Dating and sex as a Belgian woman… 

Dating and sex as a Belgian woman… 

Ok so here’s the deal, 

A friend mentioned me an article earlier today that was online about dating and sex as a Belgian woman and i was to say the least pretty frightened by it after reading it, i thought it couldn’t be so bad, but i did asked him to me the link anyhow, ok so it was a short list of things that the author named and all of it was as wrong as it possibly could be. I’m here to try and correct the list in the most accurate way, to show you what Belgian woman think, behave, feel how we love, how we talk, how we care, how we date, how we live. 

On the 1st section the author says that Belgian girls don’t start to date usually until they’re 18 because our parents are very over protective…. I honestly don’t know how she came up with this because it’s not true… most of the Belgian parents i know are protective but equally as protective as any other nationality, boys and girls will start to date on a very early age, it’s not unusual for 5 year olds to have a ‘boyfriend or girlfriend’ of course adults know that their success ratio is pretty low when meeting as such an early age but there’s no harm in having some fun and everybody thinks it’s adorable. I still remember Thomas, so cute… He would bring me chocolates every wednesday and we would hold hands on the patio. 

Next on she wrote ‘marriage can only happen at 21 and sometimes they have to wait until they’re 25’ ok this is not true either… in Belgium our law system states that once you hit 18 you’re on adult, you run away from home, you can legally marry anyone you like, you can get kids if you want, you can drink, you can drive a car, you can travel anywhere you like to go to. There are no restrictions (unless of course it’s something illegal) but in general you can pretty much be a full grown adult by the age of 18, i remember buying my first car at 18, getting my first own apartment and if i did fell in love and decided to get married i could… 

‘Most Belgian woman don’t drive’ I honestly don’t know of any woman here in Belgium that can’t drive, our government is very pro female power so we get all of this taught to us on a very early age, i remember being taught in school at age 6 on how to fix your own car, and how to read signs etc, you were obliged to know it.

‘You don’t get a driving license before you’re 18’ this part is partially true… you need to do a 12/24 months driving time with your own car or a car of your friend on a temporary license before you can get a permanent one, to get a temporary one all you need to do is to pass a theory exam, and the theory exams are open to anyone starting from age 17. 

‘In Belgium you need to be 21 to drink heavy spirits and you can buy or order beer at any age’ this one makes us look a bit wreckless, truth is you need to be 16 to order beer in a bar or to buy it in a supermarket but you gotta be 18 to drink heavy spirits. I have to admit that they don’t question your age a lot or at least they didn’t ask for my id anywhere i went 

‘Belgian man and woman are not likely to live together before marrying each other’ no… Belgian woman are very strict we are very sober in the way that we think for that we need to think a lot about a decision such as marrying someone, most Belgian couples live together for at least 1/2/3 years before taking the big jump. 

‘Porn is widely available but people are so used to it that it is like eating French fries’ no no no…. Porn here is not exactly widely available, we don’t have it shown on any tv station, we don’t tend to see it like a taboo to watch porn but i think that these days with the internet most people just stream porn on their mobile phones but it’s not like we’re all watching porn all the time. 

‘Sex is very liberal and talked about openly, with a large variety to choose from, and sex is shown on tv even in the afternoon!’ No… The laws that are created to protect kids from watching porn are very strict and the chances of catching some naughty videos on a lonely afternoon are extremely small, unless you stream it yourself. People in general tend to be pretty open minded in my country, but we’re very timide too at the same time, a Belgian woman or man would find it rather difficult in general to ask a girl or guy to come back to their place afterwards, we tend to be more about secrets and we Belgian woman don’t particularly like straightforward guys, maybe after a few dates, but i don’t know any woman that would appreciate it on the 1st date. 

In general i think we are a bit closed personality wise at the beginning and slightly shy but not afraid to give our opion about things either, dating wise, dates are usually very normal, nothing crazy, dinner and a movie or just a movie or just a few drinks. Where you live is very important for most Belgian woman and man, because we have this idea that the person we would like be in a relationship with has to be close to us, but this is a very personal thing i would say 90% feels this way, but i myself know that i’m not like that, but all of my friends and buddies are like that. 

