This is an interview published by Teen Vogue on March 28, 2017. To see the complete story with photos, it is available here.
is a slow, unsteady path that can follow a linear trajectory of sterilized representations of beauty. For decades, the rigid boundaries around representation have corralled our conceptions of what is considered attractive into just a handful of bodies, skin colors, facial types, and identities.
People from unique backgrounds have been unfortunately excluded from walking runways or lining our magazines. As we’ve seen, media and pop culture have come to tinge our lives seemingly limitlessly, and a culture that deliberately chooses to overlook or undervalue anyone who “doesn’t fit into” the fixed borders of today’s markets can have grave consequences.
Enter Jovel Ramos, the 19-year-old from Massachusetts whose ascent into the world of modeling has been an expansion on many levels — for him personally, for the fashion market, and for the thousands of viewers consuming his images. Aside from being a “non-conformist, in your face, red-headed little boy” — whose ruby-red head sports a tiara more often than not — Ramos, who identifies as a boy, has discovered that his presence has been a crucial step towards more inclusion in fashion. Demure and sharp in his manner, Ramos and I discuss the implications of a media culture that fails to embrace diversity. Ramos’s journey through fashion is a reminder that in this media-fueled world, representation means encouraging people to explore, express and celebrate themselves in all their singular complexities.Read More