The 1990s and early 2000s are largely considered the golden age of Nigerian film because of the sheer number of movies released in that time(an estimated 50 movies a week), turning Nollywood into one of the largest film industries in the world. This era of Nollywood has given the internet so many gems, including memes and stills of classic Nigerian films, making even those who have never watched these movies familiar with Nollywood icons. Included in old school Nollywood’s contributions to mainstream internet culture is its impact on the fashion world.
Teen Vogue spoke with Imaan Beauvais, the creator of the style and meme page @yungnollywood, and Tochi Anueyiagu, one half of the sister duo that runs @nolly.babes, an archive of vintage Nollywood style. Both of these accounts use stills and clips from Nollywood films that Gen Z and millennial Africans around the world grew up watching to portray what can only be described as hot girl behavior.
Teen Vogue: How would you describe your Instagram account?
I’m a clown. @yungnollywood is where I express that using content from the golden age of Nollywood. Though I call myself a clown I don’t usually use typical Nollywood memes and humor. There’s this caricature of who we [Nigerians] are and there’s a line between what is funny and what is mocking. People would always be asking me why I watch Nollywood movies. And I always think, “why can’t this be a style? There are Spanish Novelas and there are all these different styles of film, so why can’t this be a style? There’s consistency, people are very attracted to the storylines, all it takes is one tiny clip and all of you are going crazy.
@nollybabes is an archive of images, stills, and scenes from Nollywood movies of the golden era that not only aesthetically represent the beauty of Black women across different ranges, but also has a voice on socio gender-based issues that women face, particularly women in the diaspora because that’s who I and Ebele [Anueyiagu] are.
If you go back to not too long ago, the idea of what was beautiful very rarely looked like a Black woman, even in Nigeria. But if you look at Nollywood movies, You’ll actually see women of all sizes, of all shapes, ones that are bleaching or the ones who are Dudu Osun black. You cannot deny the beauty in all of them. It got to the point where we were sharing these movies with each other and we’re like “oh my God she’s so beautiful, how do people not know about this?” And that’s how we started the Instagram page.
Tip: The Instagram Bio is like the business card of your Instagram profile. Users have the opportunity to introduce themselves and store contact details.
TV: For readers who aren’t familiar, what characterizes the iconic vintage Nollywood look?
TA: For the era that we chose to focus on in @nollybabes, the golden age, it’s very Y2K, late 90s’. That style is just really fun. Nigerians can do minimal but it’s not what we do best, we are loud. The key ingredient in Nollybabe style isn’t any one particular way of dressing, it’s about the fact that what they wear embodied their personality 100%.
Source by www.teenvogue.com
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