The Girl With The Pearls, High Heels, and Lappa Suit

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who dreamt of the world. Each night, as she lay her head to rest, her mind drifted into worlds of her own. In her world, she had the perfect life, the perfect boy, and the perfect answers. Then she’d wake up and realize her perfect was only possible at night. And so, she’d wait all day anticipating the night time when she’d return to her world and pick up where she left off.

African Fashion
Photo by: Sallen Dasilva

This became the norm for the girl, until she did not need to wait until night time anymore to visit her world. She’d check in at any point in the day, before having to snap back into reality. As time went on and the girl grew, so did her world. Characters were changed, and new ones were added. As she matured, so did her interest, and ultimately, so did her world.

When she entered high school, her dream world went in shambles. She no longer had control, and her mind was conflicted. Was she this, or that? That, or this? She could not answer, and so, she became both this and that.

African Fashion
Photo by: Sallen Dasilva

When she was “this”, she was the star athlete dominating the track field, while at the same dedicating her days to cheerleading boys’ sports teams. When she was “that”, she’d wear her high heels to classes, despite disgusted looks from strangers who accused her of doing too much because “it could never be them”. Then she’d trade her high heels for sneakers after school during track practice, only to make the trade once more as she snuck off to practice for the school’s fashion show. This, and that. She became a master them all, until the others came. This, that, it, them. Control once again began to slip…

The girl had mastered “this” and that”; but “it” and “them” were a completely new playing field. “It” prompted the girl to get out of her comfort zone and try things she never thought she’d be capable of. When “it” would push her limits too far, “them” would step in to remind her how far she’d gone. But boy, was “it” persuasive.

African Fashion
Photo by: Sallen Dasilva

As time went on, each version of the girl began to live in complete cohesion. So much so, that she no longer needed to create a different world from her own in her dreamland. The dreamland now mirrored her world, and now consisted of actual dreams that she could achieve, and not just a life completely separate from her own.

Then came the “girl with the pearls”. It was a day like any other, and the girl was web surfing for a new background image for her phone. After scrolling on Tumblr for what felt like hours, one painting struck her – The girl with the pearl earring, by Johannes Vermier. It was like the girl saw her…. Like really saw her, or did they see one another? I can’t remember. All of a sudden though, this, that, it, and them all seemed to make sense in the way they governed the girl. It was something about the innocence in the eyes of the painting, with seduction in the opening of her lips, but fear in the positioning of her body, and modesty in the draping of her garment. It was this, that, it, and them all wrapped up in one image. She felt seen.

African fashion
Photo by: Sallen Dasilva

Subsequently, when the age of Instagram arrived, it only felt right that the girl developed her alias around all her selves – the birth of GirlWithThePearlss ™. As all the selves exist in cohesion, the girl no longer felt the need to escape into her mind. Rather, she lives boldly and confidently in the unbending balance of all her selves- the pearls, the high heels, the Young Geh Lappa Suit; and sometimes the sneakers.

african fashion
Photo by: Sallen Dasilva

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