yet.

bethany h. elliot

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FEEL THE BERN Bernie Sanders, a democrat from New York, is running for the democratic party seat in the next U.S. election. The election, where he’ll be up against Hillary Clinton, has many wondering what the best decision is. Although having a female president for the first time ever would be badass, here’s why Sanders is the better choice: Sanders has an “Agenda For America” containing steps towards bettering the nation. Rebuilding: Sanders plans to cut back on war, and use $1 trillion (a third of the cost of the Bush/Cheney Iraq War cost) to rebuild roads, water systems, schools, waste plants, railroads, and airports. Not only will these renovations improve the appearance and quality of America, but it will give over 10 million well paying jobs to those in America who are struggling. Climate Change: Cutting back on fossil fuels and using sustainable energy sources will make the world a place where generations to come can live. Sanders plans to do that and weatherize homes, which will not only help our good friend, Earth, but give the unemployed a source of employment that will pay them well. Accelerating the production of solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy will make Earth safer for all those who inhabit it, and America needs to play its part. Unions: Sanders acknowledges that opposition to unions make it increasingly hard to form. Creating legislature that makes unionizing pain free will make it easier to form, thus increasing the wages made. Minimum Wage: Sanders referred to the current minimum wage, which is a whopping $7.25, as “starvation wage”. Sanders plans to raise minimum wage so that those now making just above seven dollars an hour for forty hours a week no longer have to live paycheck to paycheck. PAY EQUALITY FOR WOMEN!!!!!: Bernie Sanders sees the wage gap between women and men and plans to change it. For the first time ever, a man with the power to create a change plans to have all genders earn the same wages for the same job. This is a HUGE deal!!! Women 16

across the nation will finally earn the money they deserve for doing the same job as

their male counterparts. The wage gap will be a thing of the past if Bernie is voted into office!! AFFORDABLE COLLEGE FOR ALL: A F F OR D A B L E C O L L E G E F O R A L L. If Sanders is in office, gone are the days of insane college debt. He plans to lower tuition fees so those coming from low income families will be able to afford the higher education they need to succeed. Healthcare: Sanders recognizes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege of those who can afford it. Sanders plans to make medicare for everyone! Protecting Poverty Stricken: Expanding medicare, medicaid and nutrition programs, as well as strengthening Social Security and other social safety nets, is what Sanders plans to do to keep citizens out of harm’s way. These aren’t all of the highlights for Sanders agenda, but definitely ones that should be recognized. If you are 18 or older, please exercise your right to vote!!! The country can’t see positive change if you don’t vote for the people who can create it. All information for this article was found on Bernie Sanders’ website. For more on Bernie and the steps in the agenda that weren’t covered in this article, head to agenda. -MR pretty grrrl magazine // 17

SLUT Have you ever been called a slut? I don’t even have to go out on a limb here to say that, chances are, you probably have been a victim of that nasty word at least once. It’s becoming all too common for girls (guys too, but let’s be real here- it impacts girls on a social level way more) to be called a “slut.” The word is haphazardly strewn around without much thought to how it may affect someone.


I remember the first time I was called a slut. I was a 7th grader, and a girl in 8th grade decided the shorts I had worn were too short, thus making me a slut. In my naïve, 12 year old eyes, I couldn’t understand what I had done that was worthy of that insult. One thing I did know however, was that “slut” now carried a different weight. It wasn’t exclusively applicable to promiscuous women, as it was in the past. Not anymore. No, now, you could call a 12 year old girl, who


had no notion of any sexuality yet, a “slut.” Not only did the insult hurt my self esteem, but it opened up the insult for my own use. It justified my own use of it to hurt other girls. I’m not the only one. This is the cycle. Let’s clean the slate. Get rid of any and all definitions of the word “slut” you may carry. Throw them away. From this moment on, they do not exist. Now, what exactly is a “slut?” Originally, the word was used to describe a female dog who had given birth before. That’s it. It was first applied to women later, in the Shakespearean era to describe a woman who was dirty and poor. Again, that’s it. It was never originally meant to have any relation to a woman’s



sexuality. Only when society decided to equate being dirty with a woman being sexual did slut” become what it is today. This was just a way to shame women into being minimally sexual, into staying chaste. So that’s the first thing you need to know.

