Some photos may be considered NSFW.
There are a million ways to look at naked people on the Internet, but there’s only one Zivity.com, which offers a sex-positive, friendly respite from dude-centric online glossies and wanting alt empires featuring finger-biting tattooed babes. Of course, there are plenty of body-modded ladies on Zivity.com, but there’s room for everyone on this community-minded site, which pays models and photographers based on fan votes per set. One of the most popular models on the site is “EnglishBabs,” a leggy British babe who’s not your typical Internet pin-up. EnglishBabs, who is the fourth most popular model on the site, is 55 years old, and her photographer is none other than her husband.
“I have always posed for my husband since I was a teenager, as he has always had a keen interest in photography, but it was only when he became a full-time professional photographer about five years ago that I got into modeling more seriously,” she wrote me via email. “I started helping my husband at the studio with his shoots with other models, watched them pose etc, but never really considered the possibility of modeling myself. I didn’t think there were any real openings for women of my age. Then I discovered Zivity, and realized that here was a site open to women of all ages, shapes and sizes, celebrating the diversity of the female form.”
Their relationship has proven to be incredibly fruitful, both practically (they have five adult children) and creatively, with 120 photo sets and counting. EnglishBabs was also a full-time caregiver for her mother-in-law until last year, when her mother-in-law passed away at the age of 91. “I took care of washing and dressing her and her personal care, cooking meals and taking her out every day. My family were very supportive, and there was always someone to look after Mum-in-law when I needed a break or to do my modeling shoots.” At present, EnglishBabs works as a freelance transcriptionist, as well as for an Australian site called Microminimus. However, Zivity is her number one priority when it comes to the World Wide Web. It’s also the only social media network she’s a part of.
The way EnglishBabs describes her online friendships recalls the halcyon days of Usenet and, yes, Livejournal, but that’s at least partially attributable to EnglishBabs’ attitude. Her wall is full of chipper conversations, compliments, thanks, encouragement, and chats about weekend plans. “I have made so many friends through Zivity, some of whom I chat to on a daily basis, mainly via email. Most of my close Zivity friends live in America or other parts of the world, so I have never actually met most of them in person,” she noted.
That outlook has won her a ton of fans among Zivity users and other models, as well as Zivity’s CEO, co-founder, and editor-in-chief, Cyan Banister. According to Cyan, EnglishBabs “gives great advice,” and her relationship with her grown children is inspiring. More to the point, “I love that she’s not ashamed of herself in any way — nor should she be. As we (women) grow older, we start to cover ourselves more and reveal less and our insecurities about ourselves go up in many ways. Some things we care a lot less about, like perhaps how we look when we leave the house, but for the most part, we become more insecure. [EnglishBabs] doesn’t care if her family sees her naked, she’s proud of who she is, she’s self-confident and everything about that gives me hope that I can be like her when I’m older.”
EnglishBabs’ relationship with her photographer husband is also really sweet. The sets they put together range from cheeky Christmas pin-ups to Cabaret-themed strip-downs, and plenty of sets shot outdoors in their native UK. Cyan gushed, “He’s so incredibly in love with her and it shows through his imagery, their fan messages and with everything they do. I think the fans admire their relationship as well. If you support and celebrate our type of art, you hope that relationships transcend that sort of jealousy to where people can celebrate how beautiful the human body is.”
EnglishBabs isn’t just a naked model, she’s a role model. As she puts it, “I think society and the media play a big part in the way older women are portrayed in society. For example, how many mature women do you see presenting TV shows? … It is up to us as individuals to try to break the mold and let nothing stop us doing what we want to do in life.”
That energy, positivity, and straight-up sexiness is paying off for EnglishBabs, but she’s not the only beneficiary. As Cyan explained, “She’s up there with astronauts for me, because when I’m slacking off I ask myself, ‘What would [EnglishBabs] do?’ and I get off my ass.”