Dear Ajak, I love you

Ajak Deng is so beautiful, I die, and her story is very touching! Ajak is definitely joining my model muses, obsession!


"From the gunfire and violence of war-torn Sudan to the bright lights of New York, emerging Australian model Ajak Deng is taking her modelling career to the world catwalks, writes CHARMAINE CAMILLERI.

The bright lights of New York are a world away from the dusty, violent villages of war-torn Sudan.

Sudanese refugee turned international model Melbourne’s Ajak Deng remembers not daring to dream, as children escaped violence and were forced to build huts to sleep in at night.

"There were some days that were rough. You would just have to run and hide, you couldn't stay in your village,'' the 19-year-old Melton schoolgirl recalled, of the military invasions."

"I remember running. We had to carry food, blankets to sleep on ... I used to sit down and cry."

"If you had access to school, you could dream if you really wanted to be someone but there was not much room for dreams. ''

At age 12, Ajak fled her troubled African homeland with her mother, four brothers and three sisters to a refugee camp in Kenya, where her mother died of malaria.

"We had to make our own brick hut to live in,'' Ajak said. "I had to take care of my sister; she was only six months old when my mum died. I would wake up at night to feed her. I thought, "This is just not fair"… [and] it was so hard in the community to trust a young girl."

"When I found out I was coming her to Australia, I thought, ‘I'm finally escaping this country!’''

Ajak and her family, with her father and stepmother, moved to Australia in 2005.

Young, brave Ajak was determined to follow her dreams and make the most of her better life.

She made her catwalk debut at New Zealand Fashion Week in March last year, modelling for the likes of fashion designer Kirrily Johnston, and has been hot property ever since. All while juggling with VCE studies - her second aspiration is to study law.

"This is freedom for me. I've got to do what I've always wanted to do and I thank God for that,'' Ajak said.

Ajak's folio has included work at world-renowned L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

With the support of her agent, the Kurunjang Secondary College student has been placed with IMG modelling agency, which backs some of the world's hottest international models such as Heidi Klum, Kate Moss and Alek Wek.

"I'm so excited because it's what I've been looking for. It's always been my dream to go to New York. I'm ready for it.''

Ajak – who ironically admires fellow Sudanese refugee turned international supermodel Wek – aims to one day grace the catwalks of fashion capital's Paris and London.

FRM Model Management director Stephen Bucknall, who spotted Ajak at the Miss South Sudan Australia competition a year ago, said the young star has what it takes to go a long way in the fashion world.

"Her look is very unique,'' he said. ''There are a lot of Sudanese girls that are tall and striking, but she has the uniqueness and an ability in front of camera which is above and beyond many of the Sudanese girls now entering the modelling arena.''

Inspired by her own journey of self-sacrifice and bravery, Ajak said her beloved mother would be amazed.

"Wherever she is, she is looking down on me proud.''


Self perception


Photo: HERE

One very frustrating thing to know is that I will never get the opportunity to see myself through someone else's eyes. I am the only person who will ever really know me through and through, and when I die, I will die remembering only my own experiences, I will be, essentially, alone forever.

Although frustrating at first, this thought somehow transforms into an epiphany; If this body is the only way for me to experience my life then why would I ever spend any time worrying about how I am perceived by others, or dwell over silly insecurities. Since we are all human I think it's safe to assume that everybody feels this way, they probably spend 90% of the time thinking or worrying about how others see them, but if everybody is doing this then we are rarely judging each other!

How delightful that we are so self consumed! With this knowledge we can free ourselves from fear of judgement, we can revel in the thought that everybody is only judging us as a reflection of themselves.

We spend a lot of time wishing we had better bodies, better skin tone, better hair, we spend a lot of time swooning over other men and women, dying for their legs, thinking perhaps if we obtained physical perfection then we could have it all, we would feel complete.

It's only when I stop to clear my head, when I stop and think of all the happy couples I know, happy friendships, happy love, I don't see perfect, thin bodies, I don't see dark tans and radiant eyes, I don't think of perfect sense of style or great muscle tone, in fact I don't really think of physicalities at all, I think of smiling and talking, connecting, kissing and resting heads on one another.

The world is not out looking for super models, we are not looking for dreams, we are not looking for anything but real love, in fact it seems as time goes by all I am really looking for is myself, reflected in the kindest and happiest of ways, in somebody else's eyes.

