Agreed through and through. Beautiful color dress with her skin tone. My feeling about this woman is that she doesn’t stand for anyone’s bs. She knows she is beautiful, empowered, strong…but I feel like you can see in her eyes that this strength arose out of turmoil. Such a gorgeous woman.
I’m replying to this not as a means of stirring any social pots, but since discussion is encouraged I’ll just say it — describing this woman as having great self-confidence, while certainly meant well, is on the same level as describing a black or African as being âintelligentâ or âarticulateâ. The polish woman in black with the crÃ¨me scarf from yesterday also looks like she has a lot of self-confidence, but nobody is going to illustrate her this way, nobody did; that sort of thing just doesnât come to mind when describing whitesâwords like strong and bold are always more appropriate. When we see blacks in a similar position, words like confident are used, but to us it is comprehended more like an social exception (as in, Hey we found one!) than an individual one. Iâm sure this explanation will probably be confused and taken the wrong wayâ¦Iâm just trying to say that words that are ascribed to us that arenât ascribed to our white counterparts are often not complimentary to us, even if you truly meant it that way, which to be fair, I think Elisa did.
I disagree, while I understand your concern, I believe calling a black woman self-confident is not a matter of race or not. Some black woman may not be as self confident, just like some white woman can and cannot be.
The fact that the question didn’t come up on yesterday’s photo equally has nothing to do with race, as I believe it has to do with the person being depicted.
I suppose it’s just the context, a woman in South Africa, so boldy and strongly exuding a confident air about herself. She looks down on the camera, the photographer is taking a picture of HER, she’s not modelling of her.
It’s really not an issue, my friend. And it is exactly this kind of thinking, looking for racism where there is none, that makes racism still persist.
Sure there’s an element of racism to it. I’m not by any means calling anyone here (and especially not Elisa, whom I’ve met) racist. I don’t know if you’re a person of colour, I am. The problem lies specifically in the fact that there are certain… compliments.. given to us that we don’t find complimentary. Africans wouldn’t look at this photo and say that, and if you disagree, I challenge you to find me an example. Just like the turmoil comment made right afterwards.. how do we know she’s been through turmoil? Because she’s a young South African woman? If the Sartorialist posted a photo of a woman in Russia with fire in her eyes, is anyone going to think that she’s been through turmoil? These are simply questions that I pose. Of course woman exudes confidence, but so do a thousand other women photographed on this site.
As the person who made one the comments described, I want to put out there that all of the above feelings seem completely valid to me. When I wrote about the woman seeming to have arisen out of turmoil, I felt that I was referring to the look in her eyes. If you look at the comments I make on various pictures, they are generally psychological fantasies about what I imagine a person has been through. Howver, these fantasies are going to be informed by my own past, my own experiences, and my own privilege. So if this comment was offensive to anyone, then I think it’s important that I speak to that and apologize, rather than defend my intentions.
Simbarashe, from one AFRICAN to another: don’t you think such arguments are exactly the sort of perspectives holding the continent back? Just BE confident, BE bold and don’t get offended so easily.
i dont know, this is such a tricky topic. in my opinion, most people who are stylish are naturally very self-confident because they trust the way that they look. saying it seems redundant about most people the sartorialist shoots. but it was said. and not just about anyone. it was specifically pointed out on a woman that people want to be self-confident because sometimes there are some people (generally white people) who think, oh gee the life they must have had… so glad to see she looks so good and has perservered… maybe. i cant speak for everyone. no hard feelings to anyone who commented on this either. we all obviously find the photo and woman beautiful.
Yes, we are all friends, to the extent that a human being can be. I agree with you. Nanni Moretti, an italian director, in one of his movie said “Words are important”. They have a weight. But I’m the first that have to learn it.
However, great and intense shot.
I completely disagree (i am a black african woman too, i should add). You come across as having a chip on your shoulder! Maybe you should scroll through the archives on the site and see that the comments made are simply people calling things as they see them!
I am a regular visitor here and I have seen the word ‘confident’ being ascribed to people of all colours, shapes and sizes thereby rendering your point untrue.
Back to the girl in the picture. She does look confident, she is posing confidently (Tyra Banks would call it fierce, i think), so why should people edit themselves just for the sake of your sensibilities?
And finally, there are worse words in the world than ‘self-confident’….i’m just saying
I agree. We OFTEN use words like confident for any person (especially if they are wearing something a bit daring) that seems to show this quality in the photographs. Its a very common description in fashion. (here I go… I am also a person of “color”). LOL
@Simbarashe – You are really confused! Nothing wrong in being self-conscious. As a black woman myself I can feel the pride this gorgeous lady has. That’s how I want to look up to my sister’s ….. empowered! It’s a beautyful shot. It really represents a new generation of african women.
I love the blush colored stilettos…sort of a fresh take on the nude ones that are omnipresent here in the States. I wish I could wear stilettos but I can’t for safety reasons. Besides, the shoebox wouldn’t be bunion-friendly. Sigh. Oh yeah, I love sweater dresses like this…it’s great for traveling. Don’t have to deal with wrinkles!
I love that you are in SA I am a local, from Pretoria, who has followed your blog for over a year, constantly wishing that your photo’s could make the unique SA fashion scene a part of the global picture (and of course dressing the part).
I would like to humbly suggest you check out campus fashion around University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, WITS etc for a vary quirky and diverse look into what the SA youth has to offer.
Buhle is all attitude – who is this foreigner? And her dress, stunning – Sophiatownesque. I’d love to know how she reacted to you. Its great that you captured Jozi street ads too. Dying to see more from my vibrant home city! Its about time you visited us in SA. Enjoy.
(sorry for my english)
Wonderful picture ! She looks “class” ( i don’t know if “class” in french means the same thing in english)
I’m very surprised and very happy to know you go in SA but I think that too many people( celebrities or people who works in mode ) go to SA or Maroco and not to others countries. Africa isn’t that those two countries, there are many others countries to discover in Africa
Oh, so many blah, blah, blahs above…
She IS gorgeous but I don’t like all her missmatches!
I mean, hey, this is fashion, no?
Those shoes doesn’t match the dress and all that plus bag-NO!
2 of those will go, like the dress plus bag plus some flats or the shoes plus dress plus clutch (but I still don’t like the combination of the shoes and the dress), or … well you get it?
What I love is the composition of the photo. You have this stunning woman and then peeling paint, the dated-looking advertising in yellow, etc. It’s interesting, too, how her dress kind of tones with the paving stones and the peeling paint of the ceiling of the overhang in that light. Nice. I really don’t like the shoes though, lest I forget about the fashion for a moment! :)
I don’t wanna join the debate about this beautiful woman. I will just say what I feel. She is good looking, stunning, self confident; and above all, she is the real definition of magnificent. I love every bit of her.
i’m a south african, and i’ve been visiting this site regularly for the past 3 years. its brilliant to finally have the sartorialist come around to the J-Section. hope he becomes a regular visitor, cos we keep it fresh down here!!
This lady is my idea of hot and beautiful. She’s got a sassy attitude with that pose and I like the minimalist look and play with nude hues. I am actually rather baffled by the comments alluding to racism above. She’s just a lady with a strong pose that emits self-confidence, no? Why must there be any reference to her race?