However, the word has evolved. It’s gone from referring to a dog, to an unhygienic and

poor woman, to an “inappropriately sexual” woman. Now, I see it being used as a general insult for any girl we don’t like. So why, if the word is used so frequently now, is it still so harmful?

Let’s assume that “slut” means an overly sexual woman, and only that. If we look at that from a fundamental perspective, it doesn’t seem so bad. Why is it bad for a woman to be overly sexual? What does it even mean to be overly sexual? These are finely drawn lines that are relative terms to begin with, so how does one actually even define what actions label you as a slut? It all comes down to this idea that we, as women, have to be pure. We’re given a sexual limit, where we’re told through society, “You can do this and this, but as soon as you do that, you’re done. You’re a slut.” Why should it matter what you do so long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else? If it’s making you happy, nobody else should have the right to tell you you’re doing something wrong, or that you, as a human, are dirty and vile. By being called a slut, you’re being deemed as inappropriate, and unworthy of any legitimate attention. Seriously, who decided what was and was not okay for me to do with my body? From here, we can see why it’s harmful to call a girl a “slut” even if it’s not related to something sexual, like me when I wore shorts in 7th grade. First, you’re implying that being sexual is bad. Then, you imply there is something sexually inappropriate about that girl, whether it’s true or not. Not to mention, when you apply “slut” to an 11-13 year old, a child, you’re sexualizing them. You’re adding confusion to their lives; pre-pubescent girls, already struggling with what it means to be a girl and the changes going on in her body. You make her question her sexuality, something most preteen girls barely have a full, mature understanding of. You make her question if she is too much, or if maybe she’s not sexual enough. This only perpetuates self esteem issues and pressures to fit in. Okay, so what’s the big deal? It’s just a word, ignore it. Right? Wrong. It’s a big deal because girls kill themselves over that word. It’s a big deal because it destroys self esteem, it ruins reputations. It’s a big deal because people justify rape with, “she was a slut, she had it coming.” Being called a slut takes away from the value people see you with. It dehumanizes

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girls, makes them feel inferior, like they did something wrong when maybe all they did was wear something showy. I have a problem with that word, and since I started to dislike it and understand why it’s bad, I stopped using it. I won’t lie, I’ve done my fair share of slut shaming in the past, and I can’t be sorry enough. So let’s establish something: That girl you don’t like? She’s not a slut. The girl who talks to a lot of guys isn’t one either; get rid of that jealousy you have for her, because she’s not a slut, and calling her one only shows your insecurity. Even that girl who goes after your boyfriend without concern for your feelings isn’t a slut. Sure, her morals aren’t good and that’s inconsiderate and rude of her, but she is not a slut. Trust me, it’s easy to go and call girls “slut” as a first resort, but don’t do it. Think of any time you were called that and how it made others see you, how it made you see yourself. Don’t bring that upon someone else. Don’t contribute to an idea, a philosophy that oppresses you. Because when you call someone that, whether you think so or not, you open yourself up to the insult even more. If she’s a slut, how do we know you aren’t one? Who are you to define what is “slutty?” You have no right. The only right you do have is to yourself. You have the right to be a good person, and to do whatever you please with your life and your body. But you don’t have the right to condemn someone else to harassment, to ridicule, to public humiliation just because you don’t like them. Support other girls, don’t bring them down. monse dial arce

