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Anna Mascarenhas

Brazilian Photog Documents Albino Twins In Radical Fashion Statement

Anna Mascarenhas is using social media to challenge her country's outdated perceptions of beauty.

When it comes to Brazilian fashion, the face one immediately associates with the industry is supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Tall, thin, and pale, Bundchen represents the "ideal" Brazilian model, a Eurocentric standard creating difficulties for those who don't fit these stringent beauty standards to find work with fashion magazines or on the runway. While Brazil's mainstream fashion industry shows no signs of becoming radically inclusive, one photographer is aiming to create an alternative vision for the field. Using the broad, often democratic scope of social media, Anna Mascarenhas is carving a fashion world that celebrates the uniqueness of Brazil's most marginalized communities.

sisterhood

A photo posted by anna m (@annapmm) on

The 22-year-old explained that after she graduated from communications school, she longed to return to her passion for photography in order to emphasize the beauty of blackness in Brazil. She discovered Lara and Mara, two albino twins, while perusing Instagram. She then became intrigued with the backstory of the two sisters, deciding to document them through her lens.

"Their parents came from Guiné Bissau for opportunities when their mum was pregnant with the oldest one, Sheila. After a while, she had the twins, Lara and Mara. They are albino, and in the beginning the dad thought she cheated on him, so he left. Eventually, they split and she raised the girls by herself," Macarenhas told Dazed. "The mum works as a hairdresser in the centre of São Paulo, specialising in hairstyles for black hair. The older one, Sheila, is 14 years-old (also pictured below), she dreams about being a model, and so do her younger sisters. But the problem is that it seems they don’t belong in any category. Living in a favela in São Paulo, and having a single mom to pay for all the expenses, it’s almost impossible to consider this dream to be a success."

Mascarenhas relished in the two twins getting to know them through the intimacy of a photography project. "The twins are very hyperactive, although sensible," she noted. "All the three girls are amazing and loving. I wanted to show how they see each other as sisters, as black girls, as individuals. How they relate to what society expects from them, being marginalised by their class and colour. And, most important, how they relate to what they see in the mirror."

sisterhood

A photo posted by anna m (@annapmm) on

The lack of the inclusion in Brazil was first openly contested in 2009. The São Paulo Fashion Week created quotas requiring at least ten percent of the models to be Afro-descendant or Indigenous. Prior to the decree, about three percent of women appearing on the catwalk were black women. In 2013, 40 black Brazilian models staged a topless protest in Rio de Janeiro concerning the low number of Afro-Brazilian models on the runway, despite the imposition of quotas four years earlier.

Mascarenhas spoke candidly about her country's problematic fashion industry: "When I met the girls, it made me start wondering why it has to be so hard for them. Getting in the industry is hard for anyone, but why does it have to be even harder for them. Here in Brazil, we have a very multicultural population. But when we talk about publicity and fashion in general, we still have a large path to cross. Everything is still very white and skinny like we are committed to a square we can’t abandon. In São Paulo Fashion Week, for example, an agreement was signed in 2009 by the state public office to determine that 10 percent of models working in the event should be black or Native Indian. And last year NGO Educafro was reporting that this agreement was not being followed by the brands. Can you imagine the agencies choosing albino twins to sell jeans to middle-class mums? I don't think so. That's why I wanted to tell their story, I don't think they would be able to reach their dream the regular way."

The young photographer remains hopeful about the future of Brazilian fashion: "I think the fashion industry is trying to change but it's moving really slowly compared to the rest of the world. New and alternative brands are more disruptive but we still have a lot to go on when it comes to inclusion. I can send you a copy of a regular fashion magazine so we can count how many black models appear in the ads compared to white models. It's not cool at all, especially in a mainly black country like Brazil."

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Romeo Santos Makes History As The First Latino Performer To Headline MetLife Concert

Romeo Santos is making history and his fans have the most to gain from it.

On September 21, Santos will perform at MetLife Stadium making him the first Latin artist to do so. The venue holds up to 80,00 seats, which is more than enough for Santos' fans who will go see the singer perform his recent number one album, Utopia.

The one-day event will be called, UTOPIA the Concert, and Santos, the King of Bachata has already taken to his social media to express his appreciation on being chosen to make history at the stadium.

"I've never performed in such a prestigious venue, not even when I was a part of Aventura or in my solo career," the 37-year-old said in a video posted to his Instagram account about his upcoming concert. The "Odio" singer shouldn't face too much of a challenge in filling up the MetLife stadium seats.

