Saturday’s freezing weather did not stop the Mpumalanga Plus Divas Club from hosting their first annual pool party at Fortis Hotel in Evander on Saturday.
Plus-sized and skinny women from as far as Johannesburg and Pretoria attended the party. Even a few guys showed up to show their support. “The plans were made a long time ago and nobody expected it to be cold this time of the year, but my friends called me this morning and gave me moral support. They said we are going to have the party regardless of the cold,” founder and blogger for Plus Divas, Gugu Zulu, said. There was music, photos, dancing and games like Twister and Chess.
Plus Divas was originally only for plus-sized woman, but these plans changed and the club is now taking standpoint against all body shaming. The plus stands for positive body image. “I realized that not only plus-sized women get body shamed, and people need to know that everyone’s body is perfect just as it is and they should feel comfortable in their own skin,” the 34-year old Gugu, who works as a forensic police officer in Secunda, said.
Plus Divas Mpumulanga started when Gugu, a plus size model, made friends with other models while doing photo shoots in the city. “My model friends and I decided to start clubs in different provinces and already has one in North West, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein,” Gugu said. She did a local model search and she and her 10 models do fashion shows and photo shoots and are dressed by Milady’s. They are going to do another model search soon and have big plans for their club.
Gugu is also a deputy chairperson of the local charity organization hash tag # 6 am, which she runs with Allen Keys (chairperson) and Mo Mile (executive member). They recently gathered sanitary pads for schools in Bethal, Leslie, eMba and Secunda and will be hosting their toy-a-kid event in December where they will gather toys for orphans.