Glowed up! Meet the faces of our Newd campaign

Meet the faces behind our latest pro-brown and body positive campaign Newd, which featured five Joburg-based creatives in inclusive underwear brand Gugu Intimates. Our five models, who are as diverse as their skin tones — from entrepreneur Boitumelo Rametsi to student Nkulsey Masemola — talk to us about feeling beautiful in basics that match their skin tones.

Nolwazi Tusini

Nolwazi hails from Durban and moved to Johannesburg to study towards a BCom Law at Wits. “I dropped out after my sister died and I realised I don’t want to be a corporate lawyer. I later fell into media and radio. I write as well,” says the radio and TV executive, and 2016 Ruth First Fellow.

What’s your best glow up advice?
Get to a place where you feel good. Feeling good is different for different people. For me glow up is about self-care; treating yourself well in order to make yourself feel good, whatever it is for you.

When did you feel most beautiful?
Most recently, on my 30th birthday weekend. It was awesome, I went away with friends and we were by the pool the whole weekend. Just being surrounded by people that I really enjoy; people who enjoy me. Follow Nolwazi.

Elle Rose van der Burg

Johannesburg-based model, music producer and trans activist Luke describes herself as “a transgender princess of darkness”. Elle appears in a new documentaryOut of This World, in which she talks about being publicly trans in Joburg, dating and that she began her transition after her father passed in early 2017. According to Elle, her music “sonically documents my transition. It’s electronic based but I approach my projects like anthologies, so I tend to separate themes and genre on everything I do”.

Whats your best glow up advice?
Be yourself. Just embrace who you are, unapologetically.

When did you feel most beautiful in your skin?
I feel most beautiful when I’m surrounded by friends that also fully embrace who they are. Follow Elle.

Nkulsey Masemola

The name Nkulsey is a mix between his name and his idol, singer Halsey’s name. An 18-year-old model and Wits student, Nkulsey currently lives in Johannesburg. He recently featured in Out of this World, i-D magazine’s latest documentary featuring Joburg creatives and presented by Mykki Blanco, US queer rapper and vocalist.

What’s the best way to glow up?
Ignore the negative comments. Ignore them. Block anyone you have to block. Block your family, block your friends. It helps you grow. Negative things are everything that’s holding you back from your glow up. Cuz your glow up moves you away from your negativity, and once you’re away from your negativity, you’re gonna live your best life, and your best life is your glow up.

When did you feel the most beautiful in your skin?
Five minutes ago. I’ve never done a nude shoot before. I saw the pictures and I was like, your body actually doesn’t look that bad. Follow Nkuley.

Lisa Ally

Lisa is originally from Cape Town but has lived in Johannesburg since high school. She spent her gap year au pairing in Holland and began studying through Unisa while there. She also “dabbles in music” and is a part of a band called Satori.

What is your best glow-up advice?
Do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, be whoever you feel you’re comfortable with. Anything and everything is okay, so long as you’re not hurting on anyone or infringing on anyone. As long as you’re happy and you’re comfortable with yourself, that’s all that matters. There is no one-size-fits-all, there’s no guide book.

When did you feel most beautiful in your skin?
After high school. I was alone in Holland, I didn’t have any family there or friends, so I was able to come into my own. I was able to accept that certain things didn’t work for me, and to accept my body and certain things about myself that I wasn’t happy with. I decided that whatever journey my body is going through, I will still accept and love it. Follow Lisa.

Boitumelo Rametsi

Soweto-born Boitumelo studied brand strategy and went on to start her own makeup business, Be Glam, in 2014. “My pigmenting started first year of varsity and I decided to have full cover-on makeup. Then people started being like, hey, can you do my makeup? And it became a business,” says Boitumelo.

“Then that all shifted when I decided to stop wearing full-on makeup because it was uncomfortable; it was just too much,” she adds. “So I moved my brand strategy to be about enhancing your beauty as opposed to trying to make yourself beautiful for everyone else around you or conforming to what society sees as beautiful.”

What’s your best glow-up advice?
Glow and be yourself. Nothing makes me feel as happy as being myself, and inspiring other people to feel like they can be themselves.

How does somebody achieve that and be themselves?
By understanding yourself and understanding your comfort. If you feel comfortable with what you’re doing, then you’re going in the right direction. If it feels like you’re trying too much to be something you’re not and it’s too much of an effort, then it’s not who you naturally are. Comfort always makes you realise that you’re actually becoming more of yourself as opposed to trying to fit in.

When did you feel most beautiful in your skin?
When I stopped wearing makeup and I just thought to myself, everyone else should accept who I am as opposed to me trying to tick off everyone’s check notes as to what I’m supposed to be like. I accept myself and I feel beautiful and it feels great to be myself within my own skin without having to change it. Follow Boitumelo.



Photography: Lauren Mulligan
Production: Stefanie Jason
Creative direction: Lee-Ann Orton
Assistant: Aimee-Claire Smith
Make-up artist: Alex Botha of Lampost (using Dermalogica products)
Graphics: Tiger Maremela
Models: Nkulsey Masemola, Lisa Ally, Boitumelo Rametsi, Nolwazi Tusini and Elle Rose van der Burg

*Special thanks to Gugu Intimates

*This article has been edited to reflect model Elle Rose van der Burg’s name change – she was previously known as Luke van der Burg*

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