Members of the Florida A&M chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. took some unforgettable vacation photos last week.
Fifty-six members took a girls trip to Liberia, Costa Rica, to celebrate their 10-year anniversaries as members of the Beta Alpha chapter. The women have remained close friends after their college years.
While in paradise they posed for a group photo in their swimsuits and dubbed it “Melanin Illustrated,” a not-so-subtle reference to the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
For emphasis, each woman wore a bathing suit in nude shades to emphasize the diversity of their skin tones.
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“This photo was taken … to shine light on being comfortable in the skin you’re in,” sorority member Jardan Doneghy told Essence.
“We represent various shades and sizes and want to send a larger message of self-love, especially to our African-American sisters who may sometimes feel overlooked and underrepresented.”
The sorority sisters, ranging in age from 29 to 35, work in a variety of professions, according to Yahoo Style.
“Being in a sisterhood means having a support system and someone always there to count on,” member LaToya Owens told Yahoo Style.
“We spent three days bonding and doing fun activities, and then we rented out a catamaran that took us to a private beach where we took the photos.”
Owens said the point was to empower each other.
“Black women are often overlooked in beauty,” Owens told Yahoo. “This was our way to shine a light on all types of black beauty.”
The message was received, and applauded, on social media.
Several members posed for individual photos, too. More are posted on Instagram.
“Let’s just say Liberia, Costa Rica, has been sprinkled and left with a little more melanin magic,” Doneghy told Essence.