Intro for June 27, 2016
Almost exactly five years ago, I opened this blog with a post about how much I loved the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Bill Cunningham passed away on Saturday in New York, just before the start of the final week of Pride Month and Sunday’s Pride Parade in NYC, an event he photographed and celebrated, not just once a year but all year long. Three years ago, The Cut published a lovely article about Bill Cunningham’s Big Gay Heart, calling him “an incognito activist who has celebrated gay pride week after week”.
Many people remembered Bill Cunningham this weekend for his work ethic, a fashion philosophy that could not be compromised or corporatised. But he’s also being remembered for his commitment to diversity. Bill Cunningham’s camera did not have a hierarchy filter. As Hilton Als writes in The New Yorker, Bill Cunningham Saw Us All, “(h)is camera made black beauty and female beauty democratic”.
I thought about Bill Cunningham when I saw EJ Johnson on the carpet last night at the BET Awards. EJ is the son of Magic and Cookie Johnson. His new show on E!, EJNYC, premiered a couple of weeks ago, showcasing EJ’s own coverage of New York City, with a different kind of camera following him around town, but there may be a common purpose, as EJ told Kelley L Carter for The Undefeated:
“The world is changing so much and it’s moving in the right direction — for the most part. I want to be a part of that. I’m trying to live my life in a way that pushes us towards a more progressive future. I think that’s what I’m here to do. I don’t think [reality TV] should just be purely entertainment and crazy and drama and pulling weaves and throwing glasses at people. It should also be a way to teach people about what’s unique and special about your life.”
I wish I could wear this outfit as uniquely as he does. His entire wardrobe, actually.
Yours in gossip,
Jason LaVeris/ David Livingston/ Paras Griffin/ BET/ Getty Images