When French photographer Sasha Godlberger noticed that his 91-year-old grandmother Frederika was feeling depressed, he decided to cheer her up by featuring her in a series of portraits. But unlike most family photos, Goldberger's came with costumes and feats of strength, transforming his lonely grandmother into a spandex-clad super-heroine complete with a cape, crash helmet and the occasional puppy sidekick.
According to Goldberger, his grandmother has embraced her alter ego, suggesting poses of her own and gaining over two thousand friends on her MySpace page
, which -- even accounting for the Dutch metal bands and suburban rappers that account for solid 40% of MySpace's users these days -- is quite a few. More importantly, though, the scheme worked: Since becoming Super Mamika
, Frederika, who qualifies as a hero even without her cape for her role in hiding Jewish friends from the Nazis during World War II, is much happier.
And it's easy to see why. Goldberger's photos combine traditional heroic imagery with a sense of silliness and a star that mashes up Betty White and Paul Stanley, with an end result that's undeniably appealing and absolutely adorable
The photos often show Mamika using her powers to benefit humanity, like when she stopped The World's Smallest Pimp from fleeing the scene in his miniature Impala:
There are also super-heroic takes on everyday tasks, like walking the dog -- who may or may not have been rocketed to Earth as a test animal before Mamika's home planet exploded.
And then there are the ones that deal with the necessary struggles of suddenly gaining super-powers at the age of 91. There's gonna be a learning curve, folks.
This one's one of the set's highlights, as there's nothing that isn't
awesome about it: The sweet Paul Stanley face-painted star, the smoking laser, the "Jolly Joker," and a stern look that tells you in no uncertain terms that no, you will not
be getting dessert until you finish your broccoli.
I'm also fond of the shots where Mamika is catching up on the adventures of her super-heroic coworkers, like taking a break in the ultimate window seat...
...or just kicking it around the surprisingly wood-paneled Fortress of Mamitude:
If this next one is not already an indie band's album cover, it will be by next year. You have my guarantee on that.
Another important thing to note about the set is that the pictures are frequently really funny
. The physical comedy of Mamika crashing into a brick wall is pretty apparent, but this one would be funny even without the costume and helmet; they just make it better:
And then there's this one, which I can only assume is depicting a severe Red Kryptonite hangover:
My favorite of the set, though, and quite possibly my favorite photograph of all time, is this one:
Eating a live puppy sandwich isn't very super-heroic -- it may in fact be the exact opposite
of super-heroic -- but something about it is just adorably bizarre. And also delicious.
(via My Modern Met