• This series is a statement – to create a worldwide appeal for the modern plus-sized African woman.
Professional photographer Teddy Mitchener has always believed that the full-figured African black woman has never truly been celebrated and showcased as an icon of beauty, in the past, and even now.
African women are rising up and demanding to have space at the table, from fashion to politics, to business, and all other spheres of societal life.
In acknowledgement of the unique beauty that is often overlooked, Teddy has created a concept that will speak to the wondrous beauty that is the African woman. In collaboration with Neomi Ng'ang'a, he has brought to life the illustrations of Duane Bryer that popularised Hilda, the plus-size pinup girl who graced many a calendar from the 1950s through the 1980s.
A pin-up model is a model whose mass-produced pictures get wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display, that is, meant to be "pinned up" on a wall. Pin-up models may be glamour models, fashion models or actors. Famous pin-up girls of this by-gone era include Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt.
This collaboration with Neomi is very timely, for, as the founder of TeamCurvyKE, Neomi is bringing Miss Kenya Plus World to Kenya. The vision of the Miss Plus World Pageant is to showcase the diversity, creativity, leadership, style, grace and beauty of women worldwide. After South Africa, Kenya becomes the second country in Africa to host this franchise. The inaugural event of Miss Plus World Kenya is to be staged at the Garden City Mall on July 6.
PinUp Girl with Neomi is intended to showcase that diversity, beauty and creativity that is often overlooked in plus-size women, and especially those of colour. This series is a statement – Neomi is a plus-size glamour model whose very intention is to create a worldwide appeal for the modern plus-sized African woman.
The concept was carried out in collaboration with professionals specialising in particular fields that enabled this concept come to life. Ruth Odhiambo of #RuthOdhiamboStyles headed the styling direction, while Kate Waititu of #KanaiBeauties handled all make-up requirements. Hairstyling was commandeered by Tabby Ayuma of #TopStylistsValleyArcade, while the whole production was overseen by Sharon Mitchener, Teddy’s partner in their House of Fotography’s operations.
This particular team, the #FabFivePlusOne, will be deploying more concepts to celebrate the diversity and beauty of all that can be found in Kenya!