well, you’d think that I’d have remembered - after the last time i did an open call on instagram (a giveaway) - the legit internal distress the selection process caused me. i cried a lot. this, of course, was conveniently absent from the periphery of my conscious memory when i decided to ask for people to put themselves forward for my debut lookbook photoshoot.
i’m gonna level with you - i literally only need 3 people. 4 at most. and i got a LOT of emails.
so, again, i cried. and my stomach twisted itself up into the little knot that i’ve come to know so well. and my boyfriend, the wonderful talented industry-experienced photographer, said ‘i know it’s hard, but that’s just how it is’. and for approximately 14 seconds i accepted this. and then i didn’t.
i can’t sit here and preach about revolution and change and making a difference, if i keep doing everything the same as everyone else has always done it. by picking the prettiest, coolest girls. i know what it feels like to be neither of those things, and i never want GRLCLB to be an extension of an industry that has only ever succeeded in bringing girls, who aren’t of a select ‘look’, down.
so here’s what i’m going to do.
i’ll do the lookbook. i’ll pick 3/4 girls and shoot it. because that’s what clothing brands do in order to launch/market a new collection. and instagram comments/likes don’t pay rent. logistically it’s the only viable option. i don’t have at my disposal a massive team on-hand to do the hair/makeup/styling of all the people who got in touch wanting to be a part of this. i don’t have a location big enough to hold everyone. i don’t have enough pieces to be worn by everyone. it isn’t practical, or even possible.
but what i can do is turn this into something else entirely. what i can do is realise that GRLCLB is more than campaign shoots and lookbooks and current seasons. GRLCLB is all of you. it is all the people who WANT to be a part of it. it’s belonging to a community of actual people who believe in the same values that you do. so i give to you my idea: the GRLCLB portrait series.
every single one of you who wants to be involved, you’re automatically in. that’s the extent of the requirements. i’ll pick a day, maybe in a couple of months or so, and all of you can turn up. and all of you will get a portrait taken in a GRLCLB t-shirt by my wonderfully talented photographer (read: is completely out of my quality league and is only contractually obliged to do this because he is my bf & loves me & thinks my work is great). and these pictures will make up the website’s newest addition - a gallery dedicated to *the* GRLCLB. because that’s what every single one of you is. you’re my club. you’re my people. and i want you all.
i wanted a lookbook, and i’ve ended up with something else entirely. but something that is so much more GRLCLB than i realised was necessary. now i don’t have to pick and choose, i don’t have to disappoint, i don’t have to critique. i don’t have to abide by standards that i don’t believe in. i don’t have to conform to rules set out by a society that thinks you’re worth something less if your face isn’t symmetrical. not in my club. BYE.