Look mum, I’m on the cover!

Ever since I was a young LinaAgainsTheUniverse, it’s always been my dream to…

  1. Make it on the cover of a magazine
  2. Get the lead role in a music video
  3. Star in a television show

Well, I can actually cross off all three of my showbizz bucket list items, even before reaching the infamous age of 30. Of course there’s a funny story behind all three accomplishments…

The music video

A few years ago I was casted in the new music video of a rather famous Dutch R&B group, who was best known for sexy (kinda tacky) bubbling songs and videos. But their new song was about a much more serious topic and showed the harm of unnecessary violence against ambulance staff and police officers. I played the lead role, that of a police woman who was under attack. It was so much fun to do, but unfortunately the marketing of the video was so poor that it never aired on TV. So much for the kick off of my Lead-Girl-In-A-Video-Career. You can still check the video out below, it’s actually pretty good and deserves more attention I think.


The television show

Next up, I was chosen to star in a new Dutch scripted reality show, called ‘Accused‘. I portrayed a hotel maid who was wrongfully accused of stealing money of hotel guests. This was actually my biggest gig so far and it was so cool to shoot, even though the script was a tad silly. The only downside of this role was the absolute horrible and most unflattering hotel maid outfit that you can possibly think of. I was actually 15 kilo heavier back then and that awful blue uniform/dress didn’t do much good for my figure. I did get a lot of recognition of people who had watched the show and thought it was real. So I take that as a compliment for my acting skills, lol. But I have a hard time re-watching the show, because I really don’t like the way I looked with some extra junk in the trunk. Unfortunately at this time the video has been removed online, but below is a video still from the show. It’s better for everyone that it doesn’t show the whole outfit.

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The magazine cover

Some time ago I did a magazine cover. The client was a health insurance company and we did a shoot in the woods for the cover of their new magazine. I was shot as an athlete, so I felt pretty confident and sporty. They made me do all kinds of gym related exercises, while the camera flashed heavily. I felt like a real model, this was my time to shine. I even smized for the sake of Tyra Banks. I was so excited to see the result, but when I finally got my ‘model’ hands on the issue, my smize changed into straight up almost crying. They took like 100 shots and my best photo was the one took from below, while I was wearing a horizontal striped shirt. Even my mum could have taken a more flattering photo than the one which was chosen to be on the cover. And the worst part wasn’t even the photo. It was the coverline across my covergirl shot. Translated from Dutch, it reads: how to get back in shape, after your disease. OMG, is this magazine calling me fat? I just can’t. Definitely not the way I wanted to be portrayed and again, not my breakthrough to fame.

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Ah well, I have another casting lined up for this Friday. It’s for a new TV commercial for a big brand in Holland. Maybe 2017 is my time to shine, wish me luck!

Keep believing in yourself darlings! Nothing worth having comes easily right?

Love,
Lina

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3 reasons NOT to celebrate your birthday

If your’re reading this, it’s my birthday! Yay for me right? WRONG. Ever since I’ve reached the age of not being socially allowed to throw swimming and candy bday parties anymore, I kinda don’t want to celebrate my bday at all. NO, I don’t want to celebrate getting more wrinkles, not being able to work with a hangover anymore or just being an adult all together. NO.

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Well ok it was kinda fun to exchange my teenage kiddo bday parties for 20 something binge drink parties. A whole lot of fun. It was all fun and games until the the big 3 in my age kicked in. Now I just feel old and all I want is candy, without the swimming part. So NO, I’m not gonna tell you my age, but I will tell you that aging aint no fun. But hey, as long as they keep asking for my ID when buying booze and cigarettes, I’m still fucking 21 and I will continue to act that way and shop at Forever 21, together with all the other forever 21’s. YUP.

So if you’re feeling the same way or you just hate celebrating your birthday for a whole bunch of other reasons, here’s a little list of reasons why not to celebrate your bday.

1 Think of all the money you’ll save

Birthday parties cost a lot of money. The cake, drinks, food, snacks, maybe a venue that needs to be booked. When you don’t throw a party, you can spend all that cash on something you really want. Like a nice citytrip, that new MAC lipstick, a fabulous gym outfit, or a pony! Everyone loves ponies.

