Junior Nyong’O, 24, Actor/Musician
The perfect intersection of comfort and aesthetic
A social construct, and if it limits you to expressing yourself in the way you feel most comfortable, abandon it!
Why is the concept of glamour important to you or important in general?
Even if for a brief moment, glamour is anything that sparks an unwavering sense of self-belief and excitement. Glamour is falling in love with yourself, and that is everything.
What are some of the misconceptions when it comes to men, fashion and glamour?
Everyone wants to look good, right? Whether it’s for someone special, or most importantly for yourself. And therefore the number one governing factor for me when it comes to my fashion choices is “am I comfortable?” I think answering this question would liberate a lot of men in wearing whatever they want to wear. Sundresses are definitely not for everyone, but perhaps if a few more guys tried and saw just how freeing they are, it would be less of a “bold” fashion choice and just a choice! Another thing to answer is what’s in your budget? I recently learned a life hack when I went to shop for jeans. The exact same pair of jeans I found in the men’s section were about $25 cheaper in the women’s! A little sacrifice for the size of the pockets was definitely insignificant to that ridiculous price difference for pretty much the same cut of skinny jeans.
While the world is making so much progress around inclusivity and acceptance, glamour is often still seen as something for "girls". However, throughout history, glamour was a gender neutral endeavor. What is your advice for anyone stepping outside of their comfort zone and embracing sartorial self-expression regardless of what society (or social media) says?
Block out the noise and just go for it! And, of course, stay safe and surround yourself with people that respect your decisions. Hopefully one day we’ll return to living in a society where we aren’t chastised for what choice of clothing you decide to put on your body.
Other than yourself, who do you think is the most glamorous person in history and why?
Haha! That is not even a title I would dare to don myself with. Prince has got to be up there as one of the most glamorous people in recent history though. I mean, talk about 10/10 outfits every single day!
During the most recent fashion shows, gender was a big topic. Do you think the fashion industry’s current interest in gender has the potential to bring about real change when it comes to luxury fluid-wear?
I think that responsibility lies on many shoulders, not just the fashion industry. It lies on what is stocked in what sections of department stores. It lies on the shoulders of parents exposing their children to examples of different cultures all around the world, and showing that the scope of “modern” gendered clothing in relation to all of human evolution is quite insignificant. And it is on all of our shoulders to embrace our femininity and masculinity; there is a lot of power in both energies and should work in symbiosis.
PANSY is one of 30 global youth platform partners in the launch of an initiative by CHIME FOR CHANGE and Irregular Labs to explore gender and our fluid future. To access all the fabulous content click right here.