In 2014 he sold out two Yankee Stadium shows, the stadium holds over 50,000 people; during his Golden Tour he sold out New York's Madison Square Garden three times. His draw power is undeniably huge, so tickets may be hard to come by once they go on sale.

 

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21 De Septiembre #UT🌍PIATheConcert #MetLife. ¡Pendiente a mis redes para la fecha de la preventa!

A post shared by Romeo Santos (@romeosantos) on May 20, 2019 at 11:41am PDT

Fans can expect Santos to perform hits from his Utopia album, which includes records with fellow Dominican singers Frank Reyes, Anthony Santos, Monchy & Alexandria, and his former group Aventura.

Ticket information is not yet available but is to be expected soon.

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Gang Member May Testify Against Defendants In 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz' Murder Trial

A member of the Trinitarios gang who witnessed the fatal stabbing of Bronx teenager Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz may take the stand against five defendants this week.

The first of two murder trials for the killing of Junior Guzman-Feliz began earlier this month, NBC4 New York reports. Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago (24), Jonaiki Martinez Estrella (24), Jose Muniz (21) and Manuel Rivera (18) and Elvin Garcia (23) were given second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of weapon charges for the June 2018 stabbing of the 15-year-old.

It was previously reported that the leader of the Trinitarios gang assisted the police with information about the defendant but it isn't known if he is the same witness who will testify this week.

A total of eleven women and one man make up the jury. During the first few days of the trial, the courtroom watched three clips from the harrowing incident that showed Guzman-Feliz before and after the attack. The teen was reportedly stabbed by the defendants in a case of mistaken identity.

One of the clips was never seen by the public and showed the attackers dragging Junior out of the grocery story with the teen fighting back as the gang yielded machete and knives. Later in the trial, jurors were shown 13 different angles and the six locations of the group looking for the teen.

As family members sobbed in the court, prosecutors claimed that Junior's murder was premeditated given the weapons used. But defense attorneys deemed most of Junior's wounds as "superficial" and noted how the cut to his throat was the cause of his death. They also claimed four of the defendants did not intend to kill Junior. The defense rilled up the court, including Junior's family.

"Why would they need those weapons if they're not trying to kill someone?" sister-in-law Ione Guierrez told ABC7. "I need somebody to explain that to me." Junior's father was later escorted out of the courtroom for using profanity as the defendants reportedly laughed during the trial. "These guys are sitting there, just looking at us, just literally laughing," supporter Ilene Mariez told reporters. "The family got really really upset, and the father, towards the end, he was so upset he was using profanity," Mariez added. "So they pulled him from the courtroom."

Defense attorneys cross-examined witnesses like a woman who saw what happened from her apartment window. The witness said Junior motioned for her to call the police. After heading outside to help the teen, she said in disturbing detail his last word was "water."

A total of 14 people are facing jail time for Junior's death. The other nine suspects who are accused of taking part in other aspects of the assault will have a pretrial hearing dated for June 17.

Junior's passing sent waves around the country as clips were seen on social media. A number of celebrities took part in the #JusticeforJunior movement like Carmelo Anthony, Cardi B, Lala Anthony, Rihanna and Wesley Snipes. The street where Junior died was changed from Bathgate Avenue to Lesandro Junior Guzman Way. He was also honored by the NYPD with a scholarship created in his name. The teen was a member of the NYPD's Explores Program and had an interest in becoming a police officer.

"He was one of the good kids in the Bronx," his mother said at the time of his death. "He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years. He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time."

If found guilty, the five defendants will face life in prison.

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Cardi B attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City
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Cardi B's Fans Are Creeping Her Out With Comments About Her Family

Cardi B loves her fans, but she's making one thing clear to them: her family is off limits. During one of her popular Instagram live sessions, Cardi revealed that she frequently talks to her fan pages but that recently they've been crossing a few lines and talking "hella crazy" about her family, especially her sister Hennessy Carolina.

Before getting into it, the "Please Me" artist made it clear that she's incredibly thankful for her fans and that she goes out of her way to respond to their comments and like their pictures, they just have to leave her family alone.

"I am so thankful that I have people who love me, that follow up with my life, always supporting me, always supporting my music, my looks and everything," she said during the live.

"But it's like bro, no, you cannot talk about my sister. I would go to jail for my sister, I would die for my sister, I would take a bullet for my sister. So nobody could talk about my sister. I could be best friends with somebody for 100 years. Once they say something slick about my sister, you’re getting cut the f*** off, period.”

Cardi warned the Bardi Gang that hands would be thrown, regardless of whether they're a fan of hers or not, over her sister.

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