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2 No new friends

We’ve all been through that awkward situation, where you (accidentally or purposely) invite someone, but ‘forget’ to also invite his or her ‘accessory’. (that one person who comes with the package and always seems to be attached to him or her) Not a good way to make new friends and definitely awkward for both parties on your next lunchdate. You can’t win with The Invitations. Someone, whether it’s a relative, co-worker, friend or friend of friend, will always be forgotten or left behind on purpose. Whoops! Avoid the awkwardness and skip the party!

3 So fresh, so clean

You can’t throw a party in your house, without wrecking the place, you just can’t. Even if you’re name is Cinderella and you run a supertight ship, someone else will definitely wreck it for you. If you don’t want to wake up in the middle of vomit, beer cans and cold pizza, don’t throw a bday party. Just don’t. You have the option of waking up to the smell and sound of abso-fucking-lutely no one in your house. So now you can cry in silence about the fact that you didn’t have a birthday party. YAY!

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Happy freaking birthday to me!

Love,
Lina

 

How to survive Blue(s) Monday

In exactly 2 days it’s that time of the year again, the most depressing day of the year is lurking around the corner: Blue Monday. This day was ‘invented’ by British psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2005. Supposedly on this very Monday, most people feel sad and depressed. This due to failed New Year’s resolutions, vacations that are too far in sight, dark and cold winter days and the beginning of a new work week. The gross population got a serious case of the Monday blues on this particular 1st day of the week.

So instead of focusing on all this negativity, I’m giving you some Blue Monday survival tips below!

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How to survive Blue Monday:

1 Stay in bed
The easiest and fastest way to survive Blue Monday, is to bust your alarm clock, cover your head in blankets and go back to sleep. The more you’ll sleep, the sooner it will be Tuesday and safe outside again.

2 Play dress up
Go to work dressed up like a clown. Everyone likes clowns, clowns make people laugh and happy. Make balloon animals for all your coworkers, everyone loves a good old fashioned balloon dog. On an important side note, some people (I sure am) are super scared of clowns, I’m positive Stephen King’s 80’s horror movie IT has something to do with that primal fear. So this might not be the best idea, it might make Blue Monday even more blue.

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3 Let the sun shine
On a more serious note, people need sunlight in their lives. Because of a great lack of sunshine in wintertime, soak up some fake sun instead. Light therapy is supposed to help in times of depression. Ultraviolet light resets the body’s internal clock and gives you the vitamin D you need in order to feel happy and healthy. You can go to special sunlight studios or get your own light therapy lamp.

4 Ticket to the tropics
If you can’t wait until summer to go on a long anticipated trip, tell your boss you need sunshine in your life and just book a ticket in February to a tropical island with a white beach, wavy palms and turquoise ocean asap. It’s off season, so chances are vacations are way cheaper than in summer anyway. Treat yourself!

5 New month’s resolutions
Who cares that you couldn’t keep up with your New Year’s resolutions and failed all your goals already. You can start over every month, so just quit smoking, start eating healthy and going to the gym on February 1. No harm done. Also, it will be nice and quiet at your local gym, because of all the slackers who are too disappointed in themselves to ever show their face again.

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May your coffee be strong and your Blue Monday be short 😉
Hang in there, LinaAgainstTheUniverse is by your side…

Love,
Lina

 

 

 

 

 

3 ways to lose those Christmas Calories BEFORE and DURING the actual Dinner

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, the build-up towards binge-watching the Home Alone movies, binge-eating festive foods and binge-couch hoarding has begun.

But with that anticipation, also starts the stress and paranoia to look your best in that brand-new glitter cocktail dress you bought for the office party or that nerve wrecking dinner party with the parents-in-law.

So how do you make sure, you stack up on a lot of Holiday fun, instead of a lot of Holiday fat? However, those New Year’s gym motivations after all the Christmas food are well intended, but just too little too late. You need to lose that muffin top, before the actual eating of the muffin even begins, right?

So keep on reading to get started, it’s not too late!

1 A little more water and a little less Eggnog
You might think it’s all the chocolate Christmas cookies and having seconds (or even thirds) of that delicious turkey is fattening you up. Well of course that’s not really helping you get in the best shape possible. But most people seem to forget, that all that Eggnog, Gluhwein and other jolly Christmas beverages are little, evil calorie-devils.

All that sugar and alcohol will blow your (still flat) belly up like a hot air balloon, faster than you can say ‘bottoms up’. Try drinking a glass of water in between your alcoholic drinks. Your belly, liver and skin will thank you later. Not to mention it will prevent you from barking out ‘All I want for Christmas‘ too loud and off key in front of the in-laws…

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2 Stop making excuses, start exercising!
It’s never too late to get that booty moving. Stop waiting for January to come around, start today. You don’t even have to sign up for a gym membership, there are lot’s of other and cheaper ways to get that blood pumping.

