A group of sorority sisters celebrated their 10-year reunion with an epic “Melanin Illustrated” swimsuit photo shoot

A group of sorority sisters from Florida A&M are setting the internet ablaze with their amazing vacation photo shoot. The spring 2007 line of Delta Sigma Theta’s Beta Alpha chapter met for their 10-year reunion recently and had an epic, Sports Illustrated-inspired shoot — aptly titled “Melanin Illustrated” — on the beaches of Costa Rica.

Line sister Melissa Butler came up with the idea for the shoot, in which the participants (28 of the 56 line sisters were able to attend the trip) posed in nude-colored swimsuits. The women braved some pretty sharp and slippery rocks to take the pictures, but they’re so perfect.


Another sister, Jardan Doneghy, told HuffPost that the photo shoot was created to celebrate the bonds of the “Tite 56,” the name of their group. The shoot was also meant to show that beauty doesn’t come in just one form.

“We say, beauty is being confident that you are good enough, and that is beautiful in itself. 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 series of photos, shared by various members of the line on social media, have garnered nothing but positive responses. These are a diverse group of strong, college-educated Black women, which is a group grossly underrepresented in popular culture. Their trip, which ran from July 20th to 23rd, took place the same weekend that the film Girls Trip dominated the box office. Definitely a one-two punch of serious Black Girl Magic.

“I think the fact that this went viral is proof that it’s not common that you see such a large group of REAL women ― mothers, doctors, lawyers, business owners, educated black women — saying ‘This is what beautiful is,’” said Doneghy. “It is bringing your personal best to the table ― that is beauty to us. It is not a way of saying we are better than any other group of people, it’s an empowerment for all women to embrace and love themselves.”

We couldn’t agree more!