Hope and Homelessness--Never give up on Personal Branding.
Photo via thecobrasnake
I saw this picture portraying a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, he had a pee pee accident as his dark yellow urine streamed down towards the star of a celebrity. I felt tons of emotions as my brain processed this digital image. Shame. Guilt. LOLability. Snarkfactor. Sadness. AmericanBeauty. Happiness. Loneliness. Fucksocietivity. Bloggy. Alive. Dead on the inside. Alone. Without a home. Metaphorical. This is the power of photography. A simple man who peed his pants in his sleep [via no home] can say so much about humanity, society, and the struggle 2 create a better life for urself.
The sad/beautiful image of the homeless man made me think of a recent post on the globally acclaimed streetfashion blog 'the Sartorialist' in which the photoblogger posted a picture of a coloured homeless man, then wrote an 'inspiring blurb'.
Photo and blurb by the Sartorialist:
I don't usually shoot homeless people. I don't find it romantic or appealing like a lot of street photographers, and if you asked homeless people they are probably not to happy about their situation either. That's why I was surprised to be so drawn to taking a picture of this gentleman.
I was being interviewed for an article in British Vogue; and while we walked down Bowery back in April I barely stopped walking when I took the shot. Fiona Golfar, the writer, asked why I took the photo. At that moment I couldn't really explain - but I just had a feeling about the power and grace of how he was sitting there. It wasn't until later that night when I was working on the image that I realized why I had noticed this man.
Usually people in this man's position have given up hope. Maybe this gentleman has too, I don't know, but he hasn't given up his sense of self or his sense of expressing something about himself to the world. In my quick shot I had noticed his pale blue boots, what I hadn't noticed at first were the matching blue socks, blue trimmed gloves, and blue framed glasses. This shot isn't about fashion - but about someone who, while down on his luck, hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style.
Looking at him dressed like this makes me feel that in some way he hasn't given in or given up.
Damn. The bloggerbro's inspirational blurb is actually kinda true... It's like even though you might be the poorest, most worthless, homeless guy in the world, it doesn't mean that u can't have a little bit of pride 2 make sure that your clothes match. Never give up. Every day, u have the opportunity to brand yourself--you have the opportunity to let the world know that you are a person, and within this person is a brand which the whole world can consume.
Homelessness is not a disease--homelessness is the product of a group of people who have no pride. A group of people who don't play by society's rules. A group of people living in some demented reality, no longer in touch with the availability of legitimate intrinsic rewards through the power of 'creating.your.own.image.' We must inspire the homeless so that they can inspire us to do more than to take artsy pix of them. It is easy for photographers to take pictures of homeless people because they usually look 'insane', 'urban', and as if society has shat upon them.
A lot of people say that homeless people should 'get a fucking job'--now I firmly believe that they would get a job if they dressed nicely, and treated people with respect. It seems like they could some how get a job at an investment bank, or perhaps a McDonalds, similar to the plotline of the popular Will Smith joint 'The Pursuit of Happyness.'
After reading that inspired blurb, it sort of makes me want to tell this guy to 'get his shit together', and 'have a little bit of pride.' U can't go around pissing on urself and wearing lame ass clothes if you really want to turn ur life around.
It doesn't matter if you can't control your bladder, or if you are mentally challenged, or if you are having 'terrible flashback dreams.' Every day, you need to take pride in yourself. You need to realize that your personal brand is being interpreted by every1 who sees you. Do you want to depress your viewers? Or do you want to inspire them? Be a valuable person--not just to yourself, but also to society as a whole.
This is a blog post about hope.