exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Water

Samantha Yvette

Samantha Yvette


Date of Interview: December 14, 2016

Name: Samantha Yvette

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC


How often do you bathe or shower?

Everyday if I’m not being lazy. I start with a shower and almost always end up taking a bath because this is a jacuzzi tub. I like lining the edge with candles and I play music or read until the water turns cold and I’m super pruny.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

I think I would be a mermaid. I grew up in Florida and I was always swimming or at the beach. Everyone in Florida has a pool, and that’s pretty much the only thing to do because it’s too hot to play or do anything outside for a long time. My grandma used to have to yell at me to come out of the water and I never wanted to, so I learned how to hold my breath for a really long time so I that I could pretend to not hear her ::laughs::. So yes, definitely a mermaid, I already feel like one. I’m most comfortable in water.

What are you passionate about?

Music and movement. I have found it to be really healing, especially now. I was always performing and singing as a child and recently found my latest passion which is fire dancing. It has brought a whole new meaning to my life. Because of it, I’m now a part of a community that feels like home and am able to continue my performance career through this new chapter in my life. I’m also currently in the process of learning how to DJ, so hopefully I can give back the feeling of what music and movement has given me.

How has it been healing?

I… I have been through a lot in my life. My mom was a single mom and my dad wasn’t in the picture. She had my brother and I very young and she most likely had mental health issues she didn’t address before having us. It always seemed like we were a nuisance to her. She refused to get help from anyone even though she needed it. At one point we lived out of the country with my Aunt while she stayed in the states because she couldn’t take care of us. My family would criticize her so she secluded us from them. I guess it was her way to protect us and because of that I never developed strong relationships with most of my family. I kinda…never felt like I was loved by her, so when I met my first boyfriend at 16, he gave me so much attention and took care of me and that felt really good. After a year, the relationship turned abusive. Because of him, I had stopped doing everything that I was passionate about. I stopped dancing, I stopped singing. I had to put him first, you know, he kind of manipulated me. He made me feel like I was nothing without him and that no one else would love me or deal with me. He knew my weaknesses and had me wrapped me around his finger. He ended up convincing me to move to Alabama the second I turned 18 because he was going to school there. We lived together for almost 3 years and he had me enroll in the same classes as him so that he didn’t have to do anything. He also didn’t let me work which was another way for him to control me. He didn’t let me go out, I couldn’t have friends. If I was talking to someone online or in person he would always question me about them and get really jealous regardless of who they were. I felt trapped and was really depressed. My way to cope with my depression was with was food and I ended up gaining over 90 pounds in two years. I couldn’t even walk ten minutes without getting shin splints because all I did was stay at home. It was the worst feeling. Then he started telling me, “Oh, you’re fat now, I have to cheat on you because your body disgusts me, I don’t even want to have sex with you, I wish you were skinny and blonde”. At that point I was 19, and we had been together for 3 years and in those 3 years he had fucked with my head so much that I just did whatever he wanted, let him say whatever he wanted and didn’t fight back so that he wouldn’t leave me. Because I wasn’t close to my mom or family, I didn’t feel like I could reach out to them for help. When I was 20, my mom got engaged and was living in DC, so I came up for the wedding and I didn’t go back. It was still really difficult for the first 2 years living here. I wasn’t used to such a big city and I didn’t even know who I even was as a person anymore so I was extremely insecure when meeting new people. I finally changed my lifestyle and diet and started losing some of the weight I gained and could finally dance again, and it brought me back to myself. It brought me back to everything being okay again and now I can’t stop ::laughs::

What do you feel accomplished with?

I guess, that I’m even here today. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and always felt that I was fending for myself and that no one else was here for me. There were many times that I just wanted to give up and wondered what is even the point? Who even cares about me? But I’m still here and I’m really happy with my life now and the direction it’s going.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

I think human connection is really important. I cherish my platonic relationships more than my romantic ones. Dating is hard for me because I still struggle with a lot of my past trauma and because of it, I’m still insecure and hold a lot of my feelings back because I don’t want to get hurt again. Even though I still deal with the trauma, I’m thankful it happened because I’ve been in a couple of romantic relationships where I’ve seen the red flags of abuse and I now have the courage to call them out and end them before it gets worse for myself or for anyone else. I’ve had some beautiful relationships since that ex that have showed me what being in a healthy and loving relationship is like, but right now I have a lot of goals and ambitions and things to work out with myself, so as much as a romantic relationship would be nice, the best thing for me is to be in a relationship with myself and I’m totally okay with that.

Angela Lester

Angela Lester


Date of Interview: October 5, 2016

Name: Angela Lester

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Columbus, Oh


If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

Oh man… I really love a lot of underwater sea creatures so that’s kind of hard. I’m gonna say dolphins because they’re very community oriented and they’re very smart and they don’t have a lot of natural predators. So I wouldn’t have to deal with being attacked or eaten which would be good ::laughs::.

Do you enjoy being in bodies of water?

Yes. Yes, actually when I was really young I remember my mom taking me to the pool or the beach and when it would be time for me to come in she would call for me and I would duck underwater to pretend that I didn’t hear her so I could stay in longer. When I’m in water I have this overall feeling of like, safety. It’s a nice, cool or warm blanket that makes me feel good and happy and I’m weightless. There’s not a lot of… I don’t know… There’s just this sense of serenity.

What are you passionate about?

