Fresh Out of High School, South Florida Teens Start a Show for Women, by Women

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The cattiness among girls ends after high school. Or, at least, it should. But while you’re signing your so-called friend's yearbook with a fake “Have a good Summer! I’ll miss you!”, these recent high school graduates are planning an event to empower and remove the feeling of competition among women. Meet Kangie West, Nicole Zizi, and Jade Gordon: creators of Conceptual Vaginas.

Conceptual Vaginas is a movement for women, by women. Yes it sounds cliché, but these ladies may be on to something. Collectively, they started this movement to give women a platform. If you haven’t noticed, women are sometimes overshadowed by men when it comes to accomplishments, music, art, and, uh, life in general. This stops now — at least according to West, Zizi, and Gordon.

These women — who just recently graduated from Fort Lauderdale High and Charles W. Flanagan High — created a six-hour showcase with all women performers, artists, and vendors. On Saturday, June 13, at Fusse Studio in Miami, you can enjoy this event curated by the three. The event includes hosts Richh Rumors and the Goldie Show. There will be performances by a small army of fierce ladies, including Venus Amor, She.Go, Cherle, PinkLipBastard, Ari Chi, Ninaamour, Sunheiry, Cashakazaam, and Betty Dawl.

The clothing and food vendors include MilliMisa, Cathy’s House of Sweets, and Opening Early. Visual art will be on display by Xena, illUnicornati, and West, Zizi, and Gordon themselves. Can you notice something they all have in common? They are all Conceptual Women. And the spotlight's on them.

New Times: What is a Conceptual Woman?

Nicole Zizi: A conceptual woman is a woman that embraces her feminine energy and uplifts her peers around her. She doesn't have to be a creative or an artist to be conceptual. She just has to be supportive of her peers and open-minded to new things.

What is your goal with this event?

Our goal with this event is to create an environment where females can feel comfortable to express themselves openly without feeling self-conscious. We want to show women that it is okay to support each other and unity is better than feeling the need to be better than one another.

What sparked the idea for a conceptual woman showcase?

Simple observation. We are part of a bigger collective called XLACED. We are the only three females in that group. We realized that the males in XLACED created a separate collective named Abstract. I brought this to Nicole and Jade's attention and we thought, wow, we should make our own group! And we named it the opposite of abstract, which is conceptual. We designed our first shirt with a vagina and the word "conceptual" on the front. We got a lot of good feedback from the shirts and I presented the idea that we create a platform where only women could showcase their talents to give women more sense of security when doing so by ensuring that they don’t go under-appreciated.

Do you have to be a woman to be involved?

Any sex can be involved with Conceptual, but the actual showcase and performances are restricted to women only.

How should I feel after leaving a powerful event put on by only women?

I think after leaving an event like the one we are putting on, you should feel inspired to not only work harder for yourself, but also to work with other women who you will find are indeed on the same page as you are. This is an environment where women can come to find out about each other and show love! Women can honestly be hateful towards each other sometimes and I definitely want to get rid of that idea.

How can women get involved in Conceptual Vaginas?
Women can get involved with conceptual simply by participating. We created the #ConceptualWoman hashtag to see who our followers actually are and to have an easier way to reach them. People can also get involved with us by emailing us or even simply mentioning us on Twitter. We try to answer everything that comes our way even though it can be a lot.

Conceptual. 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at Fusse Studios, 327 NE 59th Terrace, Miami. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via eventbrite.com.

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