Discovering the boy in front of the camera, Reece King talks confidence, self-empowerment, and never backing down from controversy.
Interviewed by Colin Anderson
This issue encompasses self-expression, individuality, and acceptance. Myself, following you for several years now, would like to know about the evolution of who Reece King is. I think often times people like yourself build a large fan base of support, and in your case a diverse one at that, but begin feeling limited or trapped in what sides of themselves they can show off, how vulnerable they are willing to be, etc. Have you ever felt the need to censor yourself to fit a certain mold, or do things only because you think that is what people want to see?
"I think like anyone who gets into this social media situation regardless of if it’s on purpose or by accident, eventually learns that no matter what, you will always have people not liking you for reasons due to themselves, and not actually you."
"I have had to sometimes censor some parts of myself and my life, because by not doing so in the past I have seen how far and cruel people will take things. I learned very quickly I am happier not posting everything and holding onto some privacy. No amount of likes and followers can make me change that. I taught myself how to control this situation, and even times got wrapped up in it, but I'm 100% myself in real life which is far more important than social media."
“You will always have people not liking you for reasons due to themselves, and not actually you.”
When I look at the images from your spread, I feel a sense of care-free empowerment, but also someone who isn’t afraid to take Risks. Is that something you’ve had to grow into, or have you always had a great sense of confidence?
"Confidence is definitely something I've had to teach myself. My confidence when I was younger in my school years was on and off, as I was just content in my own little bubble. With age, growth, and experiencing life I just realized how important it is to silence all the noise around you no matter how loud or obnoxious it can be, and just listen to what YOU want, regardless of how crazy or different it is. If it’s what you want, you have to be able to go for it and express yourself. I’ve learned you can’t be worried about who you offend, and you can’t allow yourself to be insecure by the insecurities of others that they can try to project on you."
Recently, you released a series of photos that went viral (as usual), that had tons of praise for obvious reasons due to sex appeal and breaking gender norms, but also had lots of people confused or unamused. I think with almost any person who takes Risks, whether it be in fashion or elsewhere, they usually encounter criticism or backlash. Does that affect you, and if so, what is your response? (Side note: To those who don’t approve, just wait until they see this spread. Haha.)
"I am lucky enough to be a fairly strong person now, so I can analyze all sides of unwanted opinions and not be truly devastated if someone doesn't like something I do or who I am. I kind of enjoy controversy because it creates conversation and makes people see things that are not what we are force fed 24/7, 365 days a year. It's a reminder that we don't have to be normal, or stay in that normal realm if we don't feel like we belong there. It's empowering to do something that can seem so simple or little, but yet affect so many people on an extreme scale."
"At the end of the day, I am a human being, so of course having people insult my sexuality and creativity sucks, especially when they take it to the point of no longer being mad at the picture, but deeper angrier hateful views on a human living their life. It’s sad people can't accept all other parties, but I stay away from bad energy like that because it feels too good to be me, and the party I fit with."
“You can’t allow yourself to be insecure by the insecurities of others that they can try to project on you.”
What do people not know about Reece King that you would like them to know or understand about you?
"I would want people to know I'm just a normal person with a story like everyone else trying to make life better for the people I love, and myself."
"But I could also say that I'm so at peace with myself I wouldn't mind what people know or not know. It’s all about intentions. If someone wants to think I'm a nice person they will do so, research, or actually show interest on learning about who I am. If someone doesn’t, and wants to perceive me as a bad person, then that’s what they'll do straight away, so I just focus on my actions and words, and make sure I'm proud of myself above anyone else."
What is something that you hope to achieve in your career that you’ve yet to do? Is there still things you are afraid to do, or explore?
"Funny enough last year I did a Q&A on Twitter, and someone asked this question, and my reply was that I wanted to achieve landing my first cover in 2017. I think it’s safe to say right now I did that, which is super uplifting for myself and anyone who gets labelled not the average or an underdog."
"I don't think I'm that afraid of anything to the point that I wouldn't try it and see how I feel. I have my moments of being insecure more than people would like to think, but I gather so much strength from myself and prove myself wrong, and it’s the best feeling to do so. I would definitely love to explore acting a lot more, as that’s one of the main things on my to do list."
What is the end goal for Reece King, not only in career, but life.
"Well I actually have this thing where I make myself refuse the typical 'where do you see yourself in 10 years' questions because I don't put that stress on myself, and would rather just enjoy freely going with flow and not knowing exactly what’s going to happen, even within the next year or two, because to be honest, most of us don’t know. Life just has a way of happening, we just get carried with it, so it’s ok not to know."
Photographer Florian Joahn Styling Jean Paul Paula Set Design Alun Davies Hair & Makeup Marina Belfon-Rose Stylist Assistant Stephan George