Chubby Vogue Divas
Text JF. Pierets Photos Charmain Carrol
Chubby Vogue Divas is an ongoing photography project by artist and activist Charmain Carrol. Her being an activist started in the 90s when black lesbians went through a phase where their parents were not accepting their children’s sexual orientation. At that time her daughter Lynne was 2 years old yet Charmain decided to take in about 11 lesbians and 2 gays because they had no place to live. From that point on she became an active member of the LGBT movement, attended and sat in many discussions on the well being of black lesbians in the townships of Cape Town.
As a member of the Global Girl Media South Africa – an organization that trains young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in telling their own stories through media by offering them assistance in research, film and photography.
As well as giving them the opportunity to do their own sound and lighting and edit their own stories – Charmain uses her art and photography to make a point. She’s an activist when it comes to women and specifically the image they present in the media.
Growing up with different women like her grandmother, mother, aunts and her step mothers sisters, she noticed that they all had their own idea of what beauty was and she herself never seemed to fit in any of the boxes. What she saw in magazines and on television was totally different then her reality.
‘Charmain uses her art and photography to make a point. She’s an activist when it comes to women and specifically the image they present in the media.’
While researching and reading about black women in history like Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman – the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as human zoo attractions in 19th-century Europe – and Mkabayi Kajama’s step sister in particular, Charmain build a platform for big, strong woman and added the word Vogue to the title since full figured women still seemed to be unfashionable.
Both pictures and the models stories are to be found on the Chubby Vogue Divas blogspot, since most of the models have been bullied or teased at some point in their lives and now speak up about how they made it beyond the bullying. Models with different backgrounds and upbringing but with similar stories to tell, and all part of this inspiring project with a positive impact on a large range of women.
“If you don’t see femmes as queers, it’s because you choose to not see us. You are invested in our erasure. We are here. We have always been here.” A strong quote, coming from Dulce Garcia, AKA Fierce Femme, one of the participants in Femme…..
Belle Ancell is a queer community photographer living in Canada. Amongst her series there is “Unveiled”, portraits of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In-depth photographs and representations of people who are, just like…..
Danish-born Arrevad spent five years documenting the international, subterranean world of male performers, burlesque, go-go dancers, cabaret singers and porn stars. The journey would take him to New York, Berlin, Paris,…..
Born in Chile, raised in Europe, and with an advanced training in photography, Claudia González has spent the last 2 years working on her project called Reassign. In order to make this series, Gonzàlez joined forces with Mariela Castro’s sexuality…..
In her series ‘Butch’, photographer Meg Allen shows a variety of women who fall under the category of more masculine than feminine. Over the years people have been given different names to lesbians, and being butch is yet another flavor…..
‘Well, these aren’t your typical flannel, mullet, boot wearing butches. This new art book pushes the Butch-definition beyond its seams. Packed with fashion forward pictures that are vivid, dramatic and provocative. These gender-bending bois will……
Scott Pasfield celebrates diversity in this first-ever photographic survey of gay men in America. Stereotypes are laid to rest and an intimate, honest picture of contemporary gay life is revealed through stunning personal portraits and narratives of 140 gay…..
From 2003 until 2008, Charlotte Lybeer photographed gated communities and actual “theme parks” in the US, South Africa, Europe, China and the Arab Emirates. ‘The success of these ‘enclaves’ proves that in a society without boundaries, we still…..
Northern Albanian women, faced with a culture that subjugates females, live and dress as men in order to provide for their families. These sworn virgins took a vow of chastity, wear male clothing and live as men in the patriarchal northern…..
For thirty years photographer Lourdes Grobet has penetrated the world of one of the most popular sports and deep-seated traditions in Mexico: Lucha Libre-wrestling. She documented the lives of the fighters inside and outside of the ring. Lucha Libre…..
Heavily set, rugged and fiercely hyper-masculine, these are males who convey strength, identity and are an ever-growing subculture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) population. Welcome to the “bear” community. Evolving in the…..
Photographer Nathalie Daoust first broke onto the scene in 1997 while photographing the themed rooms of the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York. This project, her first solo exhibition, was published into a book, New York Hotel Story. Since then…..