Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 102 February 2020 - Page 30


Flashmag February 2020 www.flashmag.net

You are the continuation of the tradition of black beauties, which started with pioneers like Mounia, Ayoko, Katoucha, Grace Jones, Iman, or Naomi Campbell.

In your opinion, has the image of the black woman in general evolved from the exotic black woman of the 60s, to the sophisticated modern black woman of the 21st century?

Rama Barry: The image of the black woman has fortunately evolved, and when I dwell on our history, my goal is above all to understand it, objectively. Indeed, it may at first seem shocking to see that models have been able to participate in the promotion of a harmful image. But in their discharge, I understand that the narrative of awareness, in the image of the black woman was not as democratized as it is today.

Currently, I am really proud of our image and the models that are generally promoted in the media. And to make a positive point despite the first part of my answer, I draw a lot of inspiration from these black women on a daily basis and the generation that follows me has, in my opinion, a good basis for fulfilling themselves fully.

Do you feel some pressure to continue this legacy of the pioneers?

Rama Barry: For some time, I have changed my mind because I was more of a defender of the camp of total freedom! However, when you are publicly exposed, and even if it turns out, that only one person considers you as a "role model": there is a duty of responsibility ... period!

In my personal case, I am far from perfect, and I understand easily that some people can make certain criticisms in particular with regard to the fact that I am not "natural".

So, although there is a slight difference between the freedom to dispose of one's body, and promotion as such, there is still some pressure not to transmit a message which would be unhealthy to those who follow me assiduously.

One style that always makes models nervous is that of the nude. For you what is it, eroticism or art? Is nude a form of assertion of femininity?

Rama Barry: Let me be clear, I don't at all think that the nude as such is a form of enslavement of women! And this is a point of view that might surprise because I never publish it on my social networks although I sometimes accept these types of contracts.

I fear living in an era where the nude is still unwillingly associated with the call to sex. And therefore, I do not want to promote it so much because there are too many drifts on the part of some amateur photographers.

For the record, some of them told me when I started that I can never succeed in this environment without getting "naked". And naively, I quickly associated it with "you have to sleep to succeed": it completely traumatized me.

In any case, I will always strive to promote a purely aesthetic image of women, whether naked or much more clothed.

You are a muse who has gone under the flashes of several photographers, if you had to say a word about what you would like in a photographer during a shooting campaign, and what you would not like; what would it be?

Have you ever refused to pose?

Rama Barry: For my part, I especially give special support to projects that are important to the organizers of photo shoots. I feel more involved and besides, it's always interesting to see how their careers have evolved, even after the end of the collaboration.

Otherwise putting aside the fact of being the extras of a rap clip, or working with an “ambiguous” person, I categorically refuse to associate my image with a “professional” who harms a minority by his words .

And just a small clarification: the denigration of black women wearing false hair is clearly part of it (laughs)!

Social networks with applications like Instagram have revolutionized the image, modeling and especially the competition between women and potential models. When some believe that amateurism risks diluting quality by vulgarity, others think that it is rather a good thing, because any woman can now express her beauty.

Do social networks force you to be more professional, given the competition that now exists in the beauty industry?

Rama Barry: First of all, thank you for this question because it must be at the heart of the contemporary concerns of every woman, who produces content highlighting her beauty on social networks.

To come back to the first part of your remarks, I think that there is indeed a problem with the promotion of hypersexualization on Instagram, and that we must all take our responsibilities vis-à-vis of the messages conveyed to the youngest. But I don't feel concerned because it's really not my niche. And to answer your question, I am not in competition with the other models since there is nothing more subjective than a judgment on the physical appearance. So, it seems useless to be in a power struggle since we are ultimately all different.