"The question is, can he become a part of the establishment in a frame of reference that's qualitatively different? I guess what I'm trying to say is that the struggle ... is to be a part of the establishment without becoming an apologist for it."
08 January 2018
I need an elevator pitch for this thing. I’ll admit it.
What is WHATSUITSHIM? That’s a question I’ve yet to answer in less than 30 seconds. I conceived it as “a fashion + lifestyle project,” a convoluted expression I never actually defined during the year I used it as WSH's tagline. For the uninitiated – welcome to the site! – I began this journey days before my father’s passing, and I spent the first few months using the site as both a place to write through my grieving process and document my fashion sensibility. Since then, I’ve become much more interested in putting the camera on others than I am on having it on myself, and I’ve launched a podcast that will make its return in the New Year.
Does a potpourri of varied interests in writing, fashion, photography, and pre-recorded radio scream “lifestyle project” to you? Maybe vaguely, sure. I never thought this venture getting traction would be easy, but after periods of self-doubt and inactivity and simply not having the money to fund it, I come into 2018 especially thrilled to curate WSH for another year. If you’re reading this, you are the entire reason our project continues trying, and it has been my privilege to try really hard to populate this website and all of WSH’s social mediums with content quality enough for your viewership. Two years ago, as I scrolled the pages of Instagram influencers and gawked at the likes their pictures received, I figured I’d soon reach those levels of quantifiable success – the kid from Detroit who dresses sharp and writes even sharper. It’s been much more of a grind than I’d anticipated for sure, but that’ll make the come-up even sweeter. And I’m very grateful you’re curious enough to give my little website a visit.
I’m obsessed with perfection. That’s my entire problem, and a huge reason why WSH’s focus has swayed in the 24 months since its launch. Yet I’ve recognized my pivot toward photography and radio as a growing manifestation of my inclination to critique and – to steal a term from my literary role model James Baldwin – “witness,” no different from how I provide commentary on current events through my essays. Once-upon-a-time, I felt compelled to prove I wrote and dressed better than the competition, and eventually my undeniable talent and style would garner the attention I craved. These days, I’m way less high-strung about WSH’s potential. We’ll get where we’re supposed to be. As long as the content created is both good and consistent – and positively impacts just one reader – I have complete faith this investment will not be in vain.
I’d love to feature more contributions on the website in 2018. Got an idea for an essay or a podcast? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Enjoy the essay you just read? Like and comment, please. I’m going to write more consistently myself this year (I swear), and I hope you’ll also visit the project’s other social mediums to see what we’re cooking up behind-the-scenes. I want this to be authentic and unique, and so I’ll never stop looking into innovative ways of bolstering this project. Originality wins, every time.
So, yeah. What is WHATSUITSHIM? I don’t really know. Sorry I took 500 words just to provide that response. Told you I can’t answer in under 30 seconds!
(Let’s just call it an art project. Cool?)