So, if you haven’t heard about the crisis in Nigeria, here’s a little back story. Several weeks ago, approximately 234 Nigerian girls were kidnapped in the middle of night by a famously corrupt, brutal and dangerous Islamic extremist military group called Boko Haram. This group has committed some of the worst atrocities against the people of Nigeria within the past decade or so. Boko Haram steals women from villages, but have never carried out such a large kidnapping at once. The girls who are kidnapped are often forced to work as “porters, sex slaves, and cooks,” according to Aljazeera. There have been other reports that many of the girls were auctioned of as wives to members of the Boko Haram, for as low as twelve dollars. The Nigerian government did not attempt to rescue the missing girls and as a result there have been global protests crying for some type of assistance to help locate the girls. I attended the protest at Union Square a few weeks ago, here are some of the photos.
I thought that it was an interesting concept to get those who attended the protest to wear head wraps or (geles, the more traditional term) to show solidarity and oneness with the young women who have been kidnapped. Everyone looked stunning. Simply amazing. After I saw a women hearing stilettos though, and almost all the women participating in mini photo shoots to go on their Instagram I began to wonder, is this a fashion show or a protest? Clothes are very powerful, and have the ability to convey strong messages about images, ideas and people you may for, against, or want to align yourself with. That’s the power of fashion and clothing, but I think it’s important to comprehend why we dressing a certain way, and the messages we are sending out when we do so.
Take a look and decide for yourself. Within the last 24 hours President Obama has announced that he has sent some assistance in finding the girls. I have attached some links to several articles about the crisis if you’re interested.
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