Do not get politicial as a foreigner on a 1st date about Belgian politics. Because our political system is pretty complicated i can imagine any foreigner would feel lost just hearing about it but to be honest it’s not as bad and complicated as it sounds like. 

Language barriers… if u are dating someone in the Flemish part of the country to not bring up the Walloons, and vice versa, i’ve had a few foreign friends that told me our language barrier was stupid and that it made no sense to them, but our country is very small as you know but it’s foundation is a very full and rich history where both languages already existed centuries ago, to us our language is our identity, it’s not just a language it goes to show which part of the history of Belgium we come from, it explains us who we are and we could not be happier when someone from abroad thinks that our language sounds cute, or that they’re willing to learn a few words. Our roots are partially mixed into the languague that we speak and the accent that we have and it is important to us to maintain these roots and to keep them being cared for. 

Belgian woman in general i find them hilarious, we usually have a weird  and dry sense of humour and we love to laugh with others, we love a good glass of wine and we love good food, food is an important part of our life and where we come from, we are punctual and we love doing business. Most Belgians dream of having their own business, most of us are very eager to get what we want out of life and after traveling around the world a little bit i find them really funny, sweet & caring. But this is only my opinion feel free to pass by Belgium anytime to check it out for yourself 😉 

Let’s talk about sex,

Let’s talk about sex,

Let’s talk about sex by salt-n-pepa was released in August 1991 the song peaked at nr 1 in countries all around the world, the song is about the good and the bad things about sex.

We are 26 years later and talking about sex nowadays is still pretty much a taboo, out of the 15 closest friends that i have i can only talk about vibrators and orgasms with 3 of them, which is to say the least a bit sad, the weird thing is, my other friends are interested in talking about sex but somehow feel dirty talking about it.

Why feel dirty?, everybody has sex, everybody should have sex, and talking about it is very important, the good and the bad, talking about how to reach certain high levels in the bedroom is essential for any good relationship to keep on being great, it does surprise me that most of my friends who are in a relationship don’t really talk about sex with their partners either, i remember having a conversation with my sister, i asked her if she ever had an orgasm, and her reply was ‘i don’t know, i think so, i’m married so i must’ve had it at some point’ that’s such a misunderstanding, how can being married being the same as having a great sex life and getting orgasms, i don’t think so…

Many married couples that i know, all tell me the same thing, they don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention in the bedroom or enough foreplay, or afterplay, but they’re afraid to tell their husband/wife…

But when a book came out that explicitly talks about sex, and bondage and s&m the whole world goes to the stores to buy it, i’ve found fifty shades of grey books everywhere, at my grandmothers, at my friend who told me she doesn’t have any sex, at my best friend’s house who claimed he never read it, pretty much everywhere i went i found one or two of these books laying around, at the beach, at their house, in their car, in their backpack, it was everywhere… And when i went to see the movie at the theatre i saw most woman giggling, and making fun of what was being played in front of them, when i asked my friend what she thought about the movie, she replied ‘it’s a movie about sex, what is there to say?’.

There is this misconception that having sex is a bad thing, and that talking about it is equally as bad, it’s 2017 we should all get a grip, and don’t be so amazed by it anymore, it’s just sex, there’s nothing wrong with it, and never will there be something wrong with it. It’s a great way to connect with someone on a deeper level, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, best friend… These days there are so many options and so many things we can do with it, and i believe that the idea of doing it being a bad thing should be locked in a drawer somewhere and should never be taken out of the drawer again, it’s 2017 relax, enjoy your body, enjoy your partner’s or friend’s body. Connect with each other on a deeper level. It may actually save relationships and marriages.

ME.

ME.

7 weeks ago my mom came up with the idea of doing a little road trip with our MINI cooper.

The idea was to go from Malaga (South of Spain) to Paris. With a few work stops in between in Milan and Lyon.

We’re now almost 7 weeks later and me and my car are in Paris again, after spending 3 weeks in Belgium visiting my family and friends.

We’ve seen some of the most amazing sceneries, driving from the north of Spain, to Sanremo. We crossed the whole south of France’s coastline, it was magical, sun was shining, i could not ask for a better season to do this!

The road trip itself made me get back in touch with myself, what i wanna do in life. It made me think about who i am and what i am, Belgian born, raised in Spain, American influences from the American side in our family. And living in France for the past 3 years. And if i’m very honest i feel very strong connected to all 4 nationalities.

