Stage I – Costume for Change

Content warning: discussions of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Okay! Now that is out of the way – please, if you haven’t read the post I did about why I am making this costume please do!

There is no capacity for comments on this post for a reason. No one is going to explain this to anyone, unless you are Khadija Gbla herself!

It’s really quite simple, if this project bothers you…scroll on by!

It’s taken me a long time to start this costume making project, life got in the way, I’ve been really unwell for over a year now and my comedy has been part of my recovery (although in a much less capacity). And this costume has had a couple of design attempts which failed. But I think I have it now…

First things first, I have to build this so Khadija can pull off what parts of the anatomy are removed, through the different types of FGM.

So it’s constructed in reverse to how FGM is carried out, mainly so I make sure it will work when worn on the front of Khadija’s body. I will attach shoulder straps and a waist band, a bit like if you have ever worn a backpack on your front.

So stage one of this project is equivalent of Type III FGM – where all external features of the vulva are removed and the vagina entrance sewn shut, with a small opening left behind.

I’ve deliberately made the stitching rough, but effective, as the diagrams often show stitching that looks almost aesthetically pleasing, which is not the intent of FGM. However I do think I will make the stitching more easily seen from a distance for the purposes of caricature.

And here’s a video of getting it so far to the point that this will be the piece worn in front of the body and I will build out the other types and anatomy from here…there is much to be done yet…

2 days (with a lot of distractions) squished into 2 minutes.