Check out the latest radio interview with Curvy Girls Rock star Ellisha Marie (Zuri) on the Plus Magic Radio Podcast. She talks about the Tonys, being a performer, and how her curves won her the role in Curvy Girls Rock Digital Series.
NEW YORK - A new body-positive show is set to premiere later in the fall.
Producer and writer Shakesha Williams says she hopes Hollywood gets the hint that plus-sized women are beautiful and deserve representation.
Williams’ new digital series Curvy Girls Rock follows five strong and independent women from all walks of life who share a few things in common – they’re plus-sized, curvy and confident.
She says most of the production was done in Brooklyn and in her Bronx apartment, and was mostly self-funded.
“I funded about 90 percent of it,” she says. “But the rest came from folks who just believe in the Curvy Girls Rock series movement, so we are grateful that all these people decided to be a part of it.”
The series is set to premiere in late November.
“I think it will cause controversy, but also bring a different light and hopefully make people think that there are more roles and we should consider more roles for women who aren’t the average size,” says producer Randall Holloway.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Dance Loft 14, the creators of Curvy Girls Rock Digital Series and FATGIRLSDANCE™ bring a body positive, pulse-pounding event to Washington, D.C. Bring your moves to "Activate your Sexy" a dance class facilitated by FATGIRLSDANCE™ creator Cathleen Meredith. Then cool off with wine and healthy snacks as Curvy Girls Rock Creator Shakesha Williams and our professional BOPO Panel discusses bodies, relationships, situationships, and best practices for incredible sex. Don't miss this groundbreaking event before the District of Curves ultimate finale!
“Inclusivity and visibility of plus size/fat bodies in media, fashion, film, and TV is a vital and ongoing conversation”, says Meredith of the collaboration. “Shakesha and myself are creating content and media to further that conversation. Sex, sexuality, and body acceptance is the next logical step in the uphill battle against a mainstream narrative which purports that 67% of the American population should not be seen. Meredith goes on to say “This event is a radical act of fearlessness in response to that narrative: We are here. We have sex. We fall in love. We are desirable and shame will no longer be apart of that equation.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to collaborate with Cathleen and Mickey (Armstrong, Founder of District of Curves)”, says Williams. “Working with District of Curves and FATGIRLSDANCE™ is empowering not only to me, but to thousands of women in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. I look forward to the finale weekend and enjoying our friends in the D.M.V.
About Curvy Girls Rock
Curvy Girls Rock Digital Series was created, written, and directed by Shakesha Williams. It stars plus size women in the leading roles and aspires to represent on screen the 67% of American plus-size women who have been long misrepresented and ignored by the media by promoting messages surrounding body confidence, positivity, and power.
FATGIRLSDANCE™ is a worldwide movement BENT on trashing body image stereotypes through the universal language of dance. Created by Cathleen Meredith, the group is changing the narrative of who fat people are, what they can do, and what are stories are. To learn more about FATGIRLSDANCE, visit www.fatgirlsdance.com
About District of Curves
Founded by Mickey Armstrong, District of Curves is the premier full figured fashion showcase in the Nation’s Capital! The week-long fashion extravaganza was created for designers, retailers, models, and all who cater to the curvy community, to showcase their style, their talents, and their services. For more information on District of Curves, visit www.districtofcurves.com
Website and Social Media
Curvy Girls Rock: www.cgrseries.com Instagram: @curvygirlsrockseries Facebook & Twitter: @cgrseries
FatGirlsDance: www.fatgirlsdance.com Instagram: @fatgirlsdancemovement Facebook: @fatgirlsdance Twitter: @fat_girls_dance
District of Curves www.districtofcurves.com Instagram & Facebook: @districtofcurves Twitter: @DCFullFigured
Written by Urey Onuoha
There’s something about the friendships on an ensemble TV series like Girlfriends and Sex and the City that is highly appealing and can even be aspirational. But when even your favorites don’t have characters that you can relate to, what do you do? If you’re Shakesha Williams, you create your own.
The new web series, aptly titled Curvy Girls Rock, follows five plus-size women as they explore careers, sex, love, and relationships. The goal of the series, says Williams, is to show that women of all sizes are sexy, desirable, and strong. “I love ensemble TV series…I just always feel that being plus-size is the butt of the joke,” she says. “Women of every size have sex and are beautiful and desirable. We have life partners, lovers, and face the same things that all women do. I want to see those stories played out on screen.”
In addition to casting actors that are actually plus-size, Williams is answering other calls for diversity in entertainment by writing ethnically diverse characters (and casting them appropriately), and heading up a production that is led primarily by women. Williams, who recently won Best Screenplay Short at the Widescreen Film and Music Video Festival for her short film My Story, sheds light on the show, the importance of body positivity, and how she’s overcome challenges she’s faced as a filmmaker.
Q: Tell us a bit about Curvy Girls Rock.
A: Curvy Girls Rock follows the lives of five plus-size women as they explore their careers, sex, love, and relationships. The women — Jazzy, Adrienne, Zuri, Reagan, and Ivy — are all from different walks of life but are connected in some way. The series is amazing. We have a great cast and season one is filled with characters that everyone can relate to. We want to show that women of all sizes are sexy, desirable, and strong. Not that they can be, but that they are.
Q: Why this show? Why is it important?
A: The success of Curvy Girls Rock will show Hollywood that it’s time to cast size diversity in leading roles more often. It will also make it clear to the industry that plus-size women are the majority, not the minority, and are sexy, desirable, proud, ambitious, and intriguing.