Belgium of course feels like home, but it feels like a place where i have not been for a long time, 14 years to be exact.

My American roots make me feel very strong connected to the United States, and makes me a person with a lot of wanderlust, it makes me wanting to explore every inch of this earth, and my French influences makes wanting to enjoy every minute of this process we call life, the French influences in my life makes a lot of difference as well, it sort of connects my Belgian roots with my Spanish roots.

I was born on the 29th of December in a small village just outside of Antwerp (The Flemish part of Belgium). I went to kinder garden and high school until i was 8 years old.

At 8 years i arrived with my parents and big sister and my cat in Spain, just outside Valencia, I remember not understanding it so much as a kid, like of course every kids dreams of living in a hot country with nice weather and a nice relaxed lifestyle, but actually going through with it is a big difference, i rebelled a lot when i was a kid, i sort of had this strong urge to go back to Belgium, it didn’t understand a single word of Spanish and i could not understand the way life was there, dinner at 9 in the evening, school until 1 in the afternoon, sun always shining, not having any more Christmases when it’s snowing outside, being far away from my family my grandparents in particular. Right before we moved to Spain, my Grandfather had sadly passed away, and it made moving to Spain even harder, i remember being in high school not understand what people were telling me, but step by step i started to bend in, i started to become familiar with the language, the culture, the open mindedness of the locals, and if at times it became hard for me i would hold on tightly to a sweater from my grandfather and hug it so tightly to feel like my grandfather was still around.

It wasn’t until we moved ever further south, to Malaga to be precise that i really opened myself completely to my new country. My parents thought it would be a good idea to put me into a local school to become Spanish as quickly as possible.

I went to university in Malaga, got my first boyfriend, got so many beautiful friends, i was 16 and so happy.

After a while though i felt like Malaga was perhaps a bit too small, i got scouted and modelling agencies weren’t really popular in the South of Spain, so they offered me 2 options, i could either move to London or i could move to Barcelona.

I opted for the 2nd one, and went to Barcelona, after 3 months i loved the city so much i never wanted to go back to Malaga ever again, it was so much fun, Barcelona is such a big city, when you’re young  it’s the perfect city, a lot of work and party’s everywhere. Around that time i became friends with a guy called ‘Alex’ Alex quickly became my best friend, we don’t see each other very often anymore but every time when we do see each other, it is always so much fun!

After another 2 years i got this needing feeling inside of me, i didn’t know what it was but i felt like going to Belgium again would help me with it, I started to miss my first home country. I went back to Belgium and tried living there again, I didn’t fit in anymore, i love Belgium but i felt like there was something more or somewhere else i should go to, right after that i got very ill… i was in and out of the hospital all the time, completely sedated so i would not feel anymore pain. One day the hospital said, that my next appointment would be in 5 days so they advised me to go and do something really fun in those 5 free days. I went to Brussels and i saw a car and it said ‘Garage Paris’ I looked at my mom and said ‘let’s go to Paris!’ her first reaction was ‘are you mad?’ but slowly but surely she became a fan of the idea and the next day we drove to Paris. I immediately fell in love with this city… The food, the people, the culture, the lifestyle… There was nothing not to love here. We stayed in a cute little hotel for 3 days and after those 3 days it was time to go back to Belgium again, i remember us immediately planning our next trip to Paris shortly after arriving in Belgium, and again and again and again, after a while we would drive every free day or every free 2 days to Paris just to be in the city. After about 7 months of doing so i figured it might be a good idea to take the jump and move to Paris. Which we did and after 2 years and a half i’ve never regretted making that decision.

Nowadays i spend a lot of my time in Paris, I go back to Brussels and Antwerp very often too, i go to Spain at least once or twice a month and i’ll visit my family in the United States at least 3 times a year.

So now when people ask me what the county it is i come from, i say Belgium, Spain and France, and the United States because all of these countries made me who i am today, they made me the Kelly that loves to travel around the world, that loves to explore new places and new experiences. I feel Belgian, i feel Spanish, American, and French. And so when i arrive at a destination on the other side of the world and i see someone with the exact same passport like i have, it brings back all the sweet memories of my childhood.

