Yikes! I’m at my first school parent’s party and everyone’s a Swinger, but me.

Somewhere in Bondi, on a street leading to the ocean, a black lacquered door throbs and music and a golden doorknob beckons.

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A band of navy Italian lace silk fringing falls from my hips, skimming my thighs. 

I suck my belly button back to my spine, check my boobies are still bound inside my bandage top, shoulder roll my men’s pinstripe blazer and reach for the curve of the golden orb.

The golden knob slips from my grasp as the door swings wide.

My confronted eyelashes tremble under the welcoming wink of an oiled navel and golden G-string.

The greeting is unexpected and magnificent.

I offer up my invitation in the sobering event that I am definitely not expected at this party. I have been invited by parents of a five-year-old friend of my daughters, our daughter’s new friends at a private co-ed school in Sydney. I don’t think golden knobs and G-strings are part of the mixing and mingling at that party.

PARTY INVITATION

On a smooth high gloss 9 by 20cm photographic card dance three naked woman, texture and movement supplied by their 70s’ styled pubic hair fullness.

Dress code: Sexy cool

Theme: 007 meets Barry White

Champagne pops my gaping mouth shut. I’m in.

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I pad across the wide oaked black Japanese Oak floors on my tippy toes – I really don’t want to puncture these floors with my heels – to a tram carriage, embedded flush in the cavernous rooms right wall. I discover this is the host’s dining room – the carriage sits empty and waiting like the rest of the party, awaiting new conductors and passengers.

It is  spectacular.

I am excited and nervous all at once and I shiver like Christmas Eve with silent promise for the night.

The World is Not Enough

Bond: “I was wrong about you.”
Christmas Jones: “Yeah, how so?”
Bond: “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”

Beyond the room a sail clothed canopy hangs above an outdoor DJ, circling a tinkling bar with a throb of clustered bodies.

A dancing lunatic pulls me on to the dance floor.

I am completely ill at ease.

A handsome stranger rescues me.

I am completely at ease.

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This shot taken of me completely at ease with friends a night before.

In fact the party is full of throbs of people really at ease. As I elbow beat off  a throng of strangers – who are now intimate with the size of my facial pores – I watch the room.

The room is full of clusters of people, really into getting to know people they have just met.

I look at the wad of business cards that have been pressed into my hand by all of my new friends and contacts at this party.

For some strange reason I feel like the main course.

There are no leery eyed stares, just people enjoying a luxurious party with all the trimmings, fresh delectable canapés, chilled golden flutes of erupting French champagne and two-legged predators with smiles of inarticulate longing.

As I walk upstairs to find a bathroom, candle lit water bowls with floating frangipani dot paths to the King size beds.

A strange little man jumps from the shadows and pulls me towards a bed.

I break free in an ugly jig to the stairs – trying to look cool and stride two stairs at a time, away, away from my creepy little leaping guy. 

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This party is for a select group of people, with a select group of rules.

Swingers.

Swapping loved ones and partners and sharing sexual pleasures with strangers with consent from your other half.

I’m not good at sharing and know I’m not playing. From the dance floor fringe shadows hover close and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

A woman I know embedded  in the shadows, watches her husband get it on with another on the dance floor. And as her loved one shows his moves to another she doesn’t look excited, turned-on or angry, she looks sad.

I turn and  head for the golden knobbed door – perhaps all that glitters is not so golden after all.

007 house rules, to kiss without telling and like 007, I leave early.

Sex, is a game best played by choice.

Remember to choose which game you are playing, before the game you are playing chooses you.

johnny

Johnny Depp.

‘If you love two people at the same time, choose the second.

Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second’.

 

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Style has one rule – We are not normal, we are Exceptional!

 

The most profound advice I ever received from my longtime friend – other than, ‘Love! one is never enough’! –  Jas, aka an ex cross-dressing, gender bender with buckets of present day style was,

   ‘Love, who needs normal? You were born to be exceptional! You, We were born to be fabulous!

In a world where real beauty is fast shopped, Instagram photo shopped to the beauty nutritional value of  fast food,  Jas sums up Beauty’s new dichotomy perfectly.

   ‘Today the word beauty is used to define perfect, in proportion and flawless.

There was a time when beauty was about someone’s style, their presence and charisma’.

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So with a few tweaks  Jas, aka MR Divine, reminds us beauty, real beauty and the power of feeling beautiful is not found over the counter. Beauty is found at home.

