**An excerpt from my recent Huffington Post article, “Sisterly Love: The Rise of the Black Girl Crush”.
Writer, David Foster Wallace, once wrote that the lives of others are a writer’s dinner; they are our sustenance. We observe, analog, and interrogate the sequential series of events, happenstances, and eccentricities of strangers and those closest to us, out of necessity — not to meddle. Life’s oddities are our fuel to work, to create; we are able to make connections and deductions that work to bridge varying histories, paths, and people together. But more importantly, we analyze the innards of “human situations” as a way to asses how individuals are perceived.
Without such fodder, we wind up speaking only of ourselves. Wallace absolved a tremendous amount of shame of mine with that principle and it has in turn helped me rectify my fascination with the lives of other women who happen to look just like me. Black women, more broadly — and Black women,artistically inclined and deftly dressed, more specifically.
For a style writer, whose work’s main focal point is the intersection of class, sex, race, and gender amongst the crowds gathered at Les Tuileries, it is uplifting to find tufts of a coiled Afro peeking out above the stylized fashion packs. Although I find that I can enjoy fashion and style on a very neutral level, as an individual who simply appreciates beauty, I preternaturally want to find out who that Afro belongs to. I want to learn how she has found herself amidst the glamour, and how she has navigated it all. This is the sustenance I was speaking of earlier.
In this, I have been taken with the lives and stories of several women, as of late: Solange Knowles, Shala Monroque, Julia Sarr-Jamois, Tracee Ellis Ross, Viola Davis, Kara Walker. All enchanting women who have summoned admirers through their varied talents in art, fashion editorial, music, acting, and entertainment — and yes, their alluring personal style. I’ve eagerly read up on their beginnings, successes, and philosophies in countless interviews, attended their lauded movies or art exhibitions, procured publications which they’ve covered or been featured amongst the pages of, and soaked up their energy and conspicuous intellect overheard in recorded interviews and even, memorable one-on-one conversations.
Though erring on the side of “ogling” (again, Wallace explains, a natural component of my job criteria as a writer), all this helps me piece the woman together, etch out a greater idea of this individual, and create a philosophical and sartorial alignment with one another in my mind. What blooms is not voyeurism, nor fandom, because I think that suggests an unequal balance of interest. But something much more subtle: a simple and honest-to-goodness “girl crush.”
Read the rest of “Sisterly Love…” at Huffington Post here.
Photo courtesy of Vintage Black Glamour