Lauren Hill - Mother, Ecofeminist

Posted by Rhea Cortado on

 

Lauren Hill

We’ve always been enamored by Lauren's fluid and joy-filled wave-riding style and admired the way she’s used her voice and knowledge to shine a light on environmentalism, feminism, and the culture of surfing in developing countries. This year our wavelength frequencies synced and we couldn’t be happier that she’ll be contributing her voice and style to Seea. 

Where's home and how has it shaped your water life? 

I grew up on a barrier island off the coast of Florida, surrounded by water. Most days were ended either at the beach, surfing, or watching the sun set over the intracoastal. I lived 30 minutes away from the ocean while I went to university, and that made me vow to never live further than walking distance from the ocean again.

Florida is definitely my coming-of-age home, but Australia is the home of my adulthood—the planet’s largest island. I’ve made a home here with my partner Dave. The culture here— one that is a bit less serious and revolves around being outside—really gave me permission to follow the hunch that I always held about the deep and meaningful nature of play. Australians play more, they travel more, and they seem to value work less as the defining focus of their lives. 

It’s really clear to me that surfing—sticking close to the water—has brought me pretty much all of the most wonderful things in my life thus far.

How do you define style, in the water and out? 

Maybe style is one of those things that’s easier defined by what it isn’t? I know style has nothing to do with trends. For me style, both in and out of the water, definitely revolves around fluidity and ease, or not trying so hard. With fashion, I feel like as soon as you’ve bought into a trend it’s already over.

It’s been funny watching the ‘90s come back again, the impracticably high cut bikinis that pretty much reveal half of your labia. And the radical wedgie action that defines women’s swim bottoms at the moment. It’s a trend, but it really makes me giggle out in the surf. It just makes me wonder: what’s next?! What more can be revealed? Maybe I’m just getting older and am more interested in function, fit and a flattering cut more than ever. 

How has motherhood changed your relationship with the ocean? 

Motherhood is humbling. It’s such a spectral experience of the highest, most googly-eyed love and the most challenging, stretching, sleep-deprived days of my life. I’ve made a lot of decisions that have led me to living a life guided by ocean conditions—a surfing life. I’ve sacrificed to make a life this way and I’m lucky to have found a partner who values the ocean in the same way that I do.

I was worried that motherhood would detract from ocean time, but I haven’t really found that it has. With a newborn, the quantity of time in the ocean may be less, but that’s changed even now with an 8-month-old. Like all of the challenging experiences I’ve been through in my life, motherhood has only made me more grateful for ocean time—the blessing of having an outlet for play in a wild space, the gift of being able to let go of land life completely and be so absorbed that I can just be myself in my own body while I’m surfing. Now that I know the intensity of having a little one hanging off of my body for most of the rest of the day, I can appreciate those moments of embodiment more than ever.

Read more stories by Lauren here

 


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