Republic of Congo 03 Apr 2015 00:00
Rosine Assemekang never understood the Western ideal of beauty. For this Congolese woman, those tall, thin girls’ did not represent African women.
“Our women have curves, ample bottoms. African men like la femme forte (a strong woman),” she said.
While Europe is struggling against anorexia - France, following the steps of Israel in 2013, recently passed a law banning excessively thin fashion models, exposing modelling agents and fashion houses that hire them to possible fines and even jail - Africa praises curvy women. Seven years ago Rosine started a beauty pageant with the idea of showing how these "femmes fortes" were completely capable of modelling and catwalking. The Miss Mama Kilo pageant was born. Seven years later it's become one of Brazzaville's most exclusive events. Tickets ranged from 80 to 160 Euros for the ceremony held at the Continental Palace, one of Brazzaville's best hotels, where this year 18 contestants ranging from 100 to 170 kg represented five countries - Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Benin and Central African Republic - participated in the contest. Shopkeepers, hairdressers, teachers, cooks and even a comedian walked down the runway and stood for their ideals towards beauty.
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