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#LoveWins On June 26, 2015, history was made. The United States Supreme Court reached a verdict on the case regarding legalization of same-sex marriage, deeming it legal. The reaction to the decision was breathtaking (a fair amount of tears were shed on this end). According to Talkwalker, within the first hour of the Supreme Court releasing its decision, the #LoveWins hashtag saw - ready? a whopping 284,730 mentions and 60,727 unique tweets. The first hour. Hundreds of popular brands - including Ben & Jerry’s, Target, Honey Maid, Visa, American Airlines, Spotify, Tumblr, and Twitter - made public announcements and advertisements showing their support for the decision. Pride parades and festivities were around every corner, and you could hardly walk down the street without seeing something rainbow. Perhaps the strangest aspect of the decision is how surreal it all is. Imagine, in due time, kids in history classes will be frustratedly pulling at their hair while staring blankly at their test, trying to remember the answer to “When was samesex marriage legalized across the United States?” (Hint, kids: the answer is C. June 26, 2015.) The LGBT community is finally, finally, finally receiving the human rights that have been afforded to heterosexual people for centuries. And damn, it feels good. aly ransom

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to the loony bin and back h h h h h h h h h h 22

I stopped doing theatre because the anxiety of inevitable rejection drove me to the loony bin and back before I could even slip into my jazz shoes. I stopped doing sports because I was told that I would never be good enough to continue on to something bigger. I stopped writing music because I was told my lyrics were weak and my melodies weaker still. I stopped being myself because I was told who I am wasn’t good enough, who I am would never be good enough. Who I am was struggling not to suffocate under the scars self-inflicted on my person, scars I projected on my person, scars of a person I’ll never truly be. I stopped being myself because the anxiety of inevitable rejection drove me to the loony bin and back before I could even slip into personhood. I stopped loving myself before the age of 9 and I gave into social pressures before I could even begin to describe who I was. Who I am. A director once told me I could be great if I let go of anxiety. But how can you let go of a ghost who’s been haunting you since you could spell M I S S I S S I P P I? How do you cut away a part of yourself that you’ve known better than any person? How do you kill off something so intrinsically you that you wouldn’t recognize you without it? So, I worry. I worry about life, I worry about family, I worry about friends, I worry about vacations, and weekends, and plans. I worry, I worry, I worry. And I’ll worry until time ends. But I accept that. I accept every single part of me. maddy anne

h h h h h h h h h h

SELKIE GIRLS Foreword: This is a feminist interpretation of the Scottish folk-tale, ‘The Selkie Wife’, set in the Faroe Islands. The Northern coasts breed a frost so bitter it refuses to support the delicate flowers and fauna found further inland; any and all life attempting to thwart the cold are met by the unimaginably cruel hand of an everlasting winter, leaving roots rotten and the offspring of other creatures mockingly preserved in a post-mortem statue of ice. The product of this cruel land is found in its desolation – few dare to establish homes in the vicinity of the inhospitable coast, and those that do become twisted with loneliness and cruelty, their tempers as sharp as the ghouls in the winds that howl in their chimneys at night. The cold consumes all sources of warmth in your mind; leaving in their place a hollow emptiness occupied only by a sense of misery and loneliness matched by the hostility of the coast’s razor-sharp winds. A man, with a heart made of frozen rock hacked straight from the sheer cliffs that border the sea, has built his hearth upon these unforgiving coasts; a man who makes his living and seeks his food from the ocean. He drinks to fend off the cries of his loneliness, but when his head is spinning and he can’t manage to still his hand enough to pour himself another glass of spirits, the ghost of solitude always finds a way to open his ears to its devastating howl. He killed his first wife accidentally, and his second deliberately; both in fits of drunken violence. After the second incident he ran, looking for somewhere quiet where nobody would bother him about the past. However, humans aren’t the only inhabitants of this unfriendly land. Off the coast and in the caves that can only be accessed via the sea live the unlikely Selkies: seals that live in only the coldest waters who can strip out of their skins to play happily in the shores as beautiful young women. These are creatures of legend; ageless, unchanging, and wonderfully joyful. As seals they take pleasure in accompanying fishing boats, leading them away from storms into more fertile waters but ensuring their natural siblings, who are unable to escape from their hides, are safe from the nets. Those that believe in both luck and the supernatural will tell you that Selkies bring good fortune, too. To see a seal alongside your trawler, one with a special shine to its pelt and a twinkle in its happy round eyes, that’s enough to ensure that you’ll be safe the whole way

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home, where there’ll be a warm meal waiting for you. And for those that have glimpsed a group of bare women, each of incomparable beauty, frolicking in a secluded cove together, their lives are altered from that day forth. To see a Selkie in her human skin brings the beholder a revelation of happiness: an ability to find delight in the simplest things that is enough to fill the darkest of lives with wonder.

