feature photo courtesy of @oh_anthonio
A former structural engineer turned fashion and lifestyle content creator, Anthony is always reinventing his path in NYC. What started as an outlet to showcase his daily outfits through his online persona @oh_anthonio has now also become a way to advocate for social causes that matter most to him.
Where do you go to decompress? What does support look like for you?
Lately it’s been my yoga mat since we’ve all been spending more time at home with the pandemic. I try to do a quick yoga or pilates flow in the middle of my day. It really helps center me and then afterwards I come out feeling more relaxed and focused. When I’m able to I like leaving the city for a while and going somewhere outdoors - the beach or upstate for a weekend, or even home to my mom’s house in New Jersey. Being able to have space to roam freely, away from the distractions of Manhattan is definitely needed every few weeks so I can disconnect and recharge.
For me support is my network of loved ones. I’ve been video-chatting my family more often to keep in touch and having a lot more meaningful conversations with friends about what I’m going through and how I’m feeling.
What does vulnerability mean to you? How do you practice it?
Vulnerability to me means letting people in to your true self. A lot of times people tend to keep their guard up but that only prevents you from fostering deep connections with people. I’ve learned to be more vulnerable with those I love and trust, and for me that means being my authentic self around them. Expose your feelings and emotions. Share your experiences. Doing that allows people to really know you on a more meaningful level.
What's something that makes you feel desirable? What's something that makes you feel confident?
I feel most desirable when I’m needed by others. Like when a friend needs help or advice and they seek me out because they know I can be there for them. Being seen as dependable and loving makes me feel the most desired.
Confidence for me has always come from the personal satisfaction derived from achieving my goals no matter how big or small they may be. Whether it’s having a productive day or landing the next job, when the work I put into myself and my life manifests itself successfully you can’t help but feel proud and confident about that.
How has your sense of self evolved in the last 10 years?
In the past my sense of self was heavily tied to outside factors. I let the way others viewed me, what material things I possessed, what successes I’ve achieved define who I was because I was always looking for validation. Now, even in the last 4 months, I don’t care as much about those things. I’m looking inward more and my sense of self is driven by who I am as a person, the values I uphold, and my purpose. This new sense of self has really helped me grow as a person especially recently. I want to be kinder, more compassionate, and more helpful. That’s the way I want to see myself moving forward.
(If you feel comfortable answering), as an Instagrammer, do you confront any challenges with body image, even temporarily? How do you manage these? How do you deal with insecurities?
Absolutely. When you live out your life on social media, you open yourself up for critique. That definitely puts extra pressure on you to look your best at all times. Add to that the fact that social media is a large part of how you make your income, the connection between body image and financial success can become harmful. You want to look a certain way to appeal to more people’s standard of beauty and when I first started posting on social media I really let that affect my relationship with my body. I think it just took time, getting older, and realizing what’s important in life, to gain the confidence in myself to just look and present myself how I wanted. At a certain point I stopped comparing myself to others and prioritized my own happiness with how I looked.
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More tie dye click bait so keep reading! 😁 +++++ Guess it never occurred to me that you guys wanted to see more than just outfits but you also cared about what I have to say. As loud as my style usually is 🙈 my voice tends to be more soft spoken. 🙊 2020 went left realllll fucking quick but that just made me realize what matters most to me and I’m finally feeling comfortable sharing that on my platform. Whether you love it or hate it, whether it’s my outfit or my opinion, I’m glad we’re at least talking and I’m making you feel something. Let’s go deeper one post at a time! Love you guys and Happy Friday! 😘 ❤️
I love that you note in this caption that your followers care about your perspective just as much as, if not more than, they care about your outfits. What are some important issues you want to address with your platform?
When I first started blogging and Instagramming, it was very much all about me on the most surface level of what I was wearing, where I was going, who I was with, etc. More recently continuing in the same way just didn’t feel right. It lacked purpose and I was unhappy. There is so much going on right now. So much that I care about so why shouldn’t that be part of what I’m showcasing online. Most immediately I’m trying to do my part in speaking out against the racial injustice that has been happening in America, sharing information to educate myself and my followers and to ignite action. At the very least I hope posting regularly helps to normalize this kind of content so momentum doesn’t die down and fighting for equality is just a part of our daily lives from now on. Addressing the importance of the coronavirus pandemic is also top of mind for me. I have many loved ones including my mom working in hospitals so urging people to wear masks and be responsible is something I’ve been passionate about. I also started a fundraiser with one of my friends to help battle the PPE shortage for healthcare workers. If there’s one overarching theme I want to communicate with my platform, it’s that we are all human and it is our purpose in life to ensure each other’s success, happiness, and well-being. I think if I can remind people of that and get that message through to my audience then I can feel confident that I’m using my platform the right way.
What are your "red flags" in new ventures - whether it's new relationships, business partnerships, or creative collaborations?
I think in any relationship, business or personal, your core beliefs and values must align. I also believe that proper communication is a must. If you can’t be open to critique or other viewpoints, the relationship won’t work.
What's the most important goal you've ever set for yourself (and have you achieved it)?
My goal in life has always been to be successful. And that used to mean graduating college, having my own place, and finding a career that I love. For the most part I’ve achieved all those things but I’m working on a new goal for success. I want success in living a happy and meaningful life. This part is still a work in progress but I’m enjoying every bit of the journey.
What's the hardest feedback/criticism you've ever received? How did it affect you?
I could talk about professional experiences here but I think what hurts me the most is the criticism from my loved ones. I’ve been told a lot that I’m not “present.” This really upsets me because I know I want to be actively engaged and participating in the lives of my friends and family but I’ll admit that I let my job with social media get in the way. Living for social media and not in the present has harmed a lot of my past relationships so being present is something I’m actively working at all the time. It’s easy to make excuses for being on my phone “because I’m working” but I’m doing that a lot less now that I’ve set my priorities straight.
What kind of role model did you need when you were a child?
I would have loved to have an out and proud older gay male friend figure that I could see living authentically and freely. Someone to show me that it was okay to be myself and accept being gay at an early age so I didn’t have to live in the closet. Someone to show me that coming out would not be the end of the world and that I’d still have friends and family to support me.
What are three phrases or words that describe how the pink hair makes you feel?
Confident, free-spirited, and a little rebellious.
Is there anything else you want to share with the BOBBLEHAUS community?
Time. Talent. And Treasure. These are words I learned growing up and they’ve been on my mind a lot lately. The point of them is that there is always a way we can give back to others so I want to pass them on to keep that spirit alive.