Before my trip to Cuba, my friend and I brainstormed with the idea of dressing up in bright color clothing and experimenting with African prints. We discussed that we were going to dress culturally; in African garments consisting of wild prints, patterns and eye catching designs which we would name “Africans in Cuba” an on going joke as we planned our trip. Just as the name would describe, I started making clothes for the trip. Exotic fashion is about wearing something different and interesting. It’s a collection of bodacious eye catching pieces usually consisting of composite embroidery, vibrants colors, fascinating prints and exaggerated jewellery that can be seen from a distance no matter where it is worn.
Another interesting thing that happened was, I kept playing the song “Liberian Girl: released in 1987 by one of my favorite recording artist Michael Jackson. This occurred frequently while I was home cleaning and other times in my car driving to work. It was during these occasions, that the idea for this editorial came to light for me. I embrace being an African and a Liberian Girl.
I adore the beautiful colors of African fabrics (aka Lappa, as they are called in Liberia) and the head scarfs, so I decided to embrace that in Cuba while on vacation. I wanted to be identified as a Liberian girl and dress like my mother does when she wears a “Lappa suit” to church or to an African wedding or some celebratory Liberian/African event. Liberian women and girls take a great deal of pride in their personal appearance and choice of clothing. “Lappa” is a colorful cloth found all over Liberia and other parts of Africa. It is a multi-purpose clothing used mainly for making attire. Many outfits made for formal, casual and business occasions are made from “Lappa. There are different types of fabrics; we have weaves, tie dyes, batiks and industrial prints. Woven are the most valuable types of fabric. The complexity, color and the type of thread determines the value of african fabric.
I got the message that my destiny was to grow up and become a “Strong Black Liberian Woman. Growing up in Liberia, I knew many strong women as survivors whom despite the struggles they’ve endured did not show any signs of weakness. Those were the women in my family. Being strong did not always come easy because of the cultural standards placed on women. Outside of the culture, I perceive Liberian women as one of the most beautiful women in the world today. This “Liberian girl beauty” does not conform to what is considered ideal based on what we see in the media. The “Liberian girl beauty” extends beyond physical attributes, these are women who possess both internal and external beauty. Women with beautiful bodies, intelligence, good characters and overall great strength. Hard working women to say the very least. These are women who will do whatever it takes to get things done.
This editorial is my way of expressing my roots and how beautiful Liberian girls are. I wanted to pay tribute and celebrate all my beautiful Liberian sisters all over the world and let them know how beautiful they are and not to ever let someone tell them otherwise. We are built like no other, coming in all shapes and sizes. I want to acknowledge all the unique qualities that we have, big or small that may not get recognized. We are like the colors of the motherland; coming in all shades of vanilla, coco, and caramel. I always wonder why Michael Jackson made a song for us, quite honestly, I don’t blame him. When I look around at my Liberian sisters, mothers, aunts and grandmothers, I see all the beauty that surrounds me. Their beauty can tell a story from the tiny waist, to beautiful hips, glowing skin that illuminates in the sun. All I can say is WOW , my Liberian sisters are indeed beautiful.
Darlings thank you all so much for stopping by and reading my blog. This post was very special to me because I wanted to express my love and gratitude to my Liberian sisters. Let them know You are an AMAZING, INTELLIGENT, BEAUTIFUL QUEEN don’t ever let anyone make you feel otherwise. If you love this post as much as I enjoyed writing it, please do me a huge favor, share it on your social media platforms lets spread the love and light. Please comment below, lets share dialogue on this topic. I will love to hear from you. Until next time, CHEERS to lifting each other up and staying positive.