Welcome gorgeous ones,

We can all agree there are days where our reflection lets us down. Lets us down. I know. Days. Days where we are want for nothing more than to reconfigurate, recamouflage or recreate. (yes these are not words in the dictionary!)

Those days, where even with perfection staring back at us, we want to see something new.

I have watched a barrage of tutorials on shading and contouring, shading and contouring – creating features where once there were none. There were none!

It is times like this when our divine creative child stomps her plus size heels and says,

   ‘I’M HERE, I’m ready, give me the theatre of life!

     Moreover, give me the centre stage!

Pop

 

Being fabulous is all about canvassing your flaws as features. Seriously it is your flaws that define how unique and fabulously different you are. 

 Have you ever felt  the floor tilt as all the fabulous eyes of the room cast themselves towards you. They are drawn, lost in your enigmatic presence. There is nothing sexier than strutting your good self with great posture. Great posture is HOT!

  • Play up your flaws – Listen and pay attention to the indomitable wisdom of the eternally beautiful, the charismatic, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – she who made Lauren Hutton’s gap toothed smile a beauty icon.

I will speak more of the indomitable style of Diana Vreeland in next week’s post.

You don’t need to spend money or over complicate things to be fabulous!

Here are a few of Jas’s aka Mr Divine’s favourite nips and tricks.

  • Start at the beginning Prepare your canvas, an easy way to do this is with a thin layer of mashed avocado. Allow 20ish minutes to dry then peel it off in gentle circular motions with your fingertips.
  • Then lightly rinse, the result is soft, moisturised exfoliated skin. If you have an overly pink or dry skin tone, instead of rinsing, just buff off with a soft cloth.This will leave your skin more hydrated with a slight green undertone helping balance the excess pinkness
  • Remember to pay attention to framing your eyes and honouring your lips!
  • Whether you feel the need for just a layer of BB cream, a slick of lip tint and lashings of mascara, or a well contoured face and smoky eye.
  • We never leave the house without a little tricking up.
  • First Smile! it increases your face value, and why yes, I did just quote Truvy from Steel Magnolias.

Truvy

 

  • First impressions matter! smiling and eye contact when introduced to someone, lingering eye contact and handshake if you want them to remember – not too long, stalking is not beautiful!
  • Fragrance should not assault someone across a room. We want it subtle enough that a potential paramour nuzzles in closer. Where that first kiss on the cheek already has them wet, I mean weak at the knees. Seduction ladies!
  • Dress for comfort! No grimace on your face thanks to those new heels.
  • Yes, there are exceptions to some rules. Like wearing those new heels to a venue with loud music (so we will assume social conversation is out) and fortifying yourself with whichever top shelf spirit, you require to bring out your inner spirit animal.

A sexy tip if you are seeking the simple glam of a Vargas girl, with a low-cut sweater, enhance your bosom by consuming two cups of fennel tea daily for a few weeks -to push you up a cup size!

Vargas

  • Dress boldly with eccentricity as Iris Apfel does, or enhance your femininity by stealing from the boys.
  • Match a man’s dress shirt with a pencil skirt, wide belt, pushed up sleeves and pearls – Aka Katherine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall with a silk blouse, oversized men’s pant with braces or a belt to accentuate a paper bag waist.

And remember! Style does not have to be expensive it’s just what works for you.

There are no set of rules that apply to all, so dare to be bold and creative. Have fun.

People are always confident when they are enjoying life.

 

we are outstanding

Who is MR Divine? Aka my friend Jas

An ex-gender bending, spiritual, lover of food and wine, with interests in holistic healing, nutritional medicine and who can spend hours in Thai Chemists leaving no shelf unturned looking for something cheap, trick and fabulous. Xxx

 

 

A Guest Contributor – Beauty secrets – Tips and Tricks of a Cross-dressing Beauty Queen

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As a 50-year-young woman I am excited to share a beauty secret, one I have known for 30 years!

The beauty secret is my friend Jas.

Jas is and has been my mirror and my accomplice in keeping it ‘pretty’ when life was hard and my mirror and accomplice when life was full of fantastically horrible ideas and adventures.

I met Jas when he was 15 as he sauntered in to take on the position of apprentice chef in an Art Deco Hotel in Auckland. At the time I lived upstairs with my then boyfriend, one of the Hotel’s two Managers.

