culture

Living in America: Fashion Editorial

And while there is generational trauma, there is generational strength.

Photography by: Yoshi

The world around us is burning up, has it ever not been? Has a conscious adult awoken to see the ugly truth the leaders of the past have left us. Are we to diminish and turn to ash like the California forest, will we too melt away like the ice caps or overheat into combustion? Will my heart turn to violence in the disarray of the world?

Will I, will you, pull a trigger to defend thy honor, to be a standing citizen? I wonder

We say ‘be safe’ to those we love when we must depart. We worry of what bullet may carry their name.

Be careful mama.

Girl Standing on American soil

It was a warm early morning when we arrived on set for these photos- myself, a director and the photographer. I try my best to relay my vision to the photographer, using words, hand gestures and hyperboles to grander the capture.

Something to do with the land, telling the stories of my people, showing up in modern fashion and finding the joy amidst the chaos.

Pink was the theme. It meant the photos would be feminine no matter how angry I’ve been, I mean disappointed. But angry works too. I had pledged the allegiance, my country wouldn’t fail me. “With liberty and justice for all” I thought these things to be true. Rising from my seat every morning, facing the flag, singing along. I was, I am American. You wouldn’t fail me.

In this note I wanted to discuss the pain our history has caused and does cause us. We know pain all too well. Instead, I decided to show beautiful visuals, hoping to soften the blow. Our culture, our existence can be delicate.

Later in life I’d still stand, with no hand to my heart. I had been disappointed in my findings. The mother had been set aside, she was not properly taken care of, her land exquisitely harvested for what she birthed, cash crops! But there was too much blood on the land. It seeped deep into the roots. Strange fruit, strange fruit.

Girl in Field

When I speak of my people, I mean people of the land, the intellectuals, the outlandish & the hard workers. The ones who stay up at night with their tears and truths. And while there is generational trauma, there is generational strength. We are here with reason and with a laid out path, left to us by the ancestors. I can hear them tell me “Be gentle my child for the rewards await you”

The human experience is a battlefield. We take so many hits, not ever staying down for too long, if ever we fall. Good is suppose to prevail.

This is your reminder to find your joy, no matter how cleverly it may be hiding. Joy doesn’t have to look like a gleaming row of teeth across your face. It can be brush strokes across a canvas, or the way your feet glide across the dance floor, it can be the silence in the morning or the sounds of a bustling city. Whatever it is, find it, revisit it often, don’t forget her. It is worth discovering, so I’ve been told.

Girl with Bamboo Earrings

Be safe,

Xiara A.

Fashion & Beauty Editor

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