LGBTQ+ culture is a driving force in fashion

In honor of Pride, here are some exemplary fashion Tumblrs.

Qwear Fashion (@qwear)

Qwear Fashion aims to signal boost voices that are working to resist erasure in the LGBTQ+ community. You should check out (and follow!) the whole Tumblr, but we especially recommend the series on Exploring Make-Up as a Genderless Art Form. It’s a great read to match the great photography.

Allison “Ace” Graham (@shedoeshimfashion)

Allison Graham, also known as Ace, wants you to look at menswear in a different light. She’s part of a movement that is slowly getting more and more companies to approach traditional male fashion with a unisex label. And she looks friggin amazing while doing it.

Studio Prokopiou (@prokopiou)

This Tumblr is like a make-out scene in the best horror movie you’ve ever seen. It’s sexy, it’s scary, and you want to see all of it. Lots of amazing drag queens and queer men posing in spooky alternative wear.

Tomboys (@tomboy-esque)

Calling all androgynous beauties! This Tumblr has opened their submission box to you. They post dozens of submitted OOTD photos. They feature tomboys, queer boys, androgynous gender non-conforming, non binary people—every style, gender, and sexuality descriptor under the sun. Don’t feel up to posting a picture of yourself? You can always follow it as a lookbook for fashion inspo.

Don’t Tell Me This Wasn’t Intentional

So going back and taking another look at things, with the idea of parallels in mind, I can’t help but think this sequence of shots was done purposefully to evoke a similar reaction from the viewer. Now I am not a film student or expert of any kind, just someone who has watched enough TV/movies in her lifetime to recognize things like this. And once you can pick these things out of what you’re watching, I think it helps you as a viewer.

Originally I did wonder why Mike briefly looked–alarmed? sad?–after HE encouraged Will to go dance with random girl, and I wondered if maybe it was just a bizarre acting choice that should have been cut, or a different take used, because it initially confused the hell out of me like “what am I supposed to be feeling from THAT reaction?”, or if I was just misinterpreting it totally.

Well, I knew what I felt, but I wasn’t sure if that reaction provoked was intended. Now I totally feel like, yep, it was.

Observe the lovely. Parallels going on in this scene and ignore my crappy screencaps from my phone.

So Lucas takes Max out to dance. Awww aren’t they sweet? I am kinda loving that Lucas got the girl. Adorable little nuggets.

Then we immediately get a shot of poor Dustin looking out at them, forlorn. Poor Dustin. Don’t worry, one day your princess (or Prince, don’t limit yourself!) will come.

And now is when things get interesting. Because right after this the random girl asks “zombie boy” to dance, Will freaks out and looks to Mike like “Do I have to!?!?” and Mike encourages him nonverbally, like twice, to dance with her.

And as soon as Will leaves to dance with random girl we get this reaction shot.

And this is what confused the hell out of me. Why does he look so….THAT….when he pushed Will to go dance? Shouldn’t he be happy? Smiling? Smug supportive bestie so happy his bestie gets to dance with a cute girl? 

Then we cut to this shot.

Waaaait a minute. This is all so….familiar….somehow….if only I could put my finger on why this all seems set up and filmed in such a similar fashion then maaaaybe I could figure out just what emotion they were going for there with Mike’s reaction and….

And then they cut to Mike and Dustin both staring sadly out on to the dance floor. Dustin all staring and sad because, well, he lost the girl he liked to his friend and he’s heartbroken, and Mike staring sadly because….well…uhhhh….because….ummm.

Oh. OH.

Well shit. 

Now I get Mike’s reaction face. It all makes perfect sense. I mean, I guess there *could* be other interpretations, but if so, once again the old argument arises, why direct and shoot and edit this scene like that? Because everything that just transpired was laid out in such a fashion that, if you’re paying attention, tells you what’s going on and what you should be feeling. It was shot to make you feel like you were not only watching one love triangle play out, but TWO. Well done.

Parallels delicious parallels *twirls* 


Another late one tonight, folks! Check out my first time in Fashion to Figure! 

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These are self portraits. And that’s important because I believe that images are a glimpse at the magic that happens when the mind, body, and spirit connect. The camera is only an extension of the eye, and this is how I see myself.

A few months ago I heard Kathleen Cleaver, a former Black Panther, speak at a local museum and as she spewed her feelings about “Formation”, calling it pornography, I recall feeling a disappointment so strong it nearly felt like grief. I felt similarly reading bell hooks’ criticisms of Beyoncé. I felt that ultimately they were expressing their disdain for me, women like me, and my/our own brand of feminism and autonomous expression. I don’t fit into any one box. Sometimes I am poised and polite. Sometimes I’m a bitch. Sometimes I am homely. Sometimes I’m scantily clad. Regardless, I am always wanting more for us. More respect, more love, more space and freedom. My attire does not negate that.

Kathleen Cleaver called Beyoncé’s lens, and ultimately my own, mindless. She called it disgusting. And the dank thickness of her tone has fixed itself in my memory. Wedged itself in my psyche. And I find myself, ever since, feeling apprehensive about being visible in my own skin.

These are self portraits. And that’s important because shame and internalized misogynoir are real. Respectability politics are real. And while I am a woman who can be agreeable to a fault, I’ve never had a talent for conforming.

This is not pornography. These are self portraits.

And that’s important.

That’s imperative.

Emerald Shaw
June 2016