And to anyone who’s thinking about moving to another country, or another city or another state, i ‘d say ‘DO IT’ Life is short, you can fail yes of course you can, but you can also succeed, and you cannot know without trying if it will work out or not.

Miss Belgium

Miss Belgium

About two year ago my friends signed me up for the miss Belgium competition, about 5 months after they had send my photo with a motivation letter i got an email from the organisation telling me i was invited to the casting day the week after in a nearby hotel in Flanders. At first i was not happy at all that my friends did this, and most importantly that they did this behind my back. But i couldn’t stay mad at them, i know they didn’t meant it in a bad way.

2 weeks later it was the casting day, arriving in the reception of the hotel there was a huge table with names of the invited girls, who was already inside, and who they were still expecting. I went over to the table, i gave my id card and in return i got a number, i was Kelly, number 26 from Schilde, a village right next to Antwerp.

Next thing they made all of us sit around big round tables in the lobby of the hotel, there were 3 big tables just for miss Antwerp, (Note, when entering the miss Belgium competition you automatically have to represent your city first, and if you win either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in that competition you’ll be able to go to Miss Belgium). In total there were 78 pre selected girls waiting until they heard their names being called to go inside the room where the jury would interview you with ex mis Belgium’s and members of the press. I didn’t care so much for the whole competition until that moment, that’s when i got very nervous, i saw all of these beautiful girls and i felt honoured they already pre selected me, thinking i could compete with them.

I wore a black pencil skirt with a white short sleeve top and some sexy heels underneath it, my hair was in a bun and i did my lipstick in a bright red shade.

After 2 hours of waiting in the lobby, talking to the other girls it was my turn, i remember thinking, either you get it or you don’t, don’t stress, try staying focused and give great answers to what they’ll be asking you.

I closed my eyes, walked a few steps, and thought, confidence in 1,2,3…. and go!

There i was in front of 3 tables put together with in total 27 people of the jury staring at me, ‘So Kelly, what brought you to enter this competition?,

25 Minutes later i walked out and felt relieved it was over, i had to go back to the lobby and wait for the results.

After another hour a member of the jury came back, and one by one announced the girls that will be participating and right at the end he said…’And last but not least, miss number 26’.

I couldn’t believe it, i didn’t think it was real, until i double checked with the member of the jury, ‘Are you sure you mean me when you said number 29” ‘Of course’ he said, ‘Who else would it be’ and he left, got our contracts, and a agenda page with a detailed list of all the events we had to attend.

I was in between working and studying, when i got the email that we would be having a press conference in 2 months time, everybody from the Belgian press would be there, including celebrities, famous bands and singers, models, famous Belgians…

And we had to perform a catwalk, in both bikini and evening gown, i was starting to become nervous about that, but i kept thinking to myself ‘I can do this’.

The day arrived of the press conference, i was excited and nervous at the same time, i already done many catwalks and photoshoots in the past so i was more excited to know what it would be like this time on a stage like this, in one of the biggest and most famous nightclubs of Flanders. One by one they called us on stage, and we had to say our name and number and which province we came from in front of a huge crowd, all of the miss Antwerp girls had agreed that when one of us entered the stage we would crazy enthusiastic about each other, we got mixed with the different provinces, and we were able to stand in front of the stage every time a girl from Antwerp came on stage to cheer and clap for her. By the end of the evening the 32 girls from Antwerp became really close friends, we became one of the closest groups in the competition.

When it was time for the actual election night, 2 months later, we sort of all knew who was going to win, we had heard about the pre elections and we knew already who managed to enter the top 5, in between the press conference and the election i went to Australia, which made my chances to enter the top 5 pretty slim, because i had missed on a variety of pubic events in those two months which is was normally supposed to attend.

Before the election we had 3 days to rehearse our dance on stage, how to enter the catwalk one by one after each other, it wasn’t difficult but it was hard to get all of the girls including 2 other provinces who were having their elections at the same time on stage all together, doing the dance we had to do, and knowing when to walk on stage.

I did not particularly like it so much, i preferred the modelling industry a lot more, because i felt like it was more honest, and it also left more room for imagination, i loved posing as a model but in the miss competition i wasn’t allowed to pose like a mode, i had to pose like a miss, which is so much harder.

