Diane Von Furstenberg once said “The most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” It’s simple enough to think about, but infinitely harder to live. This is because Diane has noticed, among Fall and Spring trends of high fashion, that the relationship we as human beings have with ourselves, is terrible. We have low self-esteem. We try to fit ourselves into clothes, not the other way around. We try to change or remove parts of ourselves from our photos because we are ashamed of our individual display of the statistically beautiful game of chance, genetics and self-care. No one is immune from this. Even the fashion models we hate for seeming to make us hate ourselves, hate themselves. You would think that Diane Von F, one of the longest reigning Queens of Fashion, would have all the confidence in the world. And yet, she too, hears the voices.
That’s right. The voices. Everybody has them. Those ingrained, self-limiting voices telling us that we are not nor will not ever be good enough. The invisible crowd phenomenon. Having voices in your head is not a mental weakness nor handicap. (The handicap comes more in the range of what the voices are saying, how loud, how often, how many and how much.)
The realm of fashion can amplify those voices with regards to self image. To many, fashion is a term to describe who, what, when, why and how we “should” be wearing. Many use it as another battle in the status war of keeping up with the Jones. There are some still, however, that enjoy wrapping the strings of fashion tightly around their fingers and pulling HARD, making fashion their bitch. They know that fashion is a non-verbal way of expressing confidence and ultimate victory over those voices. The voices that say you can’t wear something because…because of what? Better make it good—these kinds of unrealized dreams are a killer to recall on your death bed. Unless you’re violating local laws of decency, you can wear and ultimately express yourself in any way you want. Immunity from scrutiny, however, is like immunity from the voices. It doesn’t exist. You can’t make scrutiny go away. You cannot control it at all. You can, however, control how you react to it. Just like the voices, the method you use to deal with this uncontrollable negativity is your ultimate expression of art.
Gonzo journalism is a high-speed, take charge, wild ride of a philosophy that artists have been using to quiet their demonic inner voices for over fifty years. That is fifty years of fighting injustice, prejudice and federal laws and loving in ink, paint, paper, music and film that focuses on the multicolor culture that is our great and pioneering country. And our relationship with it. And our relationship with the world around us. And our country’s relationship with the world around it. That is all what it means to be Gonzo. Gonzo is not easily digestible news declared calmly and respectfully from a white man in a suite like it is on mass broadcasted major networks with a nice, pretty period at the end. Nope. We are exclamatorily romantic, nostalgic and manic about the truth of pioneering, the beauty of the free phoenix of spirit and the love of the full speed ahead lifestyle. I think it’s about time we started reporting on how people wear it. Keeping in great Gonzo values we will be giving the voices back to local, regional, handmade, out casted, never-before-seen dimensions of the little guys. The big fashion houses of couture, catalogs and retail chains are already loud enough. We are here to be a sounding board for the shocking forms of clothing and body modification in these tattooed, stretched out, world debt crisis times of ours. Gonzo also means dangerously loose boundaries and self-control, so watch out. Any and all art passes. I just hope you don’t faint at the site of bare bodies. (It’s kind of a thing. Trust me, I’m a doctor.) And ^THAT^ right there was your warning. Amateurs and professionals are about to get weird. Race ya. 😉
-Dr. Ashtree Gonzo
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