Q. Who is your favorite character and why?
A: I don't know if I have a favorite character. As the writer, I feel connected to each character in many ways. I'm a fashionista like Jazzy, a business owner like Adrienne and Zuri, a mother like Reagan, and a passionate artist like Ivy. That's why I love each of them. They are beautifully flawed like all women. I think each character is relatable in a way. The character diversity is why I absolutely love the series!
Q. Besides My Story and CGR, you have a number of other credits to your name. How did you get into filmmaking?
A: I knew when I was a child I would become a filmmaker. I started writing scripts after I was cast in Annie in fourth grade. I loved everything about the stage and the screen. In 2010, I attended AIU Atlanta and was a Digital Film and Post Production major. I began making shorts in 2012. I love how a good film or television show makes you feel. I love that good content can make you think. It can drive a full day of conversation at work or it can impact a life. I knew I wanted to be part of that. I knew I wanted to move people. That's how I feel about filmmaking!
Q: What challenges have you faced as a woman, and a woman of color, in the industry and how are you overcoming them?
A: My road has been unique. I've never been one to wait for an opportunity. When I realized I was ready to begin making films, I started Harlem Fusion Studios. With HFS, I have the ability to create the content/movies/shows that I want to see. As a writer, my worldview is shaped by my culture, upbringing, and experiences. It's not easy being an executive producer, but I'm getting an invaluable education in filmmaking. I can say that with everything there are challenges and roadblocks. But I don't tend to let too many things get in my way. I'm pretty much a fireball. I'm not always confident but I will never stop trying or give up in the face of adversity.
Q: How can people find more information about the Curvy Girls Rock series?
A: There’s a number of ways. First, through the Curvy Girls Rock website (http://www.cgrseries.com). We’re also all over social media. We have a pretty active Facebook page (Curvy Girls Rock: The Series) and also share behind-the-scenes content on Twitter (@cgrseries) and Instagram (@curvygirlsrockseries).
Check out the latest extended scene trailer from Curvy Girls Rock. Coming 2018! Stay tuned
It's finally here! Check out the extended scene trailer for Curvy Girls Rock. The series is set to debut in 2018! Let us know what you think of the scene and the series. We thank you for all of your support and look forward to sharing season one with you soon!!!
Harlem Fusion Studios LLC (www.harlemfusionstudios.com)announced today that professional wig designer, Noor Mizana, of Genuine Artistic Talent LLC (www.beautybygat.com), has signed on to sponsor the hair design for one of the lead characters in their first fully scripted groundbreaking series, "Curvy Girls Rock." The debut season of Curvy Girls Rock tells the story of five women juggling the demands of their careers, relationships and everything in between.
Genuine Artistic Talent will be creating all the hairstyles for Tamala Baldwin (www.tamalabaldwin.com), who plays the vivacious and free-spirited IVY in the scripted series. "It is such a privilege to bring this character to life. Part of creating a character that feels like a living, breathing human being, includes everything from movement, emotional triggers and style," says Tamala Baldwin. "We are so lucky to have Genuine Artistic Talent on the team and Noor Mizana as the lead wig designer for this multi-faceted character," she continued.
The new premier partnership with Genuine Artistic Talent builds on Harlem Fusion Studio's continued commitment to collaborating with brands that support body positive programming, with current and past partnerships including Lane Bryant, the Avenue, Simply Cecily and more. "We are thrilled to partner with Noor Mizana and the entire team at Genuine Artistic Talent, as they strongly believe in the value of great storytelling and independent art," said Shakesha Williams, Founder of Harlem Fusion Studios and Creator of Curvy Girls Rock. "We look forward to cultivating a long-lasting partnership with them as we strive to produce stories that capture the human spirit of unheard voices in the mainstream media."
"We believe that hair design and storytelling go hand in hand and we're excited to bring Genuine Artistic Talent to a global audience through this strategic partnership." said Noor Mizana, of Genuine Artistic Talent LLC. "This collaboration with Harlem Fusion Studios is a true testament to the power of social networking. Meeting Tamala has been a true blessing and developing this character with her has been sheer fun," she continued.
All episodes of Curvy Girls Rock were written and directed by Shakesha Williams of Harlem Fusion Studios. Award-winning actor, Randall Holloway served as a producer for the series.
About Harlem Fusion Studios
out of New York and Atlanta, Harlem Fusion Studios, is an American film, television and new media production company founded in 2012, by award-winning screenwriter, Shakesha Williams. Shakesha Williams has been in the entertainment business since 2003 where she was an intern for Universal Music Group in the urban publicity division of Motown Records. In 2006, she started Harlem Fusion Enterprises, an entertainment company. Harlem Fusion was the founder of concert series featuring indie artists in New York City and Atlanta. She was also VP of Publicity for record label Ru1 Records. In 2009, she began her career as a writer, producer and director. She has produced a series of short films and worked in various roles on commercials, web series and feature films. Most recently, Ms. Williams wrote, and executive produced "My Story", a short film that has received critical acclaim.
About Genuine Artistic Talent
Genuine Artistic Talent LLC was founded in 2006 by Nyrisha Jenkins with the intention of breaking into the fashion and beauty industry with unparalleled talent, timeless ingenuity and craftsmanship. Nyrisha attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and upon completion started her custom wig company to meet the needs of her clients. Nyrisha adopted the name, Noor Mizana, which is an alter ego she created to further fuel her creative side. Noor is currently preparing for a new series, Black Panties, and will be featured in music videos releases with upcoming artists. Visit Genuine Artistic Talent online at www.beautybyGAT.com to view their wig collections, industry work, and more.
Check out the teaser trailer for Curvy Girls Rock Digital Series, a Harlem Fusion Studios production.