When I was 17 years old and starting chronicling my style on Lookbook.nu and my blog, I had no intentions of reaching out to mass's or appealing to anyone for that matter. I was simply putting my voice out there, and if others listened then great! It wasn't until I received my first few emails back in early 2010 from a few boys in high school who were thanking me for "marching to the beat of my own drum". These boys went on to tell me that they too wanted to dress stylishly at school but didn't due to bullying and hatred. One even admitted to almost getting "bashed" for his styling choices. It was right then in my life I decided to never stop showcasing my styles, and fashion inspirations. No man, young or old should feel subjected to prejudice or bullying because of the clothes he puts on his back, so it got me thinking.
Flashing back to 2005 through 2009 when I attended High School, I can't count the number of times I was bullied for what I wore. It didn't make sense to me, I felt confident in my suspenders, leather jacket and fedora but apparently a lot of other guy's thought otherwise. I quickly became an easy target for hatred and slurs. "Fag, homo, queer, girly, bitch, pretty boy" the football, baseball or water polo teams would take their turns, picking which name to call me next. I eventually began to HOPE they would call me names instead of throwing food at me during lunch. Now, I in no way am mentioning this for sympathy. It's in the past and I have grown from these experiences but I feel it's important for people to know, what fashionable men may have to go through. The severity of some situations and overall epidemic of bullying, hatred and violence needs to be confronted.
Just the other day, I made the popular page on Instagram for the first time, and I thought "there must be a mistake, me!?" I was legitimately shocked. Few hours later I read all the comments from the strangers who had seen my picture on the 'Explore tab' and to my surprise, "fag" and "gay" turned up more than once. "really? this is 2013" I thought. Some things will never change I suppose. (don't worry, I reported them) But it got me thinking, the same thoughts I did in 2010...How can men feel confident and inspired to wear what they please? Sure I am doing my best on my blog, but I can't inspire every man. So... What if I documented the style of fashionable men (Strangers) on the street, similar to street style but then I would interview them as well - ask them if they've ever been a victim of prejudice, or bullied for being stylish and what inspires them in their life to keep going, confidently, ignoring those slurs. That was it! I may not be able to inspire them all, but if I had numerous amounts of fashionable men I interviewed on the street, I might be able to influence more and more readers to be confident just like them!
So here we are, The introduction to my new on-going project that will take place on this blog, I've titled "HANDSOME". When females dress to go out or doll themselves up, that makes them feel beautiful. But what's there to say for men? Sure a guy can wear a suit and feel handsome but I personally think it's a little deeper than that. Handsome is more of an inner feeling, a confidence one can exude. James Dean was handsome and his staples were a leather jacket and plain tee. Kurt Cobain was handsome, and he favored plaid and converse. It's an air, an attitude a man can accomplish by their personal voice through styling and fashion. So from here on out, I will be publishing the style of strangers on the street, who will tell I AM GALLA how they ignore the intolerance and proceed forward, confidently, stylishly and handsomely.
now, your sentiments.