In the end, i was very happy it was over, i don’t regret participating, i’m honoured and glad that i’ve been able to participated, i met a lot of new people during that time. And i’ve made a lot of new friendships as well.

But would i do it again?, No. but i’m very glad i did it once in my life, and i thank the organisation for giving me the opportunity.

It also taught me a lot about myself, and i got some really beautiful friendships out of it, and until this very day when i see my ribbon, saying ‘candidate of miss Antwerp for miss Belgium 2016’ I feel proud that i’ve done it.

 

 

 

IMG_4060

Wo-Men

Wo-Men

Because i am a woman i get comments from random guys or even girls telling me to cover up, i know people who claimed that if you go out in a miniskirt you’re basically asking for it, i have friends who say that belittling woman is not so bad since it’s all just a joke.

It sometimes scares me how i have to change myself in order to go outside or to go to the beach, when i take a metro in Paris at 9 in the evening and i’m scared, i’m scared because I’m all alone and there are a group of guys shouting things at me like ‘hey baby let’s have some fun tonight’,

And if i tell this to my friends they will ask me what i was wearing… How can what i wear be relevant to how i’m being treated sometimes?

Why should it matter if i wear high heels? or if i wear a low cut top?, if i say no, the answer is no.

I salute the woman that go out there and walk into the metro wearing whatever they feel like, especially since summer in Paris can be very humid and hot, while i appreciate most of my friends helping me when i’m alone, i’m also sad that this is what it came to these days. When i did a photoshoot 4 years ago with a friend photographer the idea was to do a super uber sexy photoshoot, just to show my femaleness and be me, i got a shower of comments after that from mostly females i must say, saying i was took sexy, saying that i should take the photos down from Instagram or Facebook, saying that i should cover up more (note, i was in a bikini on most of the photos, there was literally nothing you could see on the photos that was explicit) and i still got these sort of comments,… I like to be sexy when i can, i like wearing agent provocateur lingerie and wear clothes that could show a little skin, this does not mean at all that it’s ok to call me things, or to shout things at me when you’re drunk, this does not mean that i want you. This does not mean that i’m only thinking about one thing. This means, that i’m a woman and i do be or have whatever i want.

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

— Maya Angelou

 

The model diet

The model diet

I have to admit, i have never been a big fan of any diet, my size is usually just between 36 and 38 and if i try a diet it will always keep me between those two sizes no matter how hard i try…

In the modelling industry i was constantly on a diet and tried to get into my best shape, i would spend hours in the gym, go days on green tea and blueberries. It was pretty difficult to maintain healthy and keep in shape at the same time. I tried almost every diet on the market, i did the protein diet, i did the Beyonce juice diet, i did weight watchers all of that sort of worked but i never actually felt good while being on any of them.

That is until i’ve found a diet that is suitable for my lifestyle and what i want to get out of it,

I call it the model diet, it is a mix of tips and tricks that i’ve learned over the years from individual dieticians.

Morning:

I do this every morning, and it did miracles to my body, squeeze half a lemon into a glass of hot water and drink it

After that i will pour some wheatgrass powder into some water and drink it as well,

After that i drink a protein shake with soya milk, could be almond milk too, however i feel like soya milk digest better in my body.

After that i’ll drink 2 or 3 cups of white tea, (white tea and not green tea because my body does not react too well on green tea, it’s ok with one cup but if i drink 2 or 3 i’ll get nausea), this is because green tea is a lot heavier on the stomach, while white tea has almost the same health benefits but it is a lot more easier to digest. However white tea or black tea is not easy to find, here in Europe only specialised tea stores will have it, or really big supermarkets, if i do not find find white tea, i’ll switch to black tea, and if that is unavailable as well i would take green tea with jasmine.

After that i take one cup of hot skimmed milk, i’ll add four spoons (size of a soup spoon) to it, and 2 small coffee spoons of chia seeds.

Lunchtime:

I usually eat either a piece of bread with some light cheese on it, or i’ll prepare myself a salad, or a soup, or a bowl of granola with some yoghurt. (keep in mind that, salad, like iceberg salad will make your stomach look floated, yoghurt will also have the same effect). If you want to eat something during lunchtime but you wanna keep a flat stomach i’d suggest you prepare some spinach with a chicken filet, or a soup of green vegetables. (If you want to lose weight even quicker you should not eat any bread during a period of time, if you love bread too much it’s best to east just one or 2 slices of it during either breakfast or lunchtime, since the carbs in the bread will have the time to be digested and absorbed well by the body).