Someone who will kiss me when I am crying, someone who will ease the stress of self perception by making me laugh every day... really, really hard.


My boyfriend comes home on Tuesday, I look forward to it.





Touched by a whale, San Francisco chronicle

A humpback whale freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines near the Farallon Islands nudged its rescuers and flapped around in what marine experts said was a rare and remarkable encounter.

"It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," James Moskito, one of the rescue divers, said Tuesday. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun."

Sunday's daring rescue was the first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback, said Shelbi Stoudt, stranding manager for the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County.

The 45- to 50-foot female humpback, estimated to weigh 50 tons, was on the humpbacks' usual migratory route between the Northern California coast and Baja California when it became entangled in the nylon ropes that link crab pots.

It was spotted by a crab fisherman at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the open water east of the Farallones, about 18 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

Mick Menigoz of Novato, who organizes whale watching and shark diving expeditions on his boat the New Superfish, got a call for help Sunday morning, alerted the Marine Mammal Center and gathered a team of divers.

By 2:30 p.m., the rescuers had reached the whale and evaluated the situation. Team members realized the only way to save the endangered leviathan was to dive into the water and cut the ropes.

It was a very risky maneuver, Stoudt said, because the mere flip of a humpback's massive tail can kill a man.

"I was the first diver in the water, and my heart sank when I saw all the lines wrapped around it," said Moskito, a 40-year-old Pleasanton resident who works with "Great White Adventures," a cage-diving outfit that contracts with Menigoz. "I really didn't think we were going to be able to save it."

Moskito said about 20 crab-pot ropes, which are 240 feet long with weights every 60 feet, were wrapped around the animal. Rope was wrapped at least four times around the tail, the back and the left front flipper, and there was a line in the whale's mouth.

The crab pot lines were cinched so tight, Moskito said, that the rope was digging into the animal's blubber and leaving visible cuts.

At least 12 crab traps, weighing 90 pounds each, hung off the whale, the divers said. The combined weight was pulling the whale downward, forcing it to struggle mightily to keep its blow- hole out of the water.

Moskito and three other divers spent about an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale floated passively in the water the whole time, he said, giving off a strange kind of vibration.

"When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," Moskito said. "It was an epic moment of my life."

When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.

"It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that's happy to see you,'' Moskito said. "I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelievable experience."

Humpback whales are known for their complex vocalizations that sound like singing and for their acrobatic breaching, an apparently playful activity in which they lift almost their entire bodies out of the water and splash down.

Before 1900, an estimated 15,000 humpbacks lived in the North Pacific, but the population was severely reduced by commercial whaling. In the 20th century, their numbers dwindled to fewer than 1,000. An international ban on commercial whaling was instituted in 1964, but humpbacks are still endangered. Between 5,000 and 7,500 humpbacks are left in the world's oceans, and many of those survivors migrate through the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

Whale experts say it's nice to think that the whale was thanking its rescuers, but nobody really knows what was on its mind.

"You hate to anthropomorphize too much, but the whale was doing little dives and the guys were rubbing shoulders with it," Menigoz said. "I don't know for sure what it was thinking, but it's something that I will always remember. It was just too cool."

Humpback whales hold a special place in the hearts of Bay Area residents ever since one that came to be known as Humphrey journeyed up the Sacramento River in 1985. The wayward creature swam into a slough in Rio Vista, attracting 10,000 people a day as whale experts tried desperately to turn it around. Humphrey went back to sea after 25 days of near-pandemonium and worldwide media attention.

In the fall of 1990, Humphrey turned up again inside the bay in shallow water near the Bayshore Freeway, finally beaching on mud flats near Double Rock, just off the Candlestick parking lot. He remained stuck for 25 hours, until volunteers, helped by a 41-foot Coast Guard boat, pulled him free and sent him back to the ocean. He has not been seen since.

Humpbacks like Humphrey do seem to relate to people more than other whales, according to Stoudt.

"You do hear reports of friendly humpbacks, whales approaching boaters, especially in Baja California," Stoudt said, "but, for the most part, they don't like to be interacted with."




