Ari Fitz, full time youtuber and content creator and model – part time living room dancer has created waves through social media and has been on fire since she decided to experiment with her Androgynous appearance. Recently we got a chance to sit down with her to get some thoughts on the current climate in gender discussion, what she’s realized about herself after all these years and how she’s keeping herself balanced. Downstairs in Mercer Kitchen in Soho Ari sat with a black beanie , black Lion King Tee and a Asos reptile textured skort paired with white Buffalos from Asos too of course. She smiles from ear to ear even though she admits the start of her day wasn’t ideal and shes been feeling a bit of a creative funk. She ordered a glass of Rozay and spoke on the comments she gets from fans and supporters.
“Its so weird people telling me they grew up watching my stuff. I’m like A. How old am I? B. I never really think about how my work can affect other people. When I make my work , first it’s for me. Its Therapeutic.” Ari explains as our waiter places our dishes on the table.
The tall and daring vlogger took on the role as activist after speaking out on incidents she would experience in her everyday life. In a 2016 video Ari details a story of a man hitting on her. After one of the guys friends questions if Ari is actually a women or not, he switches his game plan and began spewing vicious hate words while chasing and demanding that Ari explain herself in order to save his masculinity. Currently Ari goes by She/He/Daddy. She embraces any confusion and mis-gendering.
“I play the role,” Ari Laughs “if they say hey sir, my voice will get deeper and I’ll play into it. To me Gender is just play anyway. I don’t really care too much about it. The switch up is fun for me. I love my performance as much as hopefully anyone else. It’s fun to see how masculine or feminine I can get and then they react to it.”
We spoke about her project “Tomboyish” which acted as a safe space for queer fashion lovers. She teamed up with ASOS to provide prom outfits for women identifying students. But Ari wasn’t always in front of the camera. She was the head of marketing for brands that we use everyday as well as her own creative agency years after she received her degree in marketing. After countless situations and complaints from these companies to narrow her ideas she opened up to the idea that she wasn’t meant to be behind the scenes .
“I didn’t like the idea of having to entertain because I was a black person.” Ari says about hiding her love to be in front of the camera.“I realized that I really enjoy performing.”
Ari took advice from her family and headed out to LA to be apart of the MTV show Real World. From there she began considering herself as a creative and vlogged daily. This consistency would help her gain over 150k followers and supporters.
“What I try to do is give information about my life, but then talk about the lesson of it. Even if I make mistakes, I’m human. It’s all I have to offer.” – Ari Fitz
Viewers can practically see Ari grow up through these videos. She becomes more of her authentic self with each upload. Fitz is extremely honest with her content and reflects on the number of confessional videos she’s dropped on YouTube, when she gets into a creative rut. Currently you can find Ari drifting around both New York City and Los Angeles face full of Milk makeup, pulling looks from ASOS and Kenzo. Ari will always love the slow and loving vibe of California but is becoming a bit of New Yorker everyday.
“I love dating in New York! What?! The women are beautiful here! I don’t like that New York is sometimes synonymous with struggle though.” Ari on what she likes and dislikes about New York City .
Aris story is one that shows not just vulnerability but rebellion. She has to deal with the consequences of being so passionate. She recently decided to stop uploading her personal content to Instagram because they often flag and report her images. Fitz promotes body and sex positivity , gender fluidity and welcomes every part of the lgbt community. She understands that her views are important and takes her beliefs very serious and does not work with brands that don’t correlate with them. All this can take a load off and when asked how she manages stress Ari alluded to one of the world most common obsessions in music and film.
“There’s this age old thing that I don’t think people give enough weight. It’s weird that we all think about it but we don’t realize how powerful it is and I think if we approached it with open eyes they could feel themselves more.” Ari broke the suspense “Grabbing ass is therapeutic.”
We broke out in laughter, finished our glasses and asked for the bill to go shoot around Soho. It’s very obvious Ari has made an impact on this generation. Her voice remains a powerful source of understanding for many lgbt youth. Not afraid of trying new things Ari debates on her next couple moves, a invention? A book ? A album? Check up on her to see what they are !
Photos by: LEESY