the inmyskin project series & ari fitz.
one: What is your name and where are you located?
a - ari fitz. i’m currently between oakland and los angeles, ca.
two: What do you feel is your calling in life?
a - Making the unknown, known. Making the unseen, seen. i've worked in media and entertainment for a while now both behind and in front of the camera. As a dark-skinned black queer androgynous person, visibility in media is important to me. I run TOMBOYISH, a web series and Instagram account for “tomboy” style, because I didn’t see the kind of masculinity that I celebrate in myself and my friends anywhere else. It’s all about visibility to me. Visibility as about seeing more people that look like you highlighted and celebrated. This breeds a sense of confidence in young people that can translate into them going after anything they set their heart to. So yes, that.
three: When did you realize your self-worth and how has this journey of self-discovery been for you? What have you learned the most about yourself?
a - It’s been a rough one. It’s taken me a very long to feel comfortable, to feel worthy of love, worthy of success, worthy of a lot of things because of the way I look - rather the way I don’t look. Unfortunately, as a “ woke” black person you spend a lot of your days unpacking. Unpacking the concept of beauty, unpacking the concept of success, and so on. If you Google “beautiful woman” or “beautiful man", you won’t see us and that’s a very unsettling thing to swallow, especially when that’s reaffirmed for you in the real world. I had to unpack that for myself and every day I have to remind myself of my worth. So to answer the question, what I learned is I had to be patient with myself and not beat myself up over sometimes getting caught in the fuckery that is image politics.
four: How has your struggles helped you to become a better woman?
a - When it comes to body image, I’m just nicer to myself. I’m at ease and comfortable with the way I look. That ease and calmer sense of self helps me uplift other people so shoutout to my struggles for that!
five: Who or what motivates you to create?
a - I get asked this question a lot and I never have a good answer. I think the motivation to create is just innate for me, it’s a need. I have to be making something at all times or my life feels pretty dull.However, I think I gained and learned a lot about work ethic from my single mom who raised us. In some ways, I think I work to validate her struggle.
six: What is your long time passion in life?
a - Long term term passion is to make others feel like they can do anything they want. Because I know I can. The way we see ourselves can be the primary blocker in our ability to rise. I want to create a lot of things. I see big things for TOMBOYISH as a media platform. I see being things for myself in front of the camera. Those who watch me on YouTube know that my dream to to ultimately write, produce and direct movies. So, there is no one direction for me as a creative. The thing that is long term is I will always create and I will always work to inspire confidence in others through what I create.
seven: If you could give any tips or advice to the young girls and women around the world who suffer with loving and accepting who they are, what would you say?
a - Be nice and love that girl you see in the mirror. The entire world will tell that girl, that girl you see in the mirror, that she’s not good enough. So when you see her in your reflection, remind her she’s great and worthy of it all.
Are there any social media links that you'd like to share, if so please do not hesitate to leave the links down below.
a - Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter - @itsarifitz. Find me on YouTube - youtube.com/itsarifitz, Find the TOMBOYISH project on YouTube - youtube.com/TOMBOYISH & Find the TOMBOYISH on Instagram - @the.tomboyish