A fitting post just before Women's day in South Africa.
Throughout the decades, from the waspy waist fifties to the sensual 70s, the dangerous punk 80's, and the heroin chic super skinny 90s what we as a society termed as beautiful, said and says a lot about who we are and who we want to be, more femine, more free, more dangerous, more less..
Lately some of the most famous faces are not the 'usual',
Madeline Stuart is an 18 year old with down syndrome, landed her first modelling contract just the other day.
Thando Hopa is a lawyer from Soweto with Albinism, discovered by SA designer Gert Johan Coetzee in a shopping mall, she has been gracing catwalks and is the new face for VICHY skincare.
Viktoria Modesta is a popstar, with her left leg amputated below the knee. Viktoria's cutting edge style and work with prosthetic designer at The Alternative Limb Project has been pushing the boundaries of socially acceptable image in press. If you haven't seen her music video yet, do yourself a favor. It'll blow your mind.
Winnie Harlow suffers from a skin discoloration called Vitiligo, she is hot property as a model with Billboards from New York to Pretoria, featuring most recently in the DIESEL campaign.
So what does this say about us, what are we trying to tell ourselves, or what are we hoping for as a society? What all these models and artists have in common is not having to live with a disability, or a disorder, rather it is what they share and what we value and want and need in our chaotic society today: courage, and self confidence.
We need to know that we will be ok, they are our heroes, they represent us in a way, and mirror our secret hope back to us, that humans are humane after all, that we can celebrate difference and not be threatened by it, and that we can overcome any odds.
Courage, as it seems, is the new black
I am a flâneur, which basically means I spend a lot of time in coffee shops watching the world go by.