For example: take the bike to the grocery store, work or your friend’s house, instead of the car or bus. On your lunch break at work or school, try walking around the block and getting some fresh air, instead of sitting in the cafeteria, stuffing your face with shitty snacks that don’t even taste good. Put on a salsa tutorial when you’re at home, instead of good old Netflix. Even when you suck and can’t get the steps down, you’ll burn some calories from laughing your ass off.

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3 Go Cinderella on your apartment
It might surprise you, but cleaning actually burns calories. 15 minutes of sweeping the floor, burns 39 calories, turn it up a notch while getting down on hands and knees and really start scrubbing that baby, it will burn you a good 48 calories. That’s 110 lb of mashed potatoes.

Cleaning your entire house thoroughly burns 204 calories. Chances are you’ll have company over for Christmas dinner and your house has to be clean anyway, it’s a win win!

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But most importantly, have fun!

Happy Holidays.

Love,
Lina

Caramel pudding with a dash of cheese, please

“If you’re thinking about being my brother, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white”, beautiful and oh so true words sung by the King of Pop in the early nineties. Unfortunately, when I was a kid growing up in that era, where I came from, I did matter whether you had a black or a white skin

Today, I want to write a piece on a more serious note, after my mother and I got interviewed by a TV presenter about the differences between the various cultures in Holland. My parents and I were visiting the Oktoberfest in the south of Holland and watching a typical southern civic guard parade. All of a sudden this guy with a cameraman following him, pops up in front of us and asks us why we are attending this very festival. And with ‘we’ he told us, he meant ‘us white folks’. He noticed there weren’t any, at least not a lot, black people at the Oktoberfest and he wondered why. Is it because black people don’t like those kinds of festivals? Is it because so many white people together scare them maybe? My mum and I couldn’t really come up with a quick answer.

This made me wonder about my own skin color. On a side note, according to the town I used to live, I’m black. And the multiracial city of Amsterdam, where I currently reside, thinks I’m kinda white. I’m actually 50% Moroccan, 50% German. It really shouldn’t matter where my blood is originally from, but it was a really big deal back in the days when I was growing up. I was actually the only ‘girl of color’ in the small town I grew up in. That made me a huge target for bullies/racists. My best friend from elementary school was white, so they used to call us ‘Duo Penotti‘, a brand of half white/half brown chocolate spread. Other ‘creative’ names for me were ‘Brownie’, ‘Turkish’ and ‘Barbie doll’. That last name I found rather strange, because the Barbies that were commonly known at that time,  were super white with almost platinum blonde hair. It just shows how ignorant and mean kids can be.

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The TV host’s show is called ‘De Braboneger verkaast‘, which loosely translated, means ‘Black guy from the South is ‘cheesing up’. In Holland we eat a lot of cheese, that’s a given. So the the main topic of his show, is doing ‘white’ activities, such as skiing, visiting the Oktoberfest and other ‘typical’ Dutch stuff. All of this with a wink to stereotypes and prejudice. So why aren’t many black people visiting the Oktoberfest? Maybe it’s because they are not used to dressing up in lederhosen and eating sausages at 10 am? Come to think of it, us Dutchies even stole this ‘tradition’ from the Germans. So it’s not even typical Dutch, we borrowed it from our neighbors. But we also borrowed a lot of activities and habits from other cultures and countries, such as the Brazilian Summer Carnival in Rotterdam. And we love to eat Surinam and Chinese food. We dance to ‘black’ music, we even have big R&B/hiphop festivals and an unhealthy fascination for Beyoncé.

I guess I really don’t know the answer to the question: ‘why were there more white, than black people’ at the Oktoberfest. Does it really matter though? At the Rotterdam Summer Carnival, there are way more black, than white, people visiting the parade. Why should we even think in black or white? We’re all people, sharing our traditions and customs with one another. We borrow each others music, food and habits. Sharing is caring, right?

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Who knows, hopefully in a few years, no one has to ask questions like that anymore, because we will all be colorblind and equal in each others eyes. Until then, I’ll always be ‘caramel pudding, with a dash of cheese’ to some people. But that doesn’t matter, I know who I am and that’s what counts.

Have a great night!

