Malia Mitchell

Sisterhood By Leilani Mitchell

I'll be transparent; the girl in these photos is my little sister.  Now that we've established that I am the most biased person in the room, take my word when I say that there's nothing little about her (okay, okay, besides her physical shell).  There is something strangely significant about a petite girl with a grand personality.  Again, coming from the big sister, so you can take my word with a grain of salt.

Malia is the type of person who wants what she wants when she wants it, and oftentimes, she gets it.  And when she gets it, she wants it gotten right.  She got her first job at 14, and by the time she was 17 she had two more on top of being in high school. Noah's ark could be halfway constructed and she'd probably still find a way to go get her nails done.  She speaks in a blunt way lacking tact or deceit.  She never spares your feelings, which is a blessing and mostly a curse, depending on your point of view.  She walks (and drives) in a way that makes you feel like you need to move out of the way (or put on a seatbelt).  It is captivating and frustrating, all at the same time.

I don't know if I can speak for all sisters, and I only have the one, but in my experience sisterhood is an ever changing dynamic.  When you're little, she follows you around everywhere.  She does everything exactly the way you do.  She's your #1 fan.  As you get older, nothing really changes.  She still wears all your clothes.

I think the part where the relationship with your sister starts to change is when she starts to do her own thing.  When she speaks up against what you think.  When she's taken what she's learned from you, and grown in a different direction.  Honestly, it can be unnerving as a person who has always been a role model.  But I think sisters fill in each other's gaps.  She reminds me that it's okay to do things for yourself, to take care of yourself before others. She speaks up when I can't.  It is a beautiful thing.

I hope you don't think this doesn't apply to you because you don't have any sisters.  Sisterhood comes in many forms.  I hope that wherever you are, you are trying to fill in your friends gaps, being strong for them when they are weak, stealing their clothes and promising to buy them new ones later (you won't).  Listening to their worries.  Laughing uncontrollably.  Celebrating the amazing things that women do for each other out of their innate sense of love and care.

That is sisterhood.


I always like to win. But I’m the big sister. I want to make sure she has everything, even if I don’t have anything. It’s hard. I love her too much. That’s what counts.
— Venus Williams

Photos taken by Leilani Mitchell

x Malia is wearing the Sahara Top and Britt Bottoms in Padma. x