Let me start off by saying that Of The Same Cloth is about fashion. That’s who we are, that’s what we do and that’s what we love. We’re also about equality, uplifting women of all backgrounds and creating a common thread.
Because we’re about uplifting women and creating that thread, I have to speak on the confusion that #BlackGirlMagic seems to be causing.
#BlackGirlMagic is only about celebrating women of color in a world that either ignores us or puts us in this weird, stereotyped, played out, “oh she’s hot right now so lets book her but not talk about the real issues,” box. Nothing else.
In addition, the hashtag isn’t about anyone other than black girls, and that’s ok.
That last tidbit, my friends, is an idea that is based on a little fact that black women learned a long time ago: Sometimes (or most of the time in our case), it’s not about you.
And that’s ok guys. We’ve learned to live with that. We’re taking things into our own hands now. Join us in the celebration if you’d like.
To prove my little theory that there’s room for both black women annnnnd women of other races to be magical at the same damn time (imagine that?), I’ll tell a little story.
On New Years Eve I met a girl named Rachel. She was amazing. And not to get all dramatic on y’all but she was almost like some kind of soulmate. You know those people that just pop up, leave their print and then go on about their business? That’s Rachel. She just so happened to be white & she’s someone who I’ll probably always remember. Amidst the shenanigans that NYE was, she stopped the conversation she was having to walk over and tell me that she loved my pink faux fur jacket. I smiled, said thank you and before I knew it we were knee-deep in a 15 minute conversation about everything really. We talked about men (she could tell I was annoyed with my boyfriend without me saying anything about it), fashion, our dreams (she’s an actress) and even race. In the middle of our discussion she stopped and said, “Is it weird for me to say that I love black women?” I told her it wasn’t weird at all. She continued, “You all are so regal, beautiful and confident. I really love it.” This led to a discussion about whiteness, blackness and womanhood. It was one of the best discussions I had in a while, sober or not. We ended our #girlpower moment with a hug and by telling each other that we sincerely hope 2016 is the year all our dreams come true.
The point here is that we began and ended the conversation on our common experience of being women.
It was the embodiment of what Of The Same Cloth is; creating connections based on fashion and womanhood, regardless of race.
Rachel is proof that those connections can be made. She’s also proof that real sisterhood is about not being afraid to let your sister shine in whatever way that translates for her. It’s like, feminism is so in right now but who’s really ’bout it?
I think the only way to inject oneself into a movement that really doesn’t have much to do with you (i.e. #BlackGirlMagic), is to come at it from a place of wanting to understand. That’s the only way. It entails asking questions and engaging in dialogue with an open mind. It never entails downplaying, diminishing, discounting or disrespecting it by turning it into something entirely different. If we began approaching things that way wouldn’t that be more beneficial to us all?
That is, if the movement has to be addressed in the first place.
I’ll end with this because my birthday is on the horizon and I need to prepare by scoping out a new ensemble.
When black women celebrate themselves it is in no way a jab at women of other races. It is not about you. It doesn’t mean we don’t love you and the amazing things you do. What it does mean is that everyone has to get as comfortable with not always being the center of attention as we have.
At the end of the day sis, we’re Of The Same Cloth, remember that and how you’d want to be treated when interacting with your fellow woman.
Peace & Love Always,