Love,
Lina

 

Club Tropicana drinks are free (and poisonous)

No stress! That’s life anthem of the island I just got back from. My bf and I went to Sal, Cape Verde  for 8 days and it was all that a relaxing vacay should be. Almost white, bounty beaches, palmtrees and a turquoise ocean with waves so high, it makes surfers wanna jump their board instantly.

So is this gonna be a perfect, cheesy, holiday story? Of course not! It’s still me, Lina Against The Universe, we’re talking about. So it’s inevitable that something bad was gonna happen, even in my 8 day vacation, right?

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My bf got sick almost right away. Because it was so tropical hot in our hotelroom, we left the AC running on freezer mode all night. I know one should never do that, that’s just a flue waiting to happen, but we forgot to turn it off. Whoops. He also had some ‘good’ old fashioned holiday belly cramps. I on the other hand was still going strong and bragging to other tourists about how I didn’t have a care (or cramp) in the world. I should have known right then, right there, I totally jinxed the hell out of myself and the Universe would come for me any time soon now.

And it did. It hit me so hard, that I’m still sick now, sitting behind me desk, writing this post vacay story. My bf got better after only 2 days, but I got the whole shitload (literally) for almost a week now. Besides that I have a super cold, I was coughing my lungs out in my pretty, blue cocktail, on the pretty beach, staring into the beautiful waves. Not cool Universe, not cool.

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I’m blaming the water. You can’t drink the tab water at Cape Verde, so they have big waterbottles all through the resort, you can drink from. But that so called filtered water, sometimes tasted kinda funky, like Clorox. And that water was also used to make our softdrinks and tropical, all-inclusive cocktails. And all-inclusive drinks means, binge drinking until someone falls of their chair or starts dancing the samba all of a sudden. So I guess, I binge drank myself sick and not even because of the alcohol. (ok, maybe a little)

So Cape Verde, I did feel just a tad stressed on your lovely island, even though your motto is: no stress. However I had a wonderful time on your warm, sunny, friendly island and we should meet again soon… 🙂

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No stress!

Love,
Lina

My Killer (body) Motivation

No offense to any girl (or boy) who loves making pre/after work-out selfies at the gym, if you got it (or getting there), flaunt it right? But I’ve never been the kinda ‘#fitgirl’ who feels the need to post her gymsessions. Because I don’t look hot after doing 20 burpees or 10 clean and presses, no, I look sweaty, disgusting and tired of life. I admire girls (and boys) who manage to look like a Pussy Cat Doll after their CrossFit class. Anyway, the reason for this post, is that I actually did manage to loose 17 kilo, while looking gross and sweaty in numerous fitness classes. I didn’t feel the need to post my progress on social media, but I do want to point out some motivation killers, after spotting something quite shocking at my local gym.

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My 3 body motivation killers


1 Gym staff members who are eating horrible snacks behind the counter. When I’m entering the gym, fully focused to burn some serious taco calories, the last thing I want to see is a staff member eating fries, with cheese and garlic sauce on top. Or when I’ve just finished my killer body work out and I’m hungry AF, the only thing I want to smell is a nice, #cleaneating salad with some quinoa maybe, not a big, fat kebab. I’ve witnessed staff members doing this 3 days in a row and that shit really released my inner killer instinct. They even smiled at me, while eating it, the nerve! Needless to say, I wanted to set them on fire.

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2 Comparing myself to every #instafitgirl on social media. Those perfectly shot photos of pretty girls with toned abs, cuddling palm trees and flamingos, while wearing the perfect Nike Sport ensemble, can really get every girl down. I really have to remember myself that most of them get paid to look like that and have sponsored Instagram accounts. Plus the amount of Photoshop needed to look like Malibu Barbie, is insane, I could never look like that. I should’t even want to look like that and neither should you!

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3 Feeders. Colleagues at work who keep telling you to eat the pie, ‘Just eat the damn pie, one piece wont hurt you’. YES IT WILL! That’s how I got fat in the first place. Stop making me eat cake. Please. I’m trying really hard to stick to my ‘diet’, so it’s already hard to have the discipline to resist all the office temptations, don’t make it any harder. Or a really sweet BF who’s a great cook, but doesn’t know the struggle of counting calories and the urge to ‘oven and coconut oil-cook’ everything. Of course you can’t force your environment to have the same lifestyle that you have, but it helps if they are a little bit considerate and supportive, so your your killer body motivation wont turn into a killer motivation.

Stay focused and SLAY!

Love,
Lina