Ooooo, lots of things. Umm, I guess I really love food. My long term goal in life is to be a pastry chef and have my own patisserie. So like cooking for people and making things for my friends or coworkers is a thing I really like doing. I’m also very passionate about people being treated fairly and properly so I try to be as active in the community as possible. Just kind of like, human rights and people’s rights. I think there are a lot of things that have been going on for years, especially with race and police violence and I think it’s very important to be active in that and getting together as a community and doing what we can to fight that or else nothing is going to change.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

That… well just… oh man. That Donald Trump will be president ::laughs:: and that people won’t put aside their differences and come together and I’m just afraid that something similar to WWII will happen and that we’ll use up all of our resources and society will collapse on itself. Which I know we’re already at a point where it’s almost irreversible… The future seems pretty bleak to me ::laughs:: nothing matters. Going to have an existential crisis in the bathtub ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m… honestly not afraid of many things other than being attacked by a person at night. Which is something that I feel like most female bodied people or actually all female bodied people are worried about whenever they go walking by themselves at any time of day. Umm, that and also, this is so irrational and dumb but falling off of a roller coaster. I’m really afraid of heights so those are my two things.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

As far as romantic relationships go, I have always been a hopeless romantic. I love falling in love. And I love getting to know people on a romantic level. But it’s also kind of difficult for me because I am a demisexual person, so that has had a lot of people turn themselves away from me because sex isn’t a priority to me unless I have a very strong emotional or intellectual connection to them. Which I guess is good in the long run because it turns away those people who aren’t right for me. I am currently in the best relationship I’ve ever been in ::laughs:: and my partner is really wonderful and we have great communication which I think is the most important, be it a romantic or platonic relationship; you have to talk about things with your partner or friend as soon as you can. If you let something go on and fester, it can become this weird passive aggressive thing and neither of you can grow and develop from that.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Oh man. I recently got published in Vogue International and that was a big step for professionally modeling. Also, I have now been to every state except for Hawaii through modeling and also a recent trip out west. I never thought I could travel for a month at a time due to finances but I was able to do that and spend time in a lot of states that I would have never visited and meet cool people so yeah.

Jen Sanders

Jen Sanders


Date of Interview: September 21, 2016

Name: Jen Sanders

Age: 30

Pronouns: It

Location: Philadelphia, PA


What underwater creature would you be?

I am underwater and I am a creature. So I always try to put myself in water, so I feel like there’s definitely a history of something there. Like I’m getting back to a primordial creature. Yeah, I’ve lived near rivers a lot and the ocean a lot but I guess if I wanted to be another creature, I would probably be some weird looking coral spongy thing that would just chill and suck ::laughs::.

What are you passionate about?

Water. Plants. Love and connection too. I guess nature. So people and plants and the earth. It’s kinda, it’s depressing and sad when people try to, people that are in a position to own destructive materials, try to get more of those destructive materials and constantly fuck the earth without giving back to it. Just all of the taking instead of the give and take. So I’m very passionate about being completely pissed off about that ::laughs::.

How do these passions play into your daily life?

I mean, it plays a lot into everything, I have two kids so I’m constantly thinking about feeding them and feeding myself, and where that food is going to come from. Mostly, and we always hope that it comes in a very stripped down kind of way. You know, basic fruits and vegetables and grains. So, that’s the first thing that I think of but I also have a very deep relationship with plants where I feel like I do love them and they love us. Like there’s a lot of energy exchange. And I like to give that exchange and take that exchange, it’s like a gentle fucking. And I think that I’m always wanting to look at a plant, I always want to be near one and be touching one. But I guess that’s the same with people too. I have a lot of time by myself that I give myself because of my job and my life and the way that I put myself out to people, it’s good to have time and give time to yourself. So you can kind of restore that energy that you’re going to exchange, with whatever.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

Figuring out that I like to take baths. Figuring out that I genuinely do have a really positive way of connecting with people, and I really care about people and nature, and I’m really invested in life and the environment and the world. And you know, I’m also a huge hypocrite and sometimes I get my recycling fucked up and you know, I could go on about that guilt but I think accomplishing happiness is really important as you get older. And I’ve been able to find that through music and through art and meeting people that feel the same way. So accomplishing happiness in a really fucked up world is pretty impressive ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

I’m a little bit scared of death because I have two kids and I would be sad… I’m not ready to die and it sucks when things are dying and I see that in the world right now. I see water supplies poisoned and people still getting killed innocently and children in Syria that are parentless… it’s a worldwide stretch for something that is just not available and to me, it seems like the answer could be solved if we really look at greed as a factor in the unhappiness for most of the people in the world. But I think that people are starting to look at it, so maybe things are looking up. But I guess we’ll see.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

For myself… I guess, maybe starving or getting the wrong treatment that I don’t deserve with death. Like, I don’t want to be shot or raped or killed to early. I feel like there’s a lot of living left to do so I worry about having a shortened unfair death.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

Oooooo relationships. I’ve been in relationships, relationships are really tough, I’m in one right now. They’re great and I like having a lot of fun with people and sometimes I extend fun into showing sexual… like showing and maybe sharing to much. When it gets physical and intimate it’s hard treating the primary partner, it’s hard being exclusive when you want to extend the fun into other ways where you’re physically expressing love instead of vocally. So that’s where I’ve found difficulty with relationships, but I do enjoy having friends I’m not attracted to and don’t think about sleeping with. I think that closing it off and saying that it’s one thing kind of makes things awkward. Yeah, relationships are difficult for me ::laughs:: I want to flow. I want water… clean water ::laughs::.

What is something beautiful that you’ve seen today?

Your hair.

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