As a brand we are constantly inspired by and in awe of the wonderful women in our community, the women who support us, the women who model for us, the women who wear our swimwear. So we decided to capture these wonderful women on film camera and share some of their stories with you. We hope you fall in love with them all as much as we did 🌊
Tell us a little about you and your journey…
Hi! I’m Yasmin. I’m a 22 year old currently on an intermission from medical school. At the moment I’m living in London, working in technology retail. For a bit of background, I grew up as a dancer. When I was 15 I began to get increasingly worse pain in my knees, legs and back, so much so that I eventually was told to take a couple of weeks rest from any exercise. I’d had problems with some of my other joints for a couple of years, but at the time it was put down to growing pains. I continued to get worse and began to suffer from pretty intense fatigue. After leaving school and working in healthcare for a while, I started an Access course so I could get into medical school. I was still suffering with pain, fatigue and mental health issues, as well as increasing joint instability, digestive, heart and blood pressure and neurological problems. I was recommended a Doctor in London, who finally had some answers for me. When I was 20, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. This came along with a few other diagnoses which helped explain pretty much all of the problems I’d been having. I was finally seeing specialist Doctors, physiotherapists and therapists who knew what I was going through and could give me effective treatment. I started medical school, but the intensity of the course and my poor health didn’t go too well together, so I decided to take a break. I’m now living closer to my Doctors and therapists, focussing solely on my rehabilitation. It’s a long, hard process, but I’ve made progress and I know I will make more, to get me back to where I need to be to enjoy life fully and head back to university.
To find out more about the various Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and their comorbidities, visit www.ehlers-danlos.com
You are studying to be a doctor - what drew you to medicine and what inspires you?
I could write pages and pages about this, but I’ll try and keep it brief. I never had a particular moment or event in life that made me decide I wanted to study Medicine - to be honest I can’t remember the exact moment I decided.
I had always enjoyed caring for people, it was something that came very naturally to me. I remember being about 11 years old, packing and dressing a wound on my Dad’s leg after an operation. I also have a very academic and scientific family, and the research they were doing always fascinated me. When I was at sixth form, I didn’t do any of the right A Levels for Medicine, and eventually ended up withdrawing my university application for Neuroscience so that I could focus on my own way of getting into Medicine. After sixth form I worked in my local hospital as a healthcare assistant, which is undoubtedly the best decision I’ve made. It was tough work, especially as my health wasn’t great, but it completely reinforced my aspirations for what I wanted to do. Recently, having been out of studying and practicing healthcare for a while, I have been panicking that I still won’t be able to cope when I go back. But after an experience a month or so ago, involving looking after an intoxicated man with a head injury on the tube, I knew that this is what I love to do and I will make it work.
I am continually inspired by my friends still at medical school, Doctors on social media sharing the truth about common misconceptions, and those working in the field and in research to help keep the NHS alive and further the knowledge and practice of Medicine.
We loved shooting with you - what was it that made you want to be part of our shoot and community?
I loved shooting with you too! Stay Wild represents such an important community of women supporting each other and the planet. What initially drew me to the company were your ethics, sustainability and inclusivity, as well as all the beautiful designs. It’s obvious that so much care and attention has gone into each of the pieces and the shoots to make sure your values are known straight away. What has kept me with you guys is the absolute sense of welcoming, kindness and encouragement I feel from you towards each individual you work with.
We love our shoot days and being able to bring together inspiring women such as yourself - how was the shoot experience for you?
I was definitely nervous to begin with - it was my first shoot and modelling swimwear is quite intimidating when you’re self-conscious of your body. I haven’t been able to exercise as much or as intensely as I’d like in a long time due to my problems, so I was apprehensive of being so exposed for the shoot. But the nerves disappeared pretty much straight away as everyone involved with the shoot was so welcoming and lovely, it felt completely comfortable. All the pieces were gorgeous and gave me massive confidence in what I was doing. Possibly the best part of the day was meeting the other amazing women we shot with. To meet other women, especially those with chronic illnesses, living their best lives confidently and unapologetically was a hugely inspirational for me. I’m still in contact with them, and all of them continue to inspire me daily, giving me hope for my future.
At Stay Wild we are passionate about the planet and creating a more sustainable way of doing things. Can you describe what the planet and sustainability means to you?
This is a difficult question that I often go round in circles in my head about. The current state of our planet in terms of climate change and plastic pollution is at such a scale that it will require drastic political and global action to combat. To reach net zero and clear our oceans is still possible at the moment, but not without huge action. I often message one of my friends who’s a climate scientist, stressing about the state of the planet and what can be done. It’s frustrating to think about, as it seems like we’re going nowhere at the moment - why are we setting ridiculously unrealistic goals as a country yet still subsidising fossil fuels? But at least we are thinking about it. The amount of awareness and conversation surrounding our consumption and impact on the planet has increased hugely recently, which can only be a positive thing. Although we can’t each sort out all the world’s problems individually, together we can make a change. The issue is, especially now with social media, there is this hugely problematic rhetoric that you either have to be perfect or else you’re a hypocrite. It is by no means realistic to expect everyone to live a carbon neutral, zero waste lifestyle, but if multiple people can make a few sustainable changes, it can have a significant cumulative effect. It’s very easy to live in the first world and ignore what is happening to the planet, because we aren’t yet feeling the effects of it. If not for the people in countries already feeling these effects, or even our future generations, we need to care for the planet for ourselves, because things are changing quickly.
What was your favourite Stay Wild piece and why?
Of the ones I tried on, I think my favourite was the Lunar one piece - it had such a classy feel to it. Also, although I didn’t get to shoot in it, I absolutely love the Odyssey one piece. It’s so unique and distinguishable, definitely understand why it’s so popular!