Get to know the Urbody Community Collective! Read on for the full interview with Keiko.
Please share your name, pronouns, and a bit about yourself:
I’m Keiko (they/he), a 23 year old multifaceted artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. I work in fashion and drag design and performance, creating from a perspective of Blackness, queerness, neurodivergence, and disability.
What shows or movies are you binge-watching?
Recently I have been watching and re-watching Our Flag Means Death, of course! I have also been really into Abbott elementary.
What are you doing in your free/leisure time?
When I have some downtime, I’m usually playing Animal Crossing or Splatoon 2! Those are just about the only video games I’m coordinated enough to play.
Do you have any daily/morning/evening rituals? If so, walk us through them?
With chronic illness, my ability fluctuates pretty often, so it’s tough to stick to a routine. Nowadays I often play a bit of Animal Crossing in the morning and complete my daily tasks there, just to wake up my brain before I start creating for the day.
What's your favorite food/meal?
I’ve always loved sushi, even after becoming vegetarian. I’ve found I enjoy a greater variety of vegetarian sushi, and I think it’s easier to make at home with just vegetables and tofu. We make it at home when we can, but if a restaurant has a vegetable tempura roll, I’ll probably get two.
How do you use clothing & fashion to express and affirm who you are (or manage gender dysphoria)?
I think my understanding of my own gender is fairly abstract, but I do like to sculpt myself into different shapes, so to speak. If you asked me to draw my gender, it would probably look a lot like my colorful clothes, all neon pink and green triangles and circles. When I do drag, I twist and flip those shapes around, invert those colors, and that’s my way of bending my own gender in a very theatrical sense. Binding or compressing my chest is one of the main ways I reshape my form to my liking, but there are plenty of other points of articulation! Change up the waist or neckline of an outfit, add layers or belts to cut a new silhouette, accessorize to polish the vibe: every element is a brushstroke on my body-canvas.
What's one of your guilty pleasures?
I don’t really understand the concept of guilty pleasures. I don’t feel guilty for doing things I like (sometimes just my timing).
What do you do for self-care and self-love?
My greatest self-care and self-love practices are to rest when my body demands and to forgive my body and mind for things beyond their capacity or control. Both are easier said than done, but it’s a process.
Tell us about a few things you are looking forward to in the coming months/year.
I’m most looking forward to moving this summer! It’s exhausting, stressful, and expensive, and disability multiplies all that by a hundred, but it’ll be worth it to have space to spread my wings.
Why did you decide to be part of the Community Collective?
These last few years have shown me that more is possible through community than I had ever thought before! Connecting with other folks like me opened up a world of resources and I’ve been able to see that we can live more happily and authentically when we support each other. I joined the Community Collective because I believe in strengthening my community through freedom of expression through fashion, and that comfort and confidence should go hand in hand!