Jas and I became instant friends, downstairs in the Hotel kitchen over shared sneaked-breakfasts of still-warm, metre-long-crusty-bread-sticks, halved, smeared with lashings of butter, sliced hot eggs, crusted in rock salt, garnished with globs of freshly made hollandaise – deeelicious!

 

Daz xxx

Every girl or 50-year-old woman should hang out with or at least have one of these friends in her world, one of these friends who helps her to look her absolute best.

In his opinion what he thinks is your absolute best may differ from yours.

He convinced me once to don Black hot pants, a madonna Vogue bra, and a blonde bobbed wig with thigh high suede boots for a club night out in Melbourne but equally he loved me wearing red suede flat shoes, no make up, my natural curly hair and a simple tee shirt dress out to club nights as well.

There is safety in having a wonderful man like this growing up, partying in clubs – you never have to worry about any mistaken sexual signals.

He is gay and I am straight. 

Fun times, simple.

Jas knows how to dress as a woman, so he gets it, he gets what we need to do to get pretty, to get ready to go out.

He loves me being and feeling my best and he has amazing beauty tips – amazing beauty tips, I never thought of, that work!

 

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This is Miss Gay Venezuela 2015 receiving her Beauty Queen crown. Beautiful.

 

So I asked Jas to write a piece here for me and for you all – his secret little nips and tucks that make us look our absolute best … natural with a little help.

Fun times, fun secrets.

Like the transformative wonders of a rolled pair of socks for your cleavage or his new tip, the restorative features of ‘fennel tea’.

He sent me an early morning confirmation email today

Ok sexy tits,

   ‘Just came up with an idea to centre my first piece around, so now that I have a starting point, I most likely will start filling in the blanks latter today’. 

Grab your seats and your socks, because he has agreed to share!

What tips and tricks do you have? Do you have a best friend like Jas in your life?

I’d love to hear!

 

 

Body shaming, plus-size and grace in action with cake.

An inspirational mum, Carrie Strongman is a woman who’s attitude embodies an unapologetic confidence in being a beautiful plus size woman.

She also happens to be my mum.

My mum is plus size and has always shown me how beautiful her curves are.

If as a child, my raised eyebrows teased her as she sashayed past, she would tackle me with kisses until I surrendered out loud just how beautiful she was.

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My mum pictured above with my two daughters Saskia and Scarlett

I love these memories of my mum, from them my mum taught me how to love boldly, with strength and out loud.

My mum is incredibly independent, fearless, creative and intelligent. My mum with all her strength is also one of the funniest and wittiest people I know.

But I remember one moment wishing I could be her strength when two Parnell Village fashion-retail sales-women tried to shame my mother because of her plus size.

Parnell Village in one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs with historic, cobblestone- paved charm, remains one of my favourite places in Auckland.

My mother grew up on her father’s sprawling Waitakaruru dairy farm before moving by herself at the age of 13 to the city of Auckland to study and board at New Zealand’s prestigious all girl’s Queen Victoria School. Situated in the equally affluent suburb of Remuera, a 30-minute walk from Parnell Village.

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My mum in her Queen Victoria day uniform

In my teenage years, my mum and I would travel from our home in the Coromandel Peninsula, for special mum and daughter days out in Auckland city. Together we would shop, lunch, visit family and visit sites from her teenage years like the Auckland Art Gallery, a favourite.

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The beautiful Coromandel Coast where my mum and I grew up X

My mum would then take me to one of her favourite cafes in Parnell Village for hot chocolate and cake.

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The nostalgic charm of Parnell Village, Parnell, Auckland.

The first and last time I saw my mother experience body shaming we were about to get hot chocolates in Parnell Village. I remember this detail because I didn’t want a hot chocolate after our encounter with two-fashion retail sales woman. I wanted to leave and hold my mum.

The doorway into their store was abnormally narrow, I glided in and then mum confronted by the fact that she could not fit easily through the door turned herself sideways and shimmied inside.

My mum smiled and looked up at the two women, I smiled too.

Then mum said, 

‘gosh that was a tight squeeze, I almost couldn’t fit in’.

The sales woman from behind her counter said,

‘well perhaps people like you shouldn’t squeeze themselves in here. There is nothing for your size in here.’

They turned and grinned at one another and smiled without any warmth in their eyes.

 

I still have feelings of sadness in my heart recounting this. I remember being so unprepared for their raw and unmasked meanness, I couldn’t believe that well perfumed and well-dressed people would say such mean things out loud.