Dinnertime:

I aways try to eat a hot plate during dinner, i usually go for some cooked spinach, or kale,  or leek, or broccoli, (beware that broccoli is a rough vegetable and it will most your stomach look a little bloated temporarily), or Brussels spouts (will however also make your stomach look a little bloated afterwards temp.). I’ll ad some quinoa to it, with again a little bit go chia seeds and either chicken, or a turkey fillet, or a white fish, or salmon fillet.

Things to bear in mind:

Eat 2 snacks in between breakfast and lunch, and in between lunch and dinnertime.

Snacks can either be 2 kiwis, or some pineapple or any other fruit, or a bowl of strawberries, or a banana or a bowl or blueberries or raspberries or an egg can be boiled or as an omelet.

With this diet you will need to drink 2 litres of water each day.

Another tip would be to walk or jog a little, or go to the fitness and work out for like and hour, hour and a half, this will help your diet a lot and will help your body to reshape to the size that you want.

And most importantly, every body is different, some people will lose weight quickly others will have to fight more to get rid of them, keep loving yourself even if you’re not the size that you want at the moment, know that your body is amazing, and if we fuel it with all good stuff the results of this diet can be pretty amazing.

Note, this may not be in your case but with my friends and i we noticed that our skin looked flawless whilst doing this, and that we slept better at night as well.

Note, do not drink green tea after 3 in the afternoon, since most tea’s have caffeine in it, it will keep you awake at night, instead you can drink caffeine free green tea.

 

 

Self acceptance

Self acceptance

He moves he’s fingers over my chest, feels my scars, feels my big scars and my small scars, he moves he’s hand slowly from my stomach to my chest area following the trail of my scar… He never asked me what happened, but instead he plants small and tiny kisses on top of the scar.

Everybody is born with a small leak between the left and right chamber of the heart which sort of closes by itself when you’re a baby, i was born with the leak as well but unlike everybody else’s heart, the leak in my heart didn’t close… It stayed open… It made my heart pump blood from one side to the other which sounds normal but in my case the oxygen blood and the non oxygen blood made my heart pump a lot to keep up with the pace, which made my body sort of switch off various functions, i couldn’t cry, i couldn’t eat, after 2 weeks doctors quickly noticed i lost weight instead of gaining it, and i lost it as a quick pace, after 5 weeks my mom went to a specialist to check out what was wrong with me, he didn’t say what it was, but instead told my mom she had to go immediately with me to a specialised clinic nearby Brussels.

The next day my parents meet a professor, 2 specialists and a child cardiologist, the verdict was in, i had a ventricular septal defect, and the only solution to fix me was to undergo surgery, open heart surgery, but i was too weak to do the operation in the near future so they kept me on the intensive care for 2 months.

There i was, a super tiny baby with lots of wires connected from all over. After 3 months they were ready to do the surgery, since my chances on surviving were still very slim the doctor only wanted to do the surgery with he’s own personalised team, 7 specialist from all over Belgium and one plastic surgeon and lots of nurses, were busy fixing me in what ended as a 9 hour long operation.

When i was a kid i knew i was different from all the other kids in my class, my whole class knew what had happened, but sometimes a bully from outside our class would make fun of me because of my scar, i’ve had people stare at it, or pointing at it, or randomly pointing and saying ‘what happened there?’.

When working as a model some photographers would photoshop away the scars, others would keep it, some would ask the make up artist to retouch it a bit, but to be honest i rather have it out there in the open, i don’t wanna hide my scar, i’m not embarrassed for it, today my scar signifies that i’m stronger than i could ever think i am, that i have my own special tattoo, one that not too many people have, i’ve learned over the years to accept myself the way i am, and i would never photoshop the scar. Because it’s such a big part of me. It made me who i am today.

So to all the people out there feeling embarrassed for a scar, or scar tissue, don’t be, it’s not worth it, a scar is simply there to tell you, that you are a very strong person that has gone through something very significant, but in the end you made it and that’s what counts… So love yourself as you are right here, right now.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Jalaluddin Rumi