Modern Day Muses: Jabu x Andrea

 

“I had first met Andrea in primary school or it could have even be kindergarden we first met on the playground of Michael Oak Waldor school in Cape Town. Although we were never friendly as children this connection brought Andrea to message me on Facebook congratulating me for The Foxy Five and expressing her want to join and help. She was studying at AFDA at the time for a degree in Makeup, Costume, Art Direction and Set Design. I then asked her to join as a makeup artist and assistant stylist. Due her incredible enthusiasm and perfectionism I asked her to take up the role of Art Director on The Foxy Five. My muse changes from day to day and at first were classic beauties who were around me and who I wanted to photograph. Andrea has not only become my muse due to her unconventional and timeless beauty but also because of her spirit and optimism. Often bringing a smile and laugh to set her mood lifts me up when things seem almost impossible when shooting. Her attention to detail and precision is also inspiring.” – Jabulile 

Nothing brings me more joy than when womyn of colour come together and do the absolute most. This is exactly what this photo series is; a beautiful product of the collaboration between the amazing  mastermind behind Foxy Five, Jabulile Newman and makeup artist/art director Andrea Kloppers. Like the other womxn who have been featured in Issue #6 thus far, these two individuals represent black girl magic today; that is to say, they are breaking binaries, boundaries and being unapologetically themselves. The female body has always been a point of fascination and pain, historically thinking of figures such as Sarah Baartman and now look at any rap video I suppose, which fetishisizes the black womyn’s bodies. Willfully choosing to “show skin” and embracing your body is still taboo unless it’s under the gaze of science or something along those lines. It’s a reminder of how far  we’ve come and how far we still have to go in terms of true emancipation. Here you are, a womyn; confident, unashamed and black.. I’m so inspired by the work that these two incedible womyn have put together and I hope you are too.

What word comes to mind when you think of the colour “red”?

Andrea Kloppers: Passion, love, lust, power.

Jabu Nadia Newman: Blood – period blood. High fashion, couture, Gucci, Versaci

The most underrated thing about being a creative WoC is…

AK: Our talent.

JNN: Our love and support for each other. People don’t understand how much it means to be supported and be congratulated by another woman of colour. People say there is a lot of competion between black women but actually there’s also a huge sense of comuunity, respect and this support means so much because we’re making other women proud and that’s who I work is made for.

As black womxn, as a creative, imagery plays a big role in the way you choose to portray yourself. What did you wish to communicate with these images?

AK: Strength. We’re outchea. We’re strong, We’re powerful, badass b*tches. I’ll show you my tits. Free that nipple. We need to stop censoring our bodies and celebrate our bodies. And by celebrating our bodies we celebrate each other.

JNN: Power through sexuality. Power through sensuality and the power in beauty. Power through being yourself and looking good.

AK: And there shouldn’t be any shame in expressing our sexuality and the power of sex.

Can you mention one way you show love to yourselves as individuals? Whether it’s through self-care, affirmation etc.

AK: At the moment how I’m loving myself I think is through enrichment and solitude and taking the time for introspection.

JNN: Even just taking the time in the morning to dress myself and make myself look good and essentially feel good is a form of self love.

 

What do you wish you loved about yourself back then that you do now?

AK: My boobs! My boobs! Let me tell I was so ashamed of my small chest. I would always hide them or like stuff my bras, have my hair over my boobs, wear baggy things because I was so embarassed. Now I’m like this is me and there’s nothing wrong with the size or the shape of my boobs or any other women’s breasts.

JNN: Wow it’s really cool that you embraced your breasts in this shoot then. That’s so dope. Thank you I feel privileged. Thanking you for doing that.

AK: Of course of course.

JNN: I definitely wish I loved my body shape more and my curves. I developed breasts and curves at an early age and it was really difficult to be proud of these changes when I was going through it alone compared to my friends at school. AK: Interesting how it’s completely reversed with us. JNN: Exactly which shows that the spectrum of women of colour and how they feel about their bodies and how they look is so diverse and different.

In the age of influence and fast media, consumption and culture, how do you stay true to yourself?

AK: I’m finding how to stay true to myself. And I‘m really to find that process. But I would say again through introspection and self reflection.

JNN: I think staying true to yourself is letting yourself be influenced and inspired but also making sure you have time alone to come up with your own ideas. It’s also about making sure that whatever I’m doing I’m doing it for the right reasons. That I’m so passionate about what I’m doing that I’m having sleepless nights over wanting to create.

To be young, black and womxn in 2017 means….

AK: Yoh… (laughs) yoh. It means everything, it means so much. F*ck. F*ck. We just gotta be outchea for one another and representing each other

JNN: Taking this time to shine because the world needs black womxn in power. Don’t be shy!


Photography & Styling: Jabu Nadia Newman

Makeup: Andrea Kloppers

Photography Assistant & Hair: Naledi Asia Mariri

Palesa

Creative Visual Expressionist.