Por Patricia Alfonso | @palfonso93
Gustavo.png is a fashion model | makeup artist | influencer
Como sucede a menudo entre Millenials, Gustavo y yo nos conocimos por primera vez a través de Instagram; nos seguimos y admiramos el trabajo del otro. Poco después, nos conocimos en persona por un amigo en común. Conocer a Gustavo fue refrescante e inspirador. Es un joven creativo que desarrolla su propio espacio y plataforma para expresarse, mostrar su talento y crear su identidad en la industria de la moda. Con solo 18 años, Gustavo ha creado una marca de sí mismo con éxito.
What is your sexual orientation?
I think I’m bisexual. That’s a really good question though. I love women but women don’t see me as the relationship type because in this society people see me as more like a girl than a boy. Girls are intimidated by that fact. I fall in love with the person, not the sex. Thinking back, erase that, I’m pansexual. That’s if I would have to choose a label, I hate labels.
Again, I hate labels, but if I had to choose one, androgynous for sure. I’m fluid between both sexes. I love being a boy and dressing up like a girl. And that’s because of the stigma society has with what being a girl means, and what being a boy means. If not, I would just say I’m human. LOL. I hate pronouns. People are usually calling me HER just because I dress like a girl sometimes. I’m a guy and I like being a guy so why call me HER? It’s really frustrating to me because I accept who I am so why can’t everyone else?!
Labels. What do they mean to you?
I don’t even know what to say, cause to me they don’t really mean anything… I mean, we’re in 2018 guys. Labels shouldn’t really matter to anyone, they suck. Tbh, labels are really just for the rest of the society, they’re not really for individuals. Labels exist only to explain shit we really shouldn’t have to explain, like who we love or what we identify as. Labels should just be for fashion, food, and meds lol. I mean, they’re just there to put all of us in boxes, or to explain stuff most people don’t understand.
What is your role in the fashion & beauty industry?
Right now I’m an influencer. But that’s a cringy word INFLUENCER, eww who says that. I hate saying it, but it’s what the industry would consider me. I’m a beauty blogger, makeup artist, and fashion model. People follow me for my looks, my makeup, and my vibes.
Do you think the fashion & beauty industry has helped you cope with your identity and how you see yourself?
For sure. Both the beauty and fashion industry have helped me express and even accept myself. It has helped me connect with other people like me. The fact that we have all this fashion and beauty content at our fingertips is amazing. It has given me the chance to create my own space and express myself. Also, my parents have helped me a lot with all of this. They accept me in every way.
Do you have any feelings towards how the process of accepting people like yourself in the fashion and beauty industry has been so slow?
It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I get it’s a generational issue. It’s what older generations know, and we can’t force views on them. At the same time, I’m angry at how slow the process is, but I see the change constantly and we have been moving forward for sure. I just feel we have to continue working and focusing on ourselves in order for the change to continue. Slowly but surely, right?
Why do you think it has taken so long for big brands to start breaking with the norm?
The market, their clients, the consumer. Big brands have to cater to a certain type of crowd and they haven’t been able to do that because the market hadn’t changed before. Now, there are more people like me out there and we are a new market, we’re growing. Everything is changing. It’s really exciting to see how it’s all progressing.
Do you think that specifically here, in Puerto Rico, there’s still an issue with beauty brands and fashion designers accepting androgynous, queer and trans people?
Ummm… DEFINITELY. People here aren’t ready. I’ve reached out to a lot of people to work and collaborate but yeah.. still waiting lol. The industry here is not ready to accept people like me, even though they act like they do, cause they do act like they do, but they’re not.
Apart from this specific industry, what are your feelings toward the rest of the society and how they see a person so “out there” and “risqué” like yourself?
I’ve gotten used to the glances, the stares, the comments. It comes with the territory of being androgynous and also with being an influencer. I dress like this cause this is me and well, I feel comfortable but it is kind of frustrating that the society still wants to put people in boxes just because they don’t understand something or someone. I’m not the norm, and I don’t want to be. This movement, and people being more and more comfortable with not being put in a box is fairly new, in a way.
Who are some people that have inspired you when creating your image and personal brand?
I feel like it has all been Instagram tbh. I find really random people all the time and I identify with their looks, and how they portray themselves. It has given me the confidence needed. I get a lot that my vibe and style is kind of like a Marilyn Manson and David Bowie kinda look, but tbh I have always been influenced by regular people, people I usually follow on social media.
How has Social Media helped you with all of this?
Social Media is so broad and has so many different people that I don’t feel the need to stay within the people I know. I can follow and see people all around the world. It has helped me evolve so much with my looks. Now I feel comfortable using a lot of things because social media has helped me do that. I’m bombarded with inspirations all the time and it helps me unleash my creativity constantly.