The fisherman was half-drunk when he clambered into his little sailing boat, and that had been many hours ago. Now he is weighed down with the contents of many bottles which have been carelessly discarded to the waves around him. He brews his own drink now: beer, calvados, moonshine, all of it foul tasting. Regardless, the yellow-toothed, yellow-eyed man at the market will buy it from him, on the rare occasions he ventures out of his home with a crate of the shamefully watered down alcohol. He hasn’t caught much today, enough for only a day’s worth of food and tomorrow he must get out his boat again if he is to eat for the night. The skies reflect his frown and they snarl down upon him, clouds swirling in irritation; there is to be a storm soon. He loosens one rope and tightens another, ducking as the sail’s beam swings round. He is to return home now and the distant shore looks welcoming although his vision is growing blurry. The minimal reflection of sunlight on the waves is quickly disappearing but there is no hope of seeing a moon tonight: the sky is too heavily blanketed. The choppy waves have more control over the fisherman’s boat than he, as he is coaxed away from the safety of the beach and toward the rocks sharp as broken glass. Shards jut out from the waves at the base of the looming cliff but he is aware that the greater predator lurks just out of sight, under the black waters, salivating at the sight of approaching prey: the unforeseen terror of countless invisible jagged rocks. He yanks the rope tighter and it snaps. He curses and his thick callused fingers scrabble over the frayed ends for a moment before he drops them in disgust. It is then that the heavy wooden beam collides with his forehead, emitting a solid thump, and he falls backwards off the side of his boat. The only acknowledgement the sea gives him is the splash around his unconscious body as he enters the water and sinks rapidly away from the light.


His head hurts, not like a headache (and he’s had enough of those in his time) but so much worse. He can smell fish, salt-water and something sweet in a surprisingly pleasant combination. He opens his eyes reluctantly, squinting at the morning light; there are four blurry figures moving quickly to and fro on the beach. A couple of blinks reveal that they’re dancing; lithe, plump, naked bodies skipping around on the sand emitting giggles and shrieks of happiness. Sitting up, he lets out a low, groaning sound as the pain in his head doubles and he falls back into the sand. One of the girls hurries to him, the shortest one, her shining silver yet tangled and matted hair flying out behind her. She bends over him, dabbing at his face with a wet cloth, cleaning away salt, sand and sleep-dust but he shrinks away. He tries to speak, wanting to rudely demand he be informed who she was, where he was and of the location of his boat, but the words stick in his throat. Her lovely brown eyes are full of pity and kindness, emotions he is unfamiliar with and he feels an overwhelming longing. Despite his muteness, she understands what he wants. Kneeling in the sand next to him, she tells him in a whispery, song-like voice how he fell into the sea as her and her sisters were swimming by and they saved him and his boat, carrying them both to this secluded cove. She explains to him that she is a Selkie, and tells him the nature of her kind, how they can emerge from their pelts, and the luck that they bring. He listens to all of this, nodding where appropriate but never shows any emotion or gratitude, so she finishes off by warning him: whilst Selkies bring great fortune, cross one and you will be certain to regret it. She decides to let him rest as he is looking weary, before returning to her companions and their games. The fisherman watches her go and a great anxiety overtakes him. He wants to scream at her to come back and never leave him alone again but he worries that will scare her off entirely. No, he needs a better way of convincing her to come away. It is the pile of gleaming discarded pelts that inspire his next move. His boat is moored just a few steps away, but he must act quickly, just as his head wound wants to slow him down. Rolling over, he pushes his body up onto his hands and knees then staggers to his feet. The Selkies are watching him, but only out of mild curiosity; their faith in mankind is strong, built on centuries of friendship, therefore they do not suspect him of any wrongdoings. He runs, or more lurches, over to the heap of pelts, sifting through them to find the one which perfectly matches the colour of his favourite Selkie’s hair. He throws the shiny silver skin over his shoulder and stumbles to his boat.

