What Does Bold & Beautiful Look Like? Poet Nakiah Williams Has Answers
Bold & beautiful looks like changing outfits fifty times and being honest when you don’t feel your best, Setting boundaries,
Eyeliner a mess—running in the wrong direction,
Mascara triggering eye like a visual acuity test,
Correcting the pronunciation of my name—Na-ki-ah, Telling these men and women two can play that game,
Reciting poetry to a lover I thought was the one,
Sex with no covers; with is no fun,
Wanting no parts of past lovers because I’m too busy loving me,
Looking for the source of self-regard,
Not apologizing for being odd, Accountability as an all about love language, Gratitude as a source of payment,
Megan knees made out of prayer,
Being blessed and highly favoured,
Being present enough to savour the moment and wear the sunlight as highlight, Highlighting the glow of those around me because they be the moonlight.
They be all crooked smile, smile lines, lines blurred, blurred eyes,
Eyes crossed, crossed dressed, dressed award, awkwardness,
Missing and gap teeth like wages,
Body scars transcending ages and ancestries,
Unemployed celestial beings laughing contagiously.
They be bi-polar disorder,
Depression, anxiety, autism, apraxia, aphasia, Generational trauma.
They ain’t always on or fine or benign or kind.
They be morning inspiration and my greatest inspiration.
Ready to have unconventional vanity conversations.
Always elevating, climbing, moving upward.
They be the movement in tune with freedom and strength and resilience.
To be bold and beautiful is brilliance.
Not caring of being beautiful at all,
It’s moving through your downfall like it’s a runway,
It’s knowing when a feeling has overstayed its welcome and getting shit done anyway, Bold & beautiful feels like the last five weeks of twenty-nine,
Realizing that in order to be fine I had to change my perspective and not my mind,
Sounds like amplifying voices with no interjections because we said what we said, Sounds like marching with the future we manifested ahead,
Sounds like rain overhead and we ain’t afraid to get wet,
Living a life with no regrets cause God ain’t done with us yet,
We be bold and beautiful before we get dressed,
Arms be open doors for clothes but closed minds don’t get addressed.
Bold and beautiful be Baldwin.
Be ballroom scene. Be queen. Be queer. Be unapologetic. Be Black. Be Latinx. Be AAPI. Be white. Be cream. Be coco brown. Be every colour, shape, and size.
Be life path 1-9. Be him. Be her. Be they. Be Brooklyn. Be Art. Be allyship.
Be servant leadership. Be fashion. Be friendship. Be phenomenal. Be freckle and fickle. Be ugly when it wants to be.
Taken from Issue 54 of 10 Men – BOLD & BEAUTIFUL – is out NOW. Order your copy here.
HERE AND NOW
Photographer Delwin Kamara
Fashion Editor Cornelius Lafayette
Videographer Gabriella Clifford
Hair Kabuto Okuzawa at The Wall Group
Make-up Hinako using MAC Cosmetics
Models Diego Rojas at Bri’geid Models, Coltrane Ferrer at Stopolivi and By Margeaux, Colt Hartman at Marilyn Agency New York, Keith, Tink, Chad J at Bri’geid Modelsand Bridge Models, Faith Vaughn at APM Models New York, Angeer Amol at Kollektiv MGMT, Fabiana at Systems Agency, Aheem at IMG Models, Dame, Justin T, and Slick
Casting Trevor Swain at Trevor Swain Casting
Photographer’s assistant Tyler Henry
Fashion assistants Chernisse Butcher, Anfernee Smart, Kristtian Chevere
Hair assistant Kazu Katahira
Make-up assistant Emma Ando
Production Lauren Stocker
Production Assistant Laura Biba
Videographer Gabriella Clifford
Shot at Waterfront Studios Bk
Thanks to Eric Soucy Style