Westerly Windina

2013

I knocked at the door again.


It’s relatively early and I am outside a small home, a Housing commission flat at the Gold Coast. This time I hear short, loud clacking noises from inside.


“I will be one minute, I can hardly run in these shoes!”

The door opens to reveal the whitest teeth I have ever seen. And so begun my day with Westerly Windina.


Much has been written about Westerly; her past as surfing icon Peter Drouyn, her transformation into her Marilyn Monroe looking self now - to questioning her

authenticity.


As we began the day down at the beach (like many shoots before) I said that I had what I needed, but I wanted to see the ‘unposed’ Westerly and if she minded if I stuck around for the rest of her day. I felt she was so used to running through the motions of media coming to her door and thankfully a few hours later, she seemed to slightly drop her guard and let me into her house and introduced me to her son.


Before I left, she asked if I would like to see Marilyn’s room? At first it was slightly daunting walking into a room with pink and white laced curtains, cupboards full of bright clothes and a Marilyn Monroe mirror hanging on the wall. We talked some more about Peter, in the third person, and how she feels a connection to Marilyn that she can not explain.


I think I got it. Westerly seemed to have been through a journey most of us can not begin to imagine. I think wanting something so badly for so long, would make any of us idolize and channel it to some degree.


After my day with Westerly, I felt she was alot shyer than her persona presents, and although her journey has been a struggle, she remains resilient and will continue to grow and define her identity like the rest of us.



































Westerly in print,
HUCK Magazine (issue 38) & online (www.huckmagazine.com)

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