Pride month is here! At Boody, we celebrate every gorgeous body and our Mother Earth daily, but June gave us an incredible reason to bring together three talented Boody fans for a photo shoot where they bared their Boody looks and their feelings on what Pride means to them.
Watch the video below to learn how these influencers embrace their most authentic selves this month and every month.
Meet Robby Arroyo-Smith
TikTok star Robby Arroyo-Smith is a former college football player, a proud Puerto Rican, and a personal trainer in Los Angeles. He’s also a model, queer advocate, and he’s singlehandledly trying to bring back the Black Eyed Peas for Summer 2022 (we’re with him!).
Robby, you primarily found your audience through TikTok during the pandemic. How has that following impacted how you feel connected to the queer community?
Growing up very religious and playing sports in college, I wasn’t around queer people. Even when I came out, I hung out with a bunch of straight people. When I got into TikTok, I was immersed into a world of new people, concepts, and ideas when it came to gender and sexuality. I realized there were more communities in the queer community that were different than what is presented in mainstream media.
You live a very active lifestyle. You’re a surfer, you’re outdoors. How does sustainability factor into your day-to-day decisions?
Being around the ocean all the time, you see trash. You see how dirty the water gets after a rain in LA. It’s important to me with fashion to always go to thrift stores and find sustainable clothing. I love Mother Nature and I keep in mind the repercussions of buying a latte in a cup, buying new clothes.
What’s your favorite Boody item you’ve been living in?
I love them all! They’re all so soft, they feel so good on the skin. My favorite is the underwear. I’m really particular and it’s so soft, it feels like a nice hug!
Meet George Todd Mclachlan
George Todd Mclachlan is a non-binary actor, model, and long time BOODY fan, better known as GTM. They're a force on Instagram and recently released a new single on Spotify. They continuously push the envelope and they’re fans love they’re incredible, over-the-top style.
You have a look and a vibe that’s distinct to who GTM is, but what inspires you and how do you bring a vision to life?
I honestly have to say there’s a lot that inspires me from magazine to commercials to music to animals to just day-to-day life but ultimately I feel inspired and empowered by my queer peers and my trans women and men around me who are authentically themselves, able to live their lives expressively and without any boundaries. I love people who push boundaries and I’m inspired by my queer family.
How did you find confidence to own this strong and unique identity from such a young age?
I definitely always had the confidence from a young age, I just wasn’t my fully realized self, my authentic self. It took a long time to find my own inner confidence and self expression in being a non-binary individual, wearing what I want to wear, not worrying what other people think, wearing the makeup I want to wear, the clothing, shopping in the women’s section. I had to take my time, but eventually when I got there, I felt like I was not only presenting authentically, but living authentically. It was a process but for anyone out there who is struggling to be their fully realized self, there is no timeline or boundary or cage around you. As soon as you’re ready to jump into the waters, it’s your time.
You’re a fashion icon and you live yourself to the most. How do you balance expressing yourself with focusing on sustainability and sustainable consumption?
It’s at the forefront of my mind when I’m shopping. I typically only thrift — Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads, Bearded Beagle, anywhere I can get the best fit for the least hit on my budget and our ecosystem and planet Earth is ideal. I’m not into fast fashion, though I’ve been a Shein girl or a Zara doll, but I do find that I have more fun and feel more stylish in clothing that’s been worn together, with stories and events to tell. I have no idea where they’ve been, but I know whoever walked in these clothes before was stylish, fashionable, and amazing. There’s something so magical about putting on a leather jacket that’s been worn for a couple decades. It gives you a superpower.
What’s one hope you have for the next generation of queer identifying people?
To just live completely authentically yourself. Don’t let stereotypes or society define who you are.
What’s the one Boody item you always reorder?
I’m a Libra, I love every piece! The best part about Boody is I can shop in any section, whether it’s men’s or women’s, I feel comfortable in every piece. It makes me feel included and it’s inclusive. If I had to pick, I’d choose the Boody shorts. They’re so comfortable. I work out in them every single day. I do hot yoga, dancing. They’re also a really great loungewear piece. As soon as I hop out of the shower, I put on a pair of Boody shorts.
Mali is a model with a strong connection to her indigenous roots, and she’s also an active advocate for the queer community. She found her voice through TikTok and opened her identity as a lesbian woman to the world. Now, she brings her vibrant personality and fun sense of humor to her millions of followers.
