2LE by Radical - On Being Unapologetic
During our very first Q&A wave on Instagram, a curious follower asked me, “What exactly is Radical?”
My response was tongue-in-cheek at best, since for the most part Radical to me - the founder - is as organic and evolving as I am. I answered by posing somewhat of an existential question, “What are you?”
This exchange sparked an interesting discourse with my virtual peers, about the impact and influence of being unapologetic in answering others. The conclusion to which resulted in “2 cents” I knew I had to share with you, as the perfect introduction to 2LE by Radical.
The crux of our arguments began with some questions - How often have you felt the need to conform to a certain ideal? or to fit yourself into a label or metaphorical box? How often have you felt you owe others explanations, PC answers, or detailed retaliations about what you have or have not achieved?
We are inherently a species that seeks answers, and to be honest that is not what my business model was built on - Radical is a space for exploration of visual cultures, art, fashion and the complex creative societies of the MENA as they merge with the rest of the world.
Hip hop culture, pop culture and notoriously feminist and LGBTQ movements, talk extensively about practicing not giving a sh*t about what people say or think about you - Be unapologetically yourself. This does not by any means encourage bigotry, or lack of accountability, but rather it advocates authenticity. The reality is that this alluring concept of being unapologetic in your actions and words, is easier said than done – it takes grit. It’s an acquired skill, and requires you to zone out of people’s perceptions of you.
At first, it will shock everyone.
Questions will inevitably begin to arise like ... You really don’t care? You’re not sorry? You really said/did/posted those things, having known what reaction they would instill in others?
Our society, speaking specifically about Egyptian society in this piece, is harsh and yes it is judgmental. Examining the definition of the word at hand - being unapologetic is defined as not acknowledging or expressing regret (Webster, 2019). Therefore, I have found that this word when actioned, can be used as a powerful tool, to navigate through our restricted societal psyche.
This says to others, that you are someone who marches to the beat of their own drum, and you are not sorry about that. You won’t ever apologize for it.
Speaking from personal experience, I am a very private person who has put a very big part of myself online. My writings and my artistic vision. This rapid sense of continuous sharing created by social media, makes others feel as though they have the right to make a judgment on your character, or even worse on the parameters of your life. A very long time ago, I used to be quite apologetic. To put it simply, I cared. Really and truly about what people thought, if I were to hurt someone’s feelings with my actions, about the repercussions of my words, and about what was expected of me.
At the end of the day, I realized that people judge your actions irrespective of your intent. Waiting for flaws and rarely acknowledging breakthroughs, because that elusive world of genuine unprecedented success, that’s not about money or followers or acceptance - it’s about impact. The minute you start making an impact - even if your impact is on a tiny group of individuals - you’ll find money and followers, and everyone who ever questioned your actions in the process following suit.
Once you are impactful, to a great extent you’ve already succeeded. So you may as well, respectfully, not give a f*ck about what people think during your process. Because it is your process. You know what you want and no one else can really see that vision.
Having started this online magazine, I’ve learned a lot in the span of a very short amount of time, met a lot of people, and worked with an array of talents, all of whom profoundly practice one thing. The art of being unapologetic.
In that sense our version of giving you our 2 cents is channeled through this blog: 2LE by Radical.
This is post number one, of many more to come on here or on Instagram or even in person, of food for thought served with a pinch of salt.
So be unapologetic for a week. Try it. It’ll change your life.