Photos Of The Day: "Sisterhood"
When most of us think of Brazil and it’s beauty standards, images of a plastic-surgery obsessed population with contests like Miss bumbum (how can any of us forget those photos of poor Andrea Urach after a botched cosmetic procedure?) and supermodels like Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrosio come to mind. But behind every society’s glossy magazines and beauty contests is a growing counter culture full of men and women fighting to highlight the kind of beauty that tends to get ignored by the general population. Brazilian photographer Anna Mascarenhas is doing just that. “Sisterhood”, a series of photographs of sisters Sheila, Lara, and Mara, is a project that Mascarenhas has embarked on in order to highlight the diversity of Brazil that is often overlooked.
Mascarenhas in her own words: “I came across the girls by scrolling through my Instagram”, the photographer recalls. ”Their parents came from Guiné Bissau for opportunities when their mum was pregnant with the oldest one, Sheila. After a while, she had the twins, Lara and Mara. They are albino, and in the beginning the dad thought she cheated on him, so he left. Eventually, they split and she raised the girls by herself. The mum works as a hairdresser in the center of São Paulo, specializing in hairstyles for black hair. The older one, Sheila, is 14-years-old, she dreams about being a model, and so do her younger sisters. But the problem is that it seems they don’t belong in any category. Living in a favela in São Paulo, and having a single mom to pay for all the expenses, it’s almost impossible to consider this dream to be a success…
When I met the girls, it made me start wondering why it has to be so hard for them”, she remembers. “Getting in the industry is hard for anyone, but why does it have to be even harder for them. Here in Brazil, we have a very multicultural population. But when we talk about publicity and fashion in general, we still have a large path to cross. Everything is still very white and skinny like we are committed to a square we can’t abandon. In Sao Paulo Fashion Week, for example, an agreement was signed in 2009 by the state public office to determine that 10 per cent of models working in the event should be Black or Native Indian. And last year NGO Educafro was reporting that this agreement was not being followed by the brands. Can you imagine the agencies choosing albino twins to sell jeans to middle-class mums? I don't think so. That's why I wanted to tell their story, I don't think they would be able to reach their dream the regular way”.
Text: Rae Tashman
Photos via: Dazed & Confused
Nov. 22, 2016
Labels: May I introduce