What Sista Gat Style first started in 2016, it was supposed to be a simple feature celebrating individual style. We wanted to showcase the unique beauty of Ni-Vanuatu women and girls as they are rarely represented in the handful of magazines that can be accessed in Vanuatu.

We felt it was important for young Ni-Vanuatu girls to see themselves in pictures rather than the status quo of euro-centric beauty symbolized by thin, white models. We wanted young people to be proud and connect with themselves and fashion seemed like a good platform to express that.

Back then, our only tool was a camera phone and we’d simply ask friends to pose and smile. With the support of the Vanuatu Daily Post, this has now been scaled up to the girls getting dolled up at Body and Soul to be photographed by renowned photographer, Nicky Kuautonga.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the women and girls who have featured in Sista Gat Style in 2017. Modeling is not an easy art. Whoever thinks it is should check themselves – it’s actually a pretty difficult task to harness your inner goddess but luckily all our sistas have managed to do so!

Our goal for Sista Gat Style is to continue to celebrate Ni-Vanuatu women and to encourage ALL women not to be afraid to shine. There is no shame in loving yourself and taking care of yourself!

From Jaimeen Kenni, who sang the theme song for the Stanap Strong Aksensem Vaelens campaign to Melissa Fare, cricket champion and modeling fanatic to Jemila Theuil, retail assistant, to GG Baxter, trans human rights activist and Natasha Isacchar, working mum of twin boys, we have celebrated women from all walks of life.

Here are some shots of our sistas who we celebrated in 2017, some of them never seen before. We look forward to honoring more Ni-Vanuatu girls and women in 2018!

This article was originally published in the Vanuatu Daily Post January 2018 Life and Style magazine.