LIFESTYLE LATELY: When faith healing and fashion shoots come together

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This title isn’t just alliterative for the sake of alteration…it’s truly all I’ve been up to.

When it was suggested that Acadiana LifeStyle do a story on traiteurs, I could not have more quickly jumped at the idea. However, with the story suggestion came a warning, “good luck getting them to talk.” That turned out not to be a problem at all.

I was introduced to a new generation of faith healers. Today’s traiteurs are not keeping any secrets about their practice. In fact, they’re making as much noise as possible about it in effort to preserve it. They have websites, they heal over the phone, they’re making documentaries, they’re featured in books. The cat is all of the way out of the bag.

I spent two weeks meeting with traiteurs. My travels took me to Scott where I sat in a healer’s living room, which was scattered with crystals and charms and smelt reminiscent of a yoga studio. We discussed ancient healing practices, the stigma of mental illness and the business of healing. I went to Butte La Rose to meet 79-year-old Helen Boudreaux. I had no intentions of asking any of these traiteurs to pray over me, but by the end of my conversation with Boudreaux, the request flew out of my mouth. She carefully washed her hands at her kitchen sink and came to stand behind me. She gently cupped my ears and started a series of prayers. I can’t explain what I felt, but it was certainly something – something kind.

At the other end of the spectrum, we shot our 2018 Fall Fashion Expose for the October issue. I can’t give away too many details because I want it to be a surprise, but the concept had no indoor picture options. They had to be shot outdoors.

Remember that week it rained every single day? That’s the week it was scheduled.

There was an 80% chance of rain that day. Y’all, it only rained for an hour! But still, we had to ask ourselves, “Are we ambitious or insane? And honestly, what’s the difference?” The risk paid off in a really big way.

SHANNA PERKINS DICKENS is the editor of Acadiana LifeStyle.



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