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One of the Selkies behind him gives a cry of alarm, and soft footfalls quickly close in on him. He shoves his boat out onto the water, tripping into it as the vessel flies away from the shore. He pushes the sail out so it’s tight, holding it out by hand to accommodate for the broken cord. Only then does he allow himself to glance back at his pursuers. Three abnormally large seals are rapidly closing in on his craft, and lagging behind them is the girl he really wants. Not one who is particularly skilled with his words, and unsure even if the creatures could interpret human speech in this form, he gestures wildly: waving the coat and pointing at the distant girl with his free hand. They slow their chase and glance at each-other, comprehension seeming to light their spherical eyes. As one they turn, diving back towards their lagging friend and scooping her up to deliver her to his boat. He loosens the sail, his boat slowing and allowing her to climb on board. She is teary and exhausted, slumping down at his feet. She leans in for her skin but he pushes it out of reach of her grasping fingers. Her eyes plead with him, begging him for mercy. If he is to give her the pelt, she can leave him, so he puts a gentle boot on her stomach to hold her in place. She yelps an animal’s cry of pain and the seals around the boat close in tighter. He reaches into his waistband and clumsily yanks out a thick-bladed bowie knife. He wavers as he leaps onto the pelt, knife first, tearing a great hole in the skin. The captivated Selkie howls in pain, a noise that could rip holes in the heart of any good man, but the fisherman is unmoved. That is, until he is swept off his feet by three huge slimy bodies who gag him and restrain him for their later entertainment. They tend to their sister first, assisting her back into her coat so that she may heal. The pelt was punctured but not fully split in two; she will recover in time.

Four curvy silhouettes, against the dim blue light of the setting Winter sun, stand at the edge of the tallest cliff, with one fifth struggling body at their feet. The winds howl to drown out any screams if the man were to try and gather help, although there are only the seagulls to hear him and they are unsympathetic to his plight. The waves below are hungry and tonight they will be fed. The smallest Selkie places a strong arm on the scruff of the fisherman’s neck and drags him so he is sitting on the very edge. Stones around him tumble down and the sea licks its lips in anticipation of its meal. The girls


are eager to make him pay and the scar his knife caused is as red and angry as their hearts. The little Selkie waves her own knife in front of his eyes tauntingly then presses its point to the small of his back. He squirms away from it, then quickly freezes still as further rocks fall around him. Together the girls pull him to his feet and the little Selkie stretches up on her toes and slides the knife across his throat, jumping back nimbly before she is dirtied with blood. His near-dead weight sags forward and the other girls release him, allowing the waters to enjoy their sacrifice. Arm in arm; pelts slung over their shoulders and round their necks, the four Selkie girls disappear into the evening night, leaving only a smell of fish, salt-water and something sweet in a surprisingly pleasant combination. maxi seagroatt

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wildflower She was like a wildflower. She grew in places unwanted and unasked for. She grew even in ugly places, and she made them beautiful.  She went whenever she wished. She planted her seeds in forbidden places. She danced in the sunlight where no one could reach her, but everyone could see her beauty from afar. Her vines slipped through the cracks in my bones, entwining my ribs and everything between. Her flowers blossomed all throughout me. Although they were beautiful, they choked my heart and lungs, leaving me gasping for air and tearing at my own shredded being. I didn't ask her to grow there, but neither did I beg her to leave. hd

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ar model: hd




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Pretty Grrrl Magazine || Volume 2 || July 2015  

This time featuring even more cool shit.

Pretty Grrrl Magazine || Volume 2 || July 2015  

This time featuring even more cool shit.