On Singleness: The Zipper on the Back of My Dress

photo via Stylehive.com

The other day I asked a random stranger to help me with the zipper at the back of my dress. Earlier in the day as I got ready to attend an event, I slipped into a coral pencil dress and quickly realized that I could not get the back zipper all the way up. Despite multiple attempts, my hands could not reach it.

It was the first time I had consciously noticed this particular struggle. I don’t know if watching Being Mary Jane had anything to do with my sudden alertness or whether I had not experienced the “back zipper issue” before, but the scene from Being Mary Jane stayed on my mind as I rushed out the door with my zipper partially undone.

As single women living alone, there are many things we naturally do for ourselves without second thought.  We take out the garbage, hang the frames and unblock the drains.  With help from Youtube, friends and family members, Google or good old trial and error, we learn the “uber” necessary art of self-reliance. Thus, the times when we are unable to do it alone can be sobering and unsettling. These times tend to remind us of human interdependence; because all of us, no matter how strong and resilient, will need an extra pair of hands at some point in our lives.

Those hands signify so much more than just the mere act of helping with a zipper. They represent companionship, sacrifice and love. Symbolically, they show us a picture of having a partner to help us through some of life’s difficult times and trying battles. They’re those shoulders to lean on after a long day and that you need when the going gets tough. Those hands can help mend you together when you’ve come undone. We desire the kind of hands that  “have your back” both literally and figuratively.

A few weeks after the experience with my coral dress, I was at the airport coming back from a trip when I felt fingers tapping my shoulder. I turned around to a woman offering to help me with my back zipper.  I chuckled to myself and relaxed into the knowledge that until I connect with those special pair of hands, a jacket, an offer to help or my own request for help will easily set that zipper straight.

I Want to Know:

  • Have you ever experienced the “Back Zipper Struggle?”
  • What are some of the most important things about love and companionship?

Nika Campbell was born and raised in Jamaica. She is an island girl at heart. In college she lived in the diverse and dynamic city of New York and has been in love with it ever since. Nika especially has a soft spot for Brooklyn. She enjoys art, music of various genres, fashion, travelling, and discussing social issues. Nika embraces a positive outlook on life and believes that everyone should use and pursue their gifts in any way possible. Nika currently reside in Los Angeles after moving there shortly after her law school graduation. Nika is the Editor and Creator of Faces of Black Fashion.

Facebook Twitter 


  1. OMG yes one of the many things to remind you that your single…le sigh. Funny thing is I mastered zipping my own garments even when I was in a relationship, but those extra hands do mean more. I loved the symbology of what you wrote. Zipping your back means more, it means those hands symbolize they will always have your back.

    Love it…until then I will continue zipping my own stuff. I miss having companion tv shows to watch with my lover. Now I gotta watch alone or with friends…boo!
    Kiwi recently posted…{Event Recap} Dr.Miracles RX4STYLE | BET HipHop Awards 2013My Profile

    • MooreLikeMe says:

      Yes!!!! It’s the small things that gets us every time. When we make a decisions we have already gone over the major details that are the deciding factor but we sometimes forget that the small things are what could set us back. I’ve learned to curb my desires and falling back into an old “thang” lol I guess i will be buying some side zippers lol

    • I’m still trying to master the art of zipping up my own dress. Maybe I need to invest in dresses with side zippers…for now lol