4 My Girls: cultivating a safe community for femme creatives to belong - Bubblegum Club

4 My Girls: cultivating a safe community for femme creatives to belong

“We create a safe space where girls, particularly POC women/non-binary [people], are spotlighted, loved and made to flourish. We help girls take up space in any industry. It’s an open forum where judgement does not exist.” 

4 My Girls (2021) 

More and more, over recent weeks, the stories of upcoming local creatives have managed to sincerely connect with me, and the 4 My Girls story is certainly no exception.

Starting out as a creative collective of four — which recently turned to five — exceptionally talented multifaceted femme creatives, all submerged within different creative disciplines, they have quickly managed to penetrate Cape Town’s bourgeoning creative scene through their clear stance championing femme creativity.

Their recent collaboration with Adidas x Open Forum, alongside the Soweto Skate Society, was my first interaction with the collective — and personally, it’s so refreshing to be affirmed that genuine organisations like this still exist.

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

Somewhat warriors for a much-needed femme youth empowerment movement currently emanating all over the country, they are cultivating a community in which femmes can lean on each other for support, utilising the golden thread of creativity. The whole aim is to enhance femme self-love, acceptance, empowerment and progression. Such a clear, powerful and beautiful stance if you ask me.

I managed to virtually connect with the lovely collective at 4 My Girls to obtain a more extensive understanding of their organisation, the amazing creatives who form a part of it, and much more.

Would you mind introducing 4 My Girls to the readers and including a short description of the type of work that your collective does?

4 My Girls: We are a team of girls who desire to create content that inspires other girls to forge their own paths. We create a safe space where girls, particularly POC women/non-binary [people], are spotlighted, loved and made to flourish. We help girls take up space in any industry. It’s an open forum where judgement does not exist.

We create content that we feel is needed, whether it be educational, deep topics to spark other conversations, or more light-hearted content touching on aspects that will result in women being heard.

Monthly spotlights are also key to what we do, as we’d like to showcase the amazing [femme] talent in South Africa that may not be as well known. Aside from that, we also have an in-house production team that [works on] various projects/ shoots for different brands.

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

Let’s talk about the 4 My Girls team, who are the members and what are their respective roles in the team?

Candace is the founder. A 22-year old Education student, model and aspiring maven in fashion, music and poetry. She loves taking care of others and is therefore our resident “mom-friend”. Her brain works like no other — which makes it no surprise that she’s our creative director.

Ammaarah is the stylist. Currently trying to navigate her way in the creative industry under the alias of “Molly”. A fashion icon with an eye for styling. She’s the friend that will wait for you while you tie your shoelaces and the others walk away. She is the brains of this operation.

Tara is the photographer. Our youngest talent currently completing her Cambridge A levels. Tara never wants to be boxed into a narrative, so she loves doing anything creative that allows her the space to express herself and connect with like-minded people, as well as document beautiful moments. When she isn’t behind the camera, she’s out running with a group of inspiring people. She’s a wonderful friend and someone you’ll always want on your team.

Jehaan is the makeup artist. Dynamite really does come in small packages when it comes to this working woman, who still makes the time to show up for anything pertaining to 4mg. She’s a self-taught MUA and enjoys learning new techniques and skills through YouTube/ TikTok. She’s definitely someone who will always stick by your side — through thick and thin, and someone you’d definitely want in your corner.

Tamia is the social media manager. She is the epitome of brains and beauty, and when she isn’t creating content, she’s in the labs studying a geomatics degree. No one can do what she does. A fashionista, influencer in the making and content creator. Tamia is the friend who will fight anyone who’s done you wrong and will be your biggest hype woman/ supporter.

Photograph by Maryam for nice and lucky collective

How did the collaboration with adidas for the #adidasFORUM campaign come about?

4 My Girls: Funnily enough it came as a big surprise and shock to us. Room Studio approached us on behalf of adidas — as there were members within the company who saw our page, or even followed us — and put us forward for this open campaign. They felt that what we are trying to do is very much aligned with the mission statement of the Open Forum adidas campaign. Although it was a shock, we are so grateful for the opportunity and loved working with the team.

It really was such an eye-opening, collaborative experience. They gave us so much creative freedom with regards to how we wanted to be represented in the campaign. We had the opportunity to brainstorm and execute our ideas with regards to the styling, make-up, location and overall direction of the shoot. They really made space for us, which we greatly appreciate.

All five of you are young trailblazers, what inspired you to take the initiative in forming 4 My Girls?

Candace, our founder’s perspective: I started 4 My Girls out of a need for community within the creative industry. As a creative, it can feel quite lonely, intimidating and scary beginning your journey without any guidance, assistance or even friendship. I wanted to create a space where women can come together, share ideas, execute their visions and find a family.

I also wanted it to be an open forum where [femmes] could chat about any topic, no matter how seemingly shameful. A space where women are spotlighted loved and made to flourish. Our slogan is “we do this for you, we do this 4mygirls” because truly, everything we do is for the women in our community.

Similar to Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I went on a headhunt to put together my team of Avengers. I struck up a conversation with Ammaarah Abrahams at SAMW in 2020. The conversation started because she was wearing the most brilliant blue suit. Since then, we’ve grown to five members and I couldn’t have asked for a greater team!

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

What are the different components of the collective? I see that you’ve also worked on a collaboration to make custom rings before?

4 My Girls: The first component of 4 My Girls is the production house. We are a fully comprehensive in-house production team that specialises in creating and executing a client’s brief. From the conceptualisation, styling, make-up, photography, to the content creation; we have it all covered.

The second component is educational, and that has two branches. The first being providing inside information regarding the creative industry. We gather POC [femme] creatives, directors, MUA’s, artists and more, to provide insight to those who are just starting out and need guidance.

The second of these branches is creating educational and cultural content regarding all that it takes to be [femme] ([gender]-queer and non-binary [individuals] included). In-depth articles are put forward regarding the struggles [femmes] face daily, [femme] health and poignant topics such as universal beauty standards or the male gaze. These articles are written by amazing POC [femme] writers.

The third component is content creation. Styling, make-up, photography and lifestyle content is produced monthly on our page to keep you updated with the latest trends and at the very least, entertained. At the heart of our content is our monthly spotlight, where we spotlight a talented POC [femme] creative. We interview them, post their latest works and give the viewer real insight into their art, whatever the medium.

What is next in store for 4 My Girls? Are they any exciting plans for the future which your supporters can look forward to?

4 My Girls: There are definitely things in store and a lot of ideas in the works that we feel the supporters will appreciate.

We are looking at doing a lot more collaborations on projects/ shoots with a number of local brands. As of now, we cannot say anything for certain but definitely keep an eye out.

Photograph by Andile Buka for adidas FORUM

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