The "experts"

Girls are one of my favorite subjects, I love them! I'm really not sure why or where it came from, but I've never been one of those girls who says things like, "I only have guy friends" or, "girls are bitches" I have never had big problems with girls. Not to say I don't love guys, I LOVE guys also, but with women I can just relate much better, I am also fascinated by women's beauty and lives, their are not many women out there in the world that can make me feel strong dislike towards them. I am also extremely forgiving and can be talked into coming around on just about anything, including unthinkable, "unforgivable" things. I think I inherited this from my mother, I noticed that she's very good with women and finds it easy to speak with just about anyone.

I am not sure why I am prefacing this entry with the above paragraph, because it isn't really what this is about, it just seemed natural to let you know that about me before spilling any of my opinions.

I've noticed that the freedom of blogging has opened up so many opportunities for women and men to speak freely and gain fans and followers, if you have a personality, talent, plus connections to people who already have followers you have a whole lot to gain. Mostly I find this to be a great thing, it is really cool that we can all connect so easily and people have the opportunity to follow and chat with someone they admire and respect, while before the late 90's, well known or famous people were virtually untouchable.

While I do enjoy this connection I have to say I am saddened by some things this allows, I've noticed many women grow and become big in the blogging world and their rants, stories and problems, over time and gained popularity, seem to become more like "advice" for young women reading or aspiring to be like them. This includes very, very young girls from all walks of life, many looking for escape routes from lives they don't find particularly pleasant.

This seems so dangerous to me, so much advice from women who might not know themselves, who might also be lost and heading down dangerous roads, speaking (loudly) as experts!

Sex advice, diet advice, relationship advice, "thinsperation", dishing and dishing about their love lives and heart break and diving deeply into the patience and admiration of their followers. It feels good for these bloggers to be heard, it feels good to be noticed and listened to, but that does not create an expert.

One thing I've noticed recently is the advice dished out about dealing with men and relationships, not only from the non-expert bloggers, but also from magazines and journals the world over.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize that in my life there is no divide between men and women, that women can be as cruel to men as men are to women and to each other, I've seen that men can also be as emotional, as interested in fashion, poetry, writing, love and things we associate mostly in the media as feminine. In my early twenties I remember feeling so angry at men, blaming them for bad relationships and hurtful memories, bad sexual experiences and big fights. Shaking my finger at ex boyfriends as if to say, "You messed up!" Magazines reinforced this attitude, books like "Men are from Mars..." made it easier to believe that, behold, I was right to think men were all the same, they were going to hurt us and we had to develop a tough skin and "learn about men" and men are taught that we are "emotional" and they will have to deal with these women or find certain "types" to have a relationship.

Looking back I wish someone, an expert, had said to me that every single human is so different in so many ways, and not to hold pretenses for anyone. It would have helped so much not to go into relationship after relationship blaming each new guy for the things the last guy did or said. In my life I have seen that each individual, girl or guy, are completely different.

I strive not to offend anyone on this blog, although I do realize fashion is a tricky and often offensive genre, I try very hard to be myself without hurting anyone's feelings, naturally though, this blog will always reflect my tastes and opinions, I hope if and when I offend, you can try to see me as a person and forgive those faults in my as I would you.

I  am always reluctant to give advice on my personal tumblr and on Ilovewildfox, I am not an expert on love or relationships or men, I did not study psychology or women or men, I don't have a degree!

Even my fashion advice should be taken with a grain of salt because everybody is different, every single one of us has our own paths to take, and I'll be damned before I give a young girl advice that doesn't suit her life!

To young people and old people and middle aged people alike, be weary of what you read and be careful not let things effect you too deeply, beauty standards, emotional standards, sexual standards are different for everyone. Everyone finds different things difficult or beautiful, and for that we should be singing!

I am 28 years old, I will be 29 next week and I can't wait to meet many more incredible, unique individuals who will challenge my beliefs and bring all sorts of new experiences, boy or girl, neither right or wrong, will probably change my mind about everything all over again.

My non-expert, non harmful advice ; Love the people around you for who they are, don't expect people to be different or the same, don't hold men and women to standards, don't make lists of what you want from friends or lovers, be open, be honest, and use the pain in your lives to grow, don't be cruel to people, listen to everyone, try to understand perspectives, be patient with me and each other :)


The Carrie diaries, why it hurts.

One of the major reasons I am in fashion today is because of Sex and the City, I know pretty much every episode by heart. It has been there for me through breakups, major life changes, career changes, friendship losses, wardrobe changes and so much more. I've read Candace's books and I've read the new Carrie Diaries, I didn't LOVE it but it's entertaining.