For a moment, I saw a vulnerability in my mother that made me want to come back one day and buy that shop and fire those women. I was 14 years old and I just wanted to protect my mum.

I don’t remember what my mum said but I remember the proud carriage of her posture as we left.

I wanted to leave Parnell Village but mum hushed me and sat me down in the café directly in front of their store and ordered my hot chocolate, her coffee and two French pastries.

We sat and my mother told me to enjoy our lovely waiter, our lovely steaming drinks, our pastries and the beautiful day.

A powerful lesson I learned that day from my mum.

Their meanness did not define us or how we enjoyed our day.

The meanness of the two fashion sales women was their problem and not ours.

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My mum and step dad pictured here together in their hometown of Coromandel

I love my mum out loud.

#family #growingup #prejudice #bodyimage #women #writing #nonfiction

I am blessed and grateful to be the daughter of a woman who has taught me how to remember to love myself fearlessly and out loud.

And to remember most importantly that with all the energy and strength I give to others to remember to love myself first.

I love my mum.

Our loneliness kills( fast fiction, a 1 minute read)

In this carriage between platforms, how far will you travel not to return?

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Nobody looks on a subway train. In a carriage you stand packed with your loneliness, where you jostle and touch without introduction. Each one of you escaping hello.

Nobody looks on a subway train  – you look up and then look down.

For if you looked on a subway train you would see me then, my hunger waiting. 

Nobody looks for the beaded cling film above my lips, or the tell of the subway-sulphur-stench, the acrid miasma of a predator in waiting.

Beads of sweat stream from my ears to my tongue, an inherited trait not unlike that of your desert lizards. Theirs built for survival against the searing heat and a desert lack of moisture. 

As Is mine. But as you shiver blue lipped before me, I rejoice. For I feast in times of plenty and that time is now.

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But it’s your belief that you are a worthy opponent that entices me. All your awkward shivering a guise, you think. Your smile cleaves a path towards me, armed from a lifetime of exceeding the parochial aspirations of others. Tears undress the beat up pretty from your face, but your smile – your armoury – your smile hurts people.

     ”Ten thousand, hes’s dead”, you say.

You expect my retreat and I stay.

To survive you must retreat, but you stay.

monica

 ‘I smell weird’ you say.

My tongue worms from side to side, then smothers my lips thickening in my throat.

I am these things and more” I say. 

There’s weird and there’s smell weird and there are many freaks in here, and I am all these things and more, I say.

 

 

Thanks for reading X

All images with many thanks to Pinterest.

A NAKED WOMAN IN PARIS.

Featured

 

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Alone on a balcony in Paris, she stretched, her limbs folding forward, taut and naked she perched.

Hidden across the street, 5 storeys high, my eyes following her every whim, hidden behind a curtain, I watched her.

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In the shadows behind her a homicidal love nest of tossed bed sheets, knotted promises and abandoned clothing.

The spoils of a front line, where she the victor had prowled like a predator and won.

She swung her entire frame from the black wrought iron rail like a gothic raven with the ability to fly and cocked her head off centre to survey Marais street walkers, five balconies below.

Come to the edge, Life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They came. It pushed them…
And they flew.”

― Guilliame Apollinaire French Poet

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Hidden behind my silk curtain, I watched.

A finger of smoke drifted from her balcony, dragging me forward. I stepped forward from the darkness.

I could have stepped back, but I didn’t.

I was in Paris with my now ex husband and my darling daughter, both were asleep as I stepped out onto that balcony. 

I needed to stay.

In Paris alone on my balcony I needed to watch her.

The naked woman on the balcony unearthed me parts I had lost.  Me parts that in trying to conform had been broken.

I needed to wake up and reclaim myself, I needed some time to be disheveled, naked and alone.

Paris woke up and undid me.

I stepped forward, she waved.

I waved back.

She was comfortable being herself, her nudity was part of who she was in that moment and she was content and present.

The naked woman on her Paris balcony represented to me, a woman living in her own freedom.

Glorious, naked and real.The qualities at that moment in my life I too wanted to express.

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Above the street, an amber light and ocean darkness slipped from the naked woman on the balcony’s room and following her lead I sunk into bed.

The gentle roll of my now ex-husband’s snore and the vulnerable trust of my daughter’s love slept.

Timing is everything when you have plans to reclaim yourself and exhausted like the naked woman in her room, I fell asleep.

My life was about to change again and I needed rest to be ready.

DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before- ALBERT EINSTEIN

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