In celebration of the launch of Affinity’s new Arts + Culture sector, I’ve decided to debut a new series of ‘Stars To Watch’. This weekly segment will highlight young creatives on a mission to fulfill their dreams, inspire creativity, and give them a platform to let their voices be heard!
The iconic faces of YouTube seem to be generally the same these days. White, blond haired, blue eyed and full of faux charisma, and sometimes you may even look up and stumble upon a sassy alter ego replicated after the ‘strong black woman’ stereotype. These beauty guru’s, vloggers, and practical jokers all carry the same generic energy and are applauded for the mediocrity they present due to varying pathways of privilege, however that hasn’t stopped the ‘underdogs’ of Youtube from breaking through…
From the likes of Kingsley, to Tre Melvin and Zachary Campbell, POC youtubers of the gay community have been fighting to make waves on the video based platform for years and these boys and many more have done a successful job at carrying the torch and passing it on to newer generations…
After multiple appearances on friend and fellow youtuber Aaliyah Jay’s channel, fans instantly fell in love with Justin Marcus, and urged him to begin a channel of his own which debuted in October of 2015. Almost only a year and a half later, Justin’s amassed upwards of 200,000 supporters across Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram and has become infamous for his no holds barred, genuine sense of humor that has become comedic gold.
With an eye for a bigger role on an even bigger screen; Justin uses his wits, accidental awkwardness, and natural charisma to connect and draw viewers in.
“I’ve always felt that my personality belonged somewhere on a screen”
He says of his dream of becoming an actor, his ideal career path for the future.
“A lot of times people have tried tried to change who I am because they simply don’t understand me or think I am “Too Much”. But I believe it’s a place for everybody in life, yes it’s always room for improvement, but staying true to you, will find you true happiness.
Wise words from a young man hailing from Brooklyn, New York.
“I come from a good home & family. I was always morally conscious in situations. Being from New York you’re exposed to a lot of real life things at a young age. Drugs, alcohol, sex etc. You have to have a strong personality to avoid those things growing up.”
In an age where a certain “look” or “aesthetic” determines your “coolness”, it seems that the rarity in being sincerely yourself is not only overlooked but understated. As an anxious introvert, it’s kind of refreshing for figures so outlandishly genuine such as Justin to not only be insightful, but also encouraging towards strangers through the internet.
“Being yourself means being confident in things that you like no matter who’s around or what setting your in. Not waivers for or compromising yourself to make others happy. People tend to ” wanna be down ” & seem ” cool ” when being yourself is appreciated so much more in a conversation or social setting. Not caring about the opinions of others is really the key to being yourself.
One of Justin’s most defining characteristics is his eccentric sense of style and confidence that dares him to push fashion boundaries, and smash gender norms. New York swag seems to be an enigma to those not from the concrete jungle, so much of what any other american would consider a “going out” outfit, Justin probably wears to the grocery store…
“My advice to people who don’t have the confidence to push fashion boundaries is to not be afraid! Once you have self confidence, you can wear a garbage bag & still stay because confidence & swag resonates. Of course people are never ALWAYS gonna like your outfits, but that’s the point! Cause controversy, and stand out!”
Now don’t be discouraged. Having an eye for fashion isn’t something exclusive to New Yorkers, and with videos like his Winter Lookbook, and Fall Fashion Haul Justin gives a few pointers as to where you should be headed for the latest trends.
“A few of my favorite places are the generic Forever21 , H&M and Zara. But other than that I LOVE thrift shops! My favorite place to shop online would be BoohooMan.”
Here are just a few of Justin and I’s favorite looks of his!
Fashion cannot be taught. It’s sort of a 6th sense, and if you have it, you have it. If not? get inspired! Justin pulls inspiration from just about anywhere!
“I get inspired by EVERYTHING literally. For me, clothes have no gender. Most of my clothing is from the female section of a store. A lot of dudes wouldn’t wear something that they think looks good because of the label that it’s from the women’s department in fear of others peoples opinions & my fashion sense & style kind of proves that you can be male, look masculine & still make women’s clothes work !”
Also this summer, I will personally begin posting on my very own youtube account, under the moniker of Star Lockridge. With this in mind, and with one of my favorite youtubers, and biggest influences just on the other side of my computer, I asked for advice. Not just for myself, but for you, and everyone out there who’s inspired by not only Justin but youtubers all across the globe.
“My best advice for new youtubers is BE YOURSELF ! Even if people disagree with your views , style , look etc. don’t ever waiver. Be you everyone else is taken.”