Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Revealing Marlene: Beauty In The Silence

HMUA: Kada from Bombay Beauty Loft    STYLING: Valrie from Cherry Chic Designs

When I get to photograph someone out-of-the-blue for a Reveal Your True Beauty Experience, it's like a present you know is coming: the giddiness of it all is awesome, wondering how it'll be, who is she and barely able to wait for the date to do it. 

Even though we emailed back and forth with Marlene, she was very business-like through all of the messages, going straight to the point. When I read her interview form, it didn't reveal much of her either so being the curious lady I am, and she being a mystery, I was VERY looking forward to meeting this person and understand all the secrecy in her.

I'll be honest, she was a tough shell at the beginning. Marlene wasn't talking much and I was starting to worry wondering how to get her inner beauty to show when she was guarding it with all her might?
But she did open up and told me her story which I'm sorry to disappoint you but I won't share it here, simply out of respect; it's not mine to tell. Some stories are and some aren't, and Marlene is a wonderful lady whom I'm sure would love to keep it to just the people close to her. It's nothing atrocious in any way, it'll definitely leave you admiring this woman but understanding who she is made me feel it was better to keep it that way.

I can tell you this: When she opened up it was beautiful; you could feel her tension go away and her kindness come out. She started talking and sharing her stories about being a school bus driver; she truly enjoys what she does and you can see it in her eyes as she talks. The more we talked, the more I started to see a little smile coming out more and more often, until her eyes wouldn't stop smiling. When we finish her session and I said "all done!" she was so comfortable, she stayed in her place for quite a while. I had to come to her, gently touch her shoulder and tell her that we were done. It made me so happy to see her THAT happy and comfortable. You could tell this meant a lot to her and I was very grateful to be able to give her that moment.

In her own words, this is what her experience was:

"Fela captured the real me in her photos. She helped me to show different facial expressions and in so doing was able to make the photos much more interesting. I have never been comfortable as the subject and she helped me have fun and enjoy the experience. Thanks so much Fela!"

I loved her reveal because of her reaction. She was literally taken aback and was speechless; it was a very emotional moment for her. But she was happy... and proud of herself. She came out of it walking a bit taller that day. And me? With a warm heart and the joy of knowing she was able to discover her true beauty.

Aren't those eyes simply gorgeous??

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

FRANQ Magazine And Why I Had To Write About It

If you are a faithful reader of my blog, you're very familiar by now with my post "The Ugly Betty Story And Why I Want To Show Your True Beauty To The World". That part of my life happened between the ages of 12 and 18. Yes, 6 years having low thoughts about myself.

That age range is the most vulnerable of all regarding body image and self confidence, and the most susceptible to be shaped by information thrown their way regarding these subjects, because teens are in the development time of their lives on which they are discovering who they are as an individual, instead of as a member of a family, which is how they identified themselves when they were younger.

So today, while doing searches on Twitter (I'm into that now, to find awesome people who stand for what I stand for), I stumbled upon this Teen Magazine: FRANQ. It wasn't the Twitter name that caught my attention initially but an image they shared:

So, being the curious lady I am, I went to their website and checked all I could (I still have no idea which city it belongs to, so if you know, please tell me!).

I have to admit, I'm so excited about this concept! I love how most of the collaboration work is made also by teens (in fact, the promotional video was made by an intern who is 17). For example, Maria Dasoo, a teenage writer wrote an amazing poem from which I took out my favourite verse (perhaps because it relates with the Reveal Your True Beauty concept):

"My body is not to be objectified, but to be personalized"

How did this magazine started? With a "WHAT IF" question:

What if...

There was a magazine that created an environment to empower girls in all areas of their lives, from becoming body positive, to achieving their most audacious dreams and goals. Showcasing the possibilities in life, not constrained by the “ideals” set out before them.

What if...

There was a magazine that showed girls as girls, in all shapes and sizes and in all their glory, by using REAL teen girls as their models WITHOUT THE USE OF PHOTOSHOP.

What if...

There was a magazine that challenged all of the current parameters of beauty in the media.

They want to take the next step (and rightfully so!) to engage more teen girls in positive image and self awareness. That is why they are doing a crowd funding on Indiegogo which I strongly invite you to support. What impact can this magazine generate on our teenaged girls? I'll let another image shared by FRANQ Magazine answer that question for you: