Who we are is describable only in relation to who we once were, who we might be, the world at large, and others –– friends, lovers and strangers. In all that we do and all that we are, there is both duality and balance. And within them, and ourselves, beauty.
In our new editorial series, Duality & Balance, we explore the relationships that define us and teach us what beauty can really be, in this world and perhaps the next. Here Quinton and Charlie, friends and collaborators, examine duality, balance and beauty through images and words.
What is beauty?
Q: Beauty is subjective yet still somehow fluid. Even my own perception of beauty changes from moment to moment. There is beauty in confidence and there is beauty in vulnerability.
C: I agree, I think beauty is captured in moments. When I’m shooting I aim to capture specific movements and emotions that appear most honest or natural.
Where does it come from, where can one find it?
Q: Moments of care, moments of sadness, moments of revelation. Beauty is nothing you can actively seek, I think you have to surrender to it.
C: Beauty comes from purity. It is found by diving into your purest thoughts and emotions.
“There is beauty in empowering others to be more comfortable with their bodies, their minds and their place in the world as well.” – Charlie
How is beauty power?
C: As a woman, power is a constant practice I’ve worked on my entire life. I feel that beauty and power are both about being unapologetically yourself. There is beauty in empowering others to be more comfortable with their bodies, their minds and their place in the world as well.
How can beauty be corrupted?
Q: I think the very concept of commercialized beauty and its connection to physical appearance has already corrupted our understanding of what it means to be a beautiful person.
C: Society’s sexualization of nudity and appearance in general corrupts the beauty of humanity.
When did you first come to think of beauty?
Q: Watching my younger sister and my mother grow into the women they are now.
C: I found beauty in myself through dance and movement. I was a dancer my whole life and that expression fostered an acceptance of my body that I cherish.
How does beauty evolve?
Q: Beauty standards evolve with greater knowledge, acceptance and empathy.
C: Beauty can evolve internally throughout your life. It is a process to grow and accept yourself as beautiful.
A beauty ritual or trick you cannot live without?
Q: Crying regularly. I’m a triple Pisces.
C: Lip balm.
How is beauty found in duality?
Q: There are elements of duality in every aspect of the human condition. To love you must lose, to learn you must originally be ignorant. The beauty of life lies within its contradictions.
C: I think there is beauty in the consideration and acknowledgment of all the elements or sides to people and ideas.
Does duality exist in you?
Q: Absolutely. As a gay man I think I confront duality a lot in my understanding of masculinity and identity in general. A lot of men struggle with toxic notions of what it means to be “a man.” I’ve never subscribed to those ideas consciously, but often times I catch myself.
C: I am a feminist that does not believe in perpetuating patriarchal notions of women, yet I still wear high heels every day. Accepting the dualities within myself allows me to be more confident.
Where else have you found duality in the world?
Q & C: The current state of the world feels full of contradictions politically, socially and otherwise. We’ve been striving to be more actively aware of the dualities and intricacies that greatly affect the people around us in reaction.
Finish this sentence: “Duality reminds me of…”
“There are elements of duality in every aspect of the human condition. To love you must lose, to learn you must originally be ignorant. The beauty of life lies within its contradictions.” – Quinton
Why do we care so much about balance?
Q: I think it’s important to balance your interests, your time and your relationships. If you are conscious about how you spread your energy, you can be more present and intentional in all the facets of your life.
C: Having balance in your life ultimately makes you a healthier person.
How does balance define our lives?
Q & C: We are what we do (and don’t do).
Is there balance in you? How, or what does it look like?
Q: Balance looks like staying home when I need to reconnect with myself. It looks like putting on a cute outfit and getting a martini when I miss my friends. It’s also in my understanding of my white, male privilege in relation to others.
C: Balance is in the proportions of my body. It’s in the ingredients of my juice in the morning (kale to apple ratio, etc). It’s in the amount of time I allow myself on the internet. Its in my relationships with older, younger, and relatively similar age ranges to my experience.
Where in the world can you find a most harmonious balance?
Q: Honestly, I find a lot of balance in my relationship with Charlie. We’ve lived and worked together for a long time. It hasn’t always been as seamless as it is today, but the process of finding the balance between the way we individually process emotion has taught me a lot about who I am and how I affect others. She is really good at balancing her needs with her surroundings.
C: I enjoy cooking for my friends. I love the balance of creating a meal for my own pleasure, and then sharing it with my loved ones.
Fill in the blanks: “Balance is to beauty, what _________ is to __________”
Q: what pearls are to oysters (difficult to find, but the ultimate reward).
C: what children are to mothers.
TALENTQuinton Mulvey: Creative Consultant & Stylist