the matte project


What Is Beauty To You? Mathahle Stofile, 38

I grew up in a very small university town in the 80’s. It was the kind of place where every woman was your mother and every child came to your birthday party, no invitation needed. We lived on campus and would ride around on our bicycles playing harmless pranks on the varsity students. Those students, hanging out in groups, laughing loudly, lips painted pink or red, a sweet-floral scent whenever they passed and always looking like they were having the time of their lives – are my early memories, outside of my mother, of beautiful women. I wanted my little friends and I to be just like them one day.

I’ve come to learn that beauty is an aura, really. Sure there’s obvious physical beauty that’s hard to deny, which usually fades, but I think real, lasting and true beauty is almost tough to pin-point. I feel like it’s closely linked to things like joy, health and kindness


Photography: Siya Mkhasibe @stay_prep_sa

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