These Sorority Sisters Did a ‘Melanin Illustrated’ Photo Shoot

Cindy Arboleda

A tight-knit group of 56 sorority sisters is poised to go viral with a beach photo shoot dubbed “Melanin Illustrated,” honoring black beauty.

“Melanin Illustrated” is creating buzz online. (Photo: @javmereb)

Recently the women took a three-day trip to Costa Rica, where they celebrated the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta a decade after they joined it, in spring 2007, at Florida A&M University.

The sisters are professional women, ages 29 to 35, who continue to be involved in each other’s lives.

“Being in a sisterhood means having a support system and someone always there to count on,” LaToya Owens tells Yahoo Style. Owens is one of the firts of the sorority’s chapter at A&M. She also organized the sisters’ recent trip.

With the hashtags #MelaninIllustrated and #TITEtakescostarica, the women have shared photos of their stunning fun-filled trip to the Central American country on Instagram.




“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,” she adds.

Owens says they coordinated their look by wearing nude-colored bathing suits for the photo shoot, and that their aim was to empower one another and celebrate black beauty.


“Black women are often overlooked in beauty,” she says. “This was our way to shine a light on all types of black beauty.”



“Our sorority is all about black excellence, ” she says. “We want to serve as an example and [show] appreciation of black women. Our commitment is to scholarship and service, and this was to honor the sisterhood.”

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