The latest in our series of creative profiles focusses on Marta Mae Freedman and her project ‘Hot Girls Eating Pizza’
We talk objectification, making digital friends and where to grab the best slice.
Photography by Marta Mae Freedman
Interview by Emily Beard
Hey Marta! So let’s start with how ‘Hot Girls Eating pizza’ came about?
Hi Emily! It happened part a joke, part with a purpose, but 100% organically. My mom passed away two years ago, and then I got broken up with (on the phone) by my long-time boyfriend shortly thereafter, so I just needed something new to do. I started by taking photos of my friends and then it quickly evolved into friends introducing me to friends, their colleagues, their bosses, their friends-of-friends.. and it grew from there!
Were you surprised at the positive reaction on Instagram?
I actually was. In little time, I realised I was on to something.. I knew that most of the population either was a girl or liked girls (or both!) and almost everyone I know likes pizza. There wasn’t a shock there. But people were responding to the way I stylised the photos.. a polaroid-on-top-of-pizza. That quickly became my signature.
We love the idea of you meeting up with all these new people and bonding over pizza! Have you made any awesome friends through the project?
Honestly, 50% of my friend group right now is “new friends” I’ve met through the project or through something to do with the project. It’s not a new idea to me, though. Back in the MySpace days I was always the girl with friends at neighbouring high schools because we met online. That theme continued to college and after college in my adult life… it’s just amplified through HGEP.
We read a really great interview with you where you spoke about how it was important for your pictures not to pander to the male gaze of ‘hot girls’ and being suggestive, was this a conscious decision initially or naturally just how you composed the images?
It was absolutely a conscious decision. I didn’t want to make yet another Instagram or website objectifying women. I wanted it to be more about the girl’s personality and the pizza, and I think for some reason the polaroid shot helps bring that out.
Who has been your favourite person to photograph?
It’s so hard to choose! I really can’t pick. I will make an over-arching statement that HGEP has given me the opportunity to meet so many girls I have admired for a really long time. It’s awesome to be able to say I shot my favourite designer or musician.
Besides your own, whose Instagram accounts are you obsessed with?
As a pizza connoisseur would you say the pizza in New York is the best?
I think I have to say yes. I have done a little traveling this year for HGEP, and while other cities do have great pizza, I think NYC has the largest concentration of awesome pizza.
We would really love to see a Hot Girls Eating Pizza book! Where would you love to take the site next/in the future?
Funny that you mention that! It’s something I would like to see too, that I’m currently working on. I am also working on more merchandise and another calendar this year, as well as filming video content. I would like to make HGEP multi-dimensional. It would be cool to take the female empowerment through food a bit further and make a network or resource of some sort..
We have to ask, what is your favourite pizza topping?
It definitely changes. I am trying to cut back on dairy, but I love burrata.
And finally, can we grab a slice with you?!