Mali, you found your platform primarily through TikTok, which has been amazing to visually connect with your audience. How has being able to amplify your identity impacted your work?
It’s connected me to other queer creatives, which I absolutely love. In high school, I was not surrounded by that diversity. TikTok pushed me into those spaces that had been difficult for me to get into. I went to a private Catholic girls’ high school where sometimes I was the only brown woman in the room, and TikTok helped me transition from being in a bubble where I didn’t feel comfortable to express myself or be myself, I was very much closeted in my identity as a woman of color and a queer woman. TikTok helped me find comfort in a virtual community. It impacted my personal work, accepting my identity, and inspiring others to do the same.
How do you stay connected to the real world? Do you have movement or spiritual practices that renew you?
I grew up around a lot of indigenous practices through my mom. During COVID, moving to LA, and not being around her, that impacted me a lot. I missed her and she’s battling cancer. Definitely having personal meditations, burning sage, indigenous practices, palo santo, and taking care of myself and my spiritual being as well, has helped me stay in the present. I’ve had a lot of difficulties with being away and in a new environment, and these practices help me stay present.
How does sustainability and respecting Mother Earth play a part in your daily life?
When I was younger, I was accidentally sustainable! I had a single mom who was supporting her kids, so there was lots of thrifting and hand-me-downs. We didn’t have a big carbon footprint. I became used to not being a big consumer to save money and resources. As I became an adult, I learned more about how to not only support brands who respect Mother Earth but to be conscious of my buying power. Now I’m in the financial state to put my money behind something I believe in.
What’s the one Boody item you always reorder?
I love the yoga pants that flare out! I love those so much. But also the nude colors of the bras and underwear come in so many different sizes and colors, and they complement my skin tone. I’m loving the activewear, underwear, and bralettes.
Meet Max Bronner
The incredibly talented photographer behind our Pride shoot is none other than Max Bronner. A fashion, beauty, and portrait photographer, as well as a member of the queer community, his portfolio includes splashy portrayals full of movement, fun, and color.
You’ve photographed incredible models, influencers, and celebrities! Who have been some of the most fun on set?
Besides for today, which was iconic. I’ve photographed Gigi Good, she’s one of my very close friends, love her, she’s an angel. Simone from Drag Race. I recently shot Necey Nash, and I’m obsessed with her. She just came out recently and she’s such an icon and a queen.
Many of your subjects are right at home in front of the camera, however you do such an amazing job making people feel comfortable and open. How do you do it to get those incredible shots?
Being in front of the camera is so awkward! It’s an uncomfortable situation, all eyes are on you. It’s just not normal. It’s an energy exchange so I have to channel this calming energy and translate, without saying any words, “It’s okay. At the end of the day, it can be deleted.” That’s when people are the most vulnerable. You have to create a safe space for people to be their authentic selves.
Your work is so vibrant and artistic. How was it shooting with Boody today?
The product shoots gorgeous! So often with undergarments, the flash is harsh and sees through it. None of that happened today. It was so wonderful to shoot. It was so seamless and effortless. You can tell it’s high quality product.
Where do you get inspiration from being one of the top queer photographers in Los Angeles?
I get inspired by people! For me, anytime I take a photo, I want to tell a story. Being able to look at someone and tell a story is what inspires me and keeps me going.
How does your queerness affect your work?
By shooting and being queer myself, I’m able to meet people where they’re at.
What does Pride mean to you?
Robby: Looking back as a kid and not being around a space where queer people were in my world at all, and then seeing glimpses of it, I think it’s important that we’re still reminded even though we’re living in our queerness, I wish I could talk to myself as a 12 year old to tell them there’s space for you and that you shouldn’t be ashamed of who you are.
GTM: Pride to me is living authentically through your own self expression and being uniquely you, and not listening to negative voices or opinions. You only have one time to shine in this life. Do it all. Wear it all. Be it all. Anything you want to do or be is totally achievable and accessible. It’s all about pride in your existence and the skin you’re in. It’s all about living the life you want for yourself. I always wanted to be the artist and the queer identity that wasn’t there for me growing up. A lot has changed and there’s still a lot of work to do, but I find the pride within myself
Mali: Pride for me emphasizes the idea of courage. Courage doesn’t mean you have a lack of fear or aren’t scared. It’s knowing you have that fear but you’re choosing to push through it. It’s being your authentic self and doing the things you want to do.