We got to know the beautiful copenhagen based Zozo; photographer, dancer, black beauty champion and owner of the amazing website www.mybeautifulp.com a little better earlier this month. She spoke to us about how she hopes her blog which is focused on the afro danish community in Copenhagen will add colour to the face of beauty and what life is like living as afrodanish. Sit back and enjoy.
What is your full name:
What is your african heritage and where do you reside now:
Copenhagen is my current city and South Africa is my origin or heritage
What do you do:
I am currently a school teacher and a photographer during my spare time. I am also a qualified dancer and dance teacher.
Why and when did you start your website ‘My Beautiful People’:
My Beautiful People started two years ago. It started as an outlet to celebrate the black beauty I saw in the streets of Copenhagen that I wished to see on Danish media, whether it be on a Fashion magazine, newspapers and tv. It was to document for myself and for whoever that needed to see themselves in other black beauties out there, to be reminded of our diversity, beauty and strength. Anyone who felt under-represented could look at the images on My beautiful People and say aha! she looks like me, or has the same hair as mine.
Your take on the african community in Denmark. Is it big? Is it strong? United?:
I feel the African community in Denmark is big and strong but a bit scattered. We are all doing different things to promote and celebrate and shine a positive light on the African continent. Through music, photography, fashion and culture. I feel there is big sense of awareness and a lot of work that needs to be done for the future generations to come.
Your favourite city in Scandinavia:
Copenhagen and Stockholm, I have been to Olso once on a study trip 7 years ago and hope to visit soon.
What city has more style; Copenhagen or Oslo:
That is a difficult question. I feel that they are equally stylish, the only difference is the attitude I think.
What is it like living in Denmark as an african:
I come from South Africa, a country known for its apartheid regime and the oppression of people of colour through many years. Despite our oppression, I never felt I was missing role models; men and women of colour to look up to because black people were and still are a majority back in South Africa. I grew up surrounded by images of people who looked like me on the TV and in the press. I never had the need to feel represented as a black person until I moved to Denmark at the age of 21 as an exchange student. Then suddenly I was different, I felt different, and felt wrong somehow.
I recall an episode of a dance teacher commenting on my round booty in a ballet class. My hair will be a topic for discussion. I started noticing that I was different and there were not images out there to represent my type of beauty.
Fast forward to 9 years ago, My daughter´s birth propelled me to do something about these feelings of being under-represented. I started asking questions: why was I not seeing images of Afro- Danish women on magazines and Tv?. I knew from there that I had to do something to hopefully change things, if not for me then for my daughter and other brown and curly haired children to come. This led to the birth of MybeautifulP.
What will you like to see develop in the future within the afro dansk community and the african community in Scandinavia generally:
I would like us ( Afro- Danes ) to be more visible in the media. I would like my daughter to go to “7 eleven” and buy a magazine that has a beautiful black woman or man on the front. I would like to read about Afro- Dane fashionista, entrepreneurs, dancers, actors, politician models and photographers. I hope this will remind our children that they too can be whatever they want to be even with their skin colour. ‘The young ones’ as I choose to call them need role models they can easily identify with. My hope is that MBP will become a digital magazine and a photography book that celebrates african beauty in Scandinavia.