Revisiting (and re-imagining) one's self through the stylings of Black icons
Happy Black History Month!
I know it’s been a while since I’ve connected with you, but it’s not for lack of desire. The semester has started again, and we’re still, doing our best to deal with the endless lack of national response (and we’re not the only ones) to this pandemic life, while also, you know, trying to continue making work and making do and making life happen. I started January with an exciting new part-time job (in addition to the full-time gig at a community college I’ve been at for . . . 15 years!) and a dream opportunity for me.
I was recently asked to teach part-time at Goddard College’s Master of Fine Arts program in Interdisciplinary Arts, and I couldn’t be more grateful, or excited for such an opportunity to stumble its way over to me. I received both of my graduate degrees at low-residency programs, and it’s a format that I appreciate, and naturally suited to my ambiverted nature. Sometimes you put out a call to the universe, and it sends it rebounding back like a boomerang.
So, for the last week and a half or so, I’ve been on Zoom - almost non-stop. I decided, why not use this time to play with outfits, to introduce myself to the Goddard world of students and faculty through my love of fashion and sartorial play. I decided to start sharing the images on Instagram, and I have to admit, the attention and validation I’m receiving from friends and friendlies became exciting to me and so I’ve continued to do them! It brings a lovely energy to a stilted and surreal time, and a few of the students reached out, sweetlings that they are, and told me that some aspect of how I was dressing myself, at least from the torso up, was bringing them joy. That, by itself, is enough reason to do it.
But, the reason I bring this up is to say that organically I’ve begun playing with re-imagining and experimenting directly with the style of some of my favorite iconic figures, and what better way to celebrate Black History Month than to reimagine my own Asian and non-binary body through these wonders who mean so much to me?
Come follow along if you’d like!
And please, if you would, send me a question about anything at all at either email@example.com or anonymously here.
But, also, answer one of mine: What are you doing to celebrate Black History Month? Besides playing with clothes and stylings of my favorite Black artists, I’m also only reading Black authors this month. I finished Octavia Butler’s brilliant time-travel speculative work, Kindred, and now I’m reading Natasha Marin’s Black Imagination: Black Voices on Black Futures. Tell me how you’re honoring Black history? I would truly love to hear from you.
Yours, in solidarity,