At the end of the day, something we all want to achieve in life, is to say that we have made a mark on someone; imagine having done that by the age of 8. As a parent, the absolute responsibility is to protect your child as they forge their own path. There are certain things, like touching the stove or rolling around in mud, that a child will want to do through their curiosity. How will it feel? Will it make me happy? The parent will then analyse the situation and either allow or prevent them from doing that action. Now, what if a child picks up a toy that is not associated with their gender?
It’s Gay Pride and amongst the parade of people embracing who they are with absolute liberation and total peace, an eight year old boy twirls his skirt amongst the colourful atmosphere. Here, we meet Desmond. He commands the celebration in expressive movements that come from being who he is, not what he feels he should be. For Issue 10, amazing photographer Danielle Levitt captures Desmond with his fearless personality through bold styling and poses with all the sassy attitude you need to give you life. Boys By Girls look for people who are nothing but themselves and applaud them with all of our creative cheer.
As a child, I always played with Barbies and span around in my sisters dresses, because I wanted to be just like her. My mum let me do this, and would take pictures of me in my best Cinderella dress and blonde wig. I would put a Barbie in my Action Man car and take her on an adventure (all while being dressed as a princess), and my family let me do this, because it was what I wanted to do. It didn't cause me pain and it made me happy; for this, I thank my family.
Sometimes, doing what makes us happy places us on a path away from the norm of society. So many people hide away for years, forcing themselves to be someone else, just because they don’t want to be different. Why do people find such peace in destroying what they feel is unnatural? Through breaking the traditional standards, we bring about greater acceptance. Silence the voices that have been put into your head that stop you from doing what you want to do.
A day came where I put down the things that made me happy and picked up things that aligned with what I thought I had to be. I felt forced to be something that I wasn’t. 12 years later and I feel confident enough to bring back that inner princess. How? I stopped caring about what was and wasn’t 'natural'. Desmond has completely inspired me, and I am certain that he has inspired so many others too. For this, I thank you Desmond. Never stop being yourself. I also thank his mother, for never compromising his happiness. And thank you Danielle, for allowing Desmond to express himself. Desmond is a muse to a new generation of people of acceptance.
To view this absolutely stunning 10-page feature and embark on a journey that searches to define the term ‘Muse’, pick up Issue 10 which is available online and in selected stores now.
Photography DANIELLE LEVITT
Fashion KAT TYPALDOS
Producer STEPHANIE PORTO
Hair AMY FARID
Make-up MARK EDIO at See Management
Set Design LAUREN NIKROOZ
Model DESMOND NAPOLES
Words by Tim Sprague.