The original gazelle

How fabulous is she?!

How fabulous is she?!

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This is my Aunt Carol. She’s one of a kind to say the least. She is stylish, funny, and fabulous.

“But why is she being featured on the Gazelle Skirt blog??”, you might ask. She’s being featured here today because she’s the original Gazelle. She lived in a village (like… in a HUT) in the middle of Senegal for 17 years working as a missionary. SEVENTEEN YEARS, people!

Me: So what did you wear when you lived in the village?

Aunt Carol: What I wore in the village isn’t worth writing about. I wore a top, a long wrap skirt, a Western-style dress, or a mid-calf length skirt. Oh, and flip-flops. Ugh. But I always wore mascara and lipstick. (Sometimes lipstick, always mascara!) I always tried to look good. No women wore pants! I only wore them to ride the motorcycle or go hunting, but otherwise ……. that was a no-no.

Here she is back in the day, as sytlish as ever. "Yes, I killed that snake with my pellet gun. That day I was a village heroine."

Here she is back in the day, as stylish as ever. “Yes, I killed that snake with my pellet gun. That day I was a village heroine.”

Me: Tell me about some of the things you saw the villagers wear.

Aunt Carol: Some of the faux-pas I saw were: a man wearing a lady’s slip, another man wearing a lady’s bathrobe, and there was a man who wore a toilet seat cover as a hat! (Ha ha ha ha!)

Me: I’m sure you’ve seen some funny t-shirts too.

Aunt Carol: Yes. I had a t-shirt with a rubber nose sticking out of it. I wish I still had it…

Me: Has your style today been influenced by your years of living here? If so, how?

Aunt Carol: Yes! I am more of a “free spirit”! Who cares what anyone thinks? If I like it, that’s enough.

Me: What do you love or admire about the Senegalese women, their style, etc.?

Aunt Carol: There are MANY things I love and admire about the Senegalese women and their styles. The colors, the fabric patterns, the creativity in the “complet” outfits. I love how they have headwraps that match. I love the color of their skin.  I love the braids that they do. I love how gold jewelry looks on their chocolate skin. I love their white teeth, the shape of their eyes. There are physically gorgeous women there and there are ones that are not. But the gorgeous ones are some of the most beautiful in the world. I am sad that a lot of the younger generation is losing the “culture” of the way women dress … they look wonderful in jeans but it would be tragic if their traditional costumes became obsolete. I love how you can go to a tailor and draw or describe an outfit, and they can make it happen! I always felt “pale and ugly” next to some of those tall, elegant, beautiful women. No wonder babies cried when they laid eyes on me for the first time!

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Do you have a question for this snake-killing, 17-years-in-the-village fashionista? Leave it in the comments!

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