Remember the *not-so-good* old days when an actress’ stretch marks made front-page tabloid news and websites made traffic from clickbait-y stories screaming “You’ll Never Believe How These Celebs Look Without Makeup!” ?
As much as we wish to say those days are over, unfortunately, they aren’t. The silver lining, however, is that we have reached a point where we’re no longer afraid to speak up and disrupt society’s beauty standards. Stretch marks, acne spots, and everything else in between are and always have been perfectly normal and human.
#TeamCLEO spoke to Tasha Iman, the young woman who together with photographer Amani Azlin, created a photo series called Jangan Malu to celebrate the sisterhood between women and embrace the beauty marks that make us unique. Tasha tells us more about what’s on their project mood board, working with an all-girl cast and an exciting second chapter.
1. What inspired you to start this project?
Women should not feel ashamed of their bodies and they should embrace their flaws. We wanted to showcase that in these pictures. Not only to help women embrace their flaws, but also to show the public that the human body is diverse and unique in its own way. We want women to know that their bodies are beautiful, no matter the flaws they don’t like about themselves.
2. Tell us a little bit about you and your partner.
Both Amani and I do not come from a photography background, but both of us share this love and passion for photography. We first started off with our iPhone cameras and slowly learned to use gears and equipment. At the end of the day, that spark is what keeps you going.
3. How long did it take to plan the shoot? What was on your mood board?
I think it took us around a month to plan the shoot. Our mood board consisted of a lot of naked girls! The hardest part was choosing the models, we had so many beautiful women who wanted to work with us but we were looking for a certain look to match our aesthetic. Everything else just fell into place.
4. What was it like shooting the images? How was the mood like on set?
It was very easy working with the girls, they were happy to get their flaws photographed. The girls are not experienced models whatsoever, but photographing them was easy and fun. It felt like a cool girls club. The best part for me was working side by side with Amani as she is one of my favourite photographers, I idolise her a lot. But other than that, it was nice getting to know all these girls.
5. Looks like there’ll be a part 2 – Can you let us in on what’s in store?
We realised that most of the girls we shot were pretty fair-skinned, so be on the lookout for golden babes for Jangan Malu part 2!
6. Why is it important for us to celebrate our marks and scars?
It makes us who we are. We can’t run from our bodily imperfections, so instead of dwelling over it and giving it the power to make us insecure, we should celebrate it and feel empowered.