(Fashion credits for cover image. Earrings by Glitter.Bra by Ganni. Panties by Topshop. Sneakers by Nike.)

KICK ASS
PHOTOGRAPHS & ESSAY BY RIE RASMUSSEN
FEATURED TALENT: EMILIA LILJA @emilielilja
MAKEUP BY: @mua_simonrihana

STYLIST: CHARLOTTE SANDGREN @charlottesandgren

All my life I have heard people say: ”When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. For me, over the years, this notion of “making the best of things” has become a challenge: Somehow, along the way, I’ve chosen the role of “lemonade maker” for those in my life who’ve been handed lemons. (My name is Rie and I am a “fixer!”.)

When I had the endless energy of a 22 year old, I could sweeten many lemonades, but now, staring at the big 4-0, I ask “At what cost?” When I give away all my sugar, I’m left with sour lemons of my own. It’s taken a while, but I am learning about boundaries and letting people figure out their own issues: As a “giver” I’ve had to realize that problems can only be solved by the people who have them; no matter what I give, for the “takers” it can never be enough.

Cap by Glitter. Necklaces by H&M. Panties, & Other Stories Cap, Glitter Necklaces, H&M, Bh. Panties by & Other Stories.

Our energy is our only real capital, our health and stamina literally define who we are! Would you freely give away the essence of you? No.  This “Sugar Mama” is done giving away her energy. (I want to spend my sugar on my Kick Ass art!’ )

Earring, H&M.

I’ve learned I can only truly show up for others if I shown up for myself first. But in today’s society this understanding is a hard to hold onto. The newest social media trends demand that we, men and women alike, preform as “picture perfect” human beings all the time. In a quest to promote our flawless online Avatars we’ve generated a tireless marathon of selfies depicting a lifestyle of being successful, skinny, beautiful and of course in ultimate health, with tons of abs showing, causally, because god forbid you look like you are trying! It feels as if there is nowhere to just hide in sweat pants and pick you nose.

Jewlery by H&M.

This pressure has also added to the fact that most girls I know, and some guys, have digestion issues from the stress of trying to be perfect! Our gut is our second brain – interesting fact; when we were formed in your mother’s bellies the gelatinous soft tissue literally separated from one mass into two and became the gut and the brain  –  I have unfortunately come to realize that the gut is where most of us store everything that scares us or stresses us out. Our sadness along with our worries go straight to our core.

We make ourselves more susceptible to illness when we stress to project this image of health and prosperity: Oh, the irony. In a modern world which is fully aware that mindfulness & meditation is the key to mental & physical happiness we have invented every distracting device we can, taking us seemingly in the opposite direction of enlightenment and into technological overload. It seems both our bodies and Mother Earth alike desperately need to calm down and clean up our act.

Within our whirlwind lives we can choose how we live with the many things we are powerless to change. In my life, and sometimes just in one day, I have been both extremely fragile, soft natured and Kick ass! I fully believe that it is healthy to be capable of this wide range of emotions but don’t let them take hold, you must always do the most important thing you can do for health, let your negative thoughts go… realize no-one is ‘perfect’. Not even in an Instagram world.

Life is about progress not perfection! Learning and evolving is a sure sign of a healthy intelligence and can bring us close to the peace we need within ourselves, or even peace in global politics for that matter. (Like they say, ‘You want to change the world, start with you’!) If you love living your life and try a bit of everything, you will slowly realize that with time and experience you can become great at many things… and hopefully you will have gotten great at letting others sweeten their own damn lemonade!

I took these inspiring Kick ass images of my cousin, she looks like a flawless being, yet on social media everyday she is readily admitting just how flawed she is, with many funny comments and self reflecting moments of absurdity! What I find interesting about her is her ability to analyze who she is and what she looks like whilst working extremely hard to achieve daily progress on all fronts and in the end all we can do is give life our best and keep trying. You can read about it all in her new book that just came out!