Carrie is such an important fictional character for me and so many people, and Sarah Jessica Parker was the perfectly cast woman! I have ALWAYS loved SJP, in Footloose she stole my heart and then all her other 80's films she was just this perfect, bouncy, graceful, amazing actress. The combination of Sarah, Michael Patrick King, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon and Darren Star and that it was produced by HBO

made it the PERFECT show, well, the perfect show for me and millions of others.

We feel personally connected to these girls and a sort of "ownership" over the story! That's why it's so hard to imagine the prequel show which is now Now Officially At CW With ‘Gossip Girl’ Producers On Board.

I feel like the show has the potential to be really great but certain aspects are going to detract from it's greatness, I love Josh Schwartz I think he is really talented but I would hate for this to turn into some sort of teenage mess with ridiculous, repetitive story lines (after it's first season premiere)

BUT the biggest fear of all is the casting. Who can they possibly get to play Carrie?? If they dare do something like put the perfect Blake Lively in her place I will be so sad! So, in the hopes that someone at the CW is reading this, here are some casting suggestions that would help ease the pain of Sex and the City without Sarah:


Carrie: someone unusual, lively, and stunning in less commercial sense, such as Saoirse Ronan


Young SJP in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Miranda: Someone understated, elegant and super talented like Mia Wasikowska

A young Cynthia


It's so hard!

How about Charlotte and Samantha?

You guys have anyone you would love to see in this series to try and see it save itself?

How do you feel about it coming out and what did the girls mean to you?


Salt, sand and knitwear

Memory triggers are amazing, I cherish them and recognize them constantly, sometimes even closing my eyes as if I were going back in time. The smell of a boy you once loved on an old sweater, the soft, acrylic hair of a Barbie or a My little Pony, Cotton candy on a pier, A new car just like that one your Dad bought, a familiar perfume, a song you listened to on repeat when you were 12, finding an old journal, the smell of Chanel lipstick from when your mother kissed you goodbye, leaving you with a babysitter, your Dad's voice as he is falling asleep on the sofa, cigarettes mixed with beer and coca cola like the pub your sister took you to when you were 12, so many triggers and each and every one of us has them. I like to think about all the people in the world and how we are all the same in so many ways, triggers are one of the commonalities we share that I find so fascinating. I love that somewhere in Bali someone is tasting some candy they had as a child, or in Dublin someone is watching the ocean from a cliffs edge and having memories of their father taking them fishing. I adore that it is different for every one of us, that we all have such extensive memories and thoughts that allow us, essentially, to time travel.

I suppose this is another reason I love fashion so much, the connection it has to memory triggers and how different articles of clothing can represent so many things to different people. For some it is practical memories, uniforms or wellington boots, for others it is a dress they wore to a dance where they got their first kiss, or the hat that you loved that blew off while driving in a convertible. I love when you find old photos of yourself wearing something you had forgotten all about and it makes you smile to see how you have changed, how your style has evolved, or an old Delias catalog with clothes you obsessed over. Clothes are so important and can mean so much to people, they change how you feel about yourself, they can evoke confidence or bring self consciousness. Either way, every garment has it's story, has an owner, in a way it is a mental time machine... isn't that romantic?

The reason I am posting this is because I was thinking it would be fun to do a small month collection based on a memory trigger I have... salty hair, sunsets on the beach and warm knit sweaters.

Maybe Emily and I can each do one!








Why Spend?

When you buy expensive things from high end brands you are not only buying this thing, this necklace, perfume, T shirt, lipstick or what have you, you are also helping that brand stay afloat, to give you those great campaigns, beautiful models, talented, expensive designers, runway shows, and superb quality that doesn't fade. It is always important to remember why things cost money and why things don't and to remember you are paying for much more than just your item, you are buying and supporting a lifestyle. It's really nice, when you think about it!

When I was younger I shopped at places like Forever 21, now I realize what that company has to sacrifice to keep their prices so low, including low pay for their employees, bad fabrics (in many ways), cheap factories, and the stealing of other people's creativity and hard work. If you haven't got the money for designer please consider looking for local brands or vintage, if you regularly shop somewhere cheap check out it's history and make sure you aren't supporting something you don't believe in!

Check out some VERY interesting articles





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