Cameos: Kc Itohan, Hira Mahmood, Messiah Rhodes
We asked your internet crushes questions so you don’t have to...
This month, we’re tipping our hats to Kc Itohan, Hira Mahmood, and Messiah Rhodes. These three badasses are giving us the lowdown on what they’re reading, their sartorial signatures, and their beauty regimes.
Handles? @femmesurrection on most social media, @kc1738 on Vine.
Where are you from, where do you live now? I’m from Chula Vista, CA, a city about 10 minutes north of Tijuana. Currently trying to figure out where I want and need to live to thrive.
How would you describe your sartorial profile? I take cues from Solange Knowles, along with Willona Woods and Thelma Evans from Good Times. I like big hair, big prints, and big color. Everything fat femmes are told we shouldn’t wear because, visually, we will take up too much space.
What is your ideal birthday meal? Carne Asada fries with two flour tortillas from Lolita’s if I’m in Chula Vista, Doro Tibs with injera and cabbage from Kaffa if I’m in Philly.
Hangover cure? Sobriety.
What’s on your bookshelf these days? Aloe vera and jade plants. I’m currently reading, Alexander G. Weheliye’s Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, Kamala Kempadoo’s Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights, and Kali Gross’ Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910.
What’s your beauty and grooming routine, if you have one? I wash my hair, skin, and face with African black soap. Exfoliation, water, coconut oil, shea butter, and wrapping my hair in a satin bonnet at night are all essential. I’m pretty sure Junglepussy has a similar routine.
Any projects or people you're really interested in right now that you wanna turn Mask readers on to? I’m working on a sound/video project about vanity and violence, inspired by Cardi B and other loud, abrasive, insufferable femmes. Justin Marcus Elario Young and I are also working on a film project about Black psychosis; just wait on it. I’m excited to see what Jasmine Gibson, Reek Bell, Soleil Summer, and William Lukas will create this year! I’m also really enamored with the ATM crew here in Philly.
Handles? @RhodesMessiah on Instagram and Twitter and most of my work can be found at Rhodespictures.com. Try to get your bougie ass school library to buy this DVD that features a few of my short films about Occupy Wall Street.
Where you from, where do you live now? I grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York City. I bounced from relative to relative, shelter to group home for most of my teenage years. Now I currently stay in Bed Stuy do or die.
How would you describe your sartorial profile? Everyone always compliments my style, but I don’t try too hard. I thrift sometimes and cop stuff from up and coming brands. I’m hoping for the grown and sexy look, but I love Jordans just too much. I try to wear each shirt not more than once a month.
What is your ideal birthday meal? Shrooms. DM me if you got any good connects, I’m trying to travel real far into inner space.
What’s on your bookshelf these days? I recently read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Propaganda by Edward Bernays and You'll Like This Film Because You're In It by Michael Gondry.
Hangover cure? I have been sobriety for the past few months. Specifically, after experiencing the recent death and illnesses of loved ones and all the absence parent issues. Forget the headaches or the dry mouth of hangovers, I just don’t like how depressed and bitter drinking makes me feel the following day.
What's your beauty and grooming routine, if you have one? Well at night I use this clinical lotion to work towards hiding the skin discoloration on my chest. I also have to remove and clean my partial dentures. I’m an alien disguising myself as a human during the day so it feels good to kick back, relax and consume your white fear.
Any projects or people you're really interested in right now that you wanna turn Mask readers on to? It’s tiring to always see creatives and journalists with degree-privilege documenting the plight of poor Black people and talking about it on MSNBC. I’ve been following the Free Alabama Movement; it’s a group of prisoners within the Alabama Department of Corrections prison system that somehow are able to document their own experiences with cellphone footage and decent grammar.
Where you from, where do you live now? I was born in Jamaica Queens, NY and have lived in several different places since then. I currently live in Atlanta, GA and have lived here for many years, but you can always find me on the Internet.
How would you describe your sartorial profile? I wear black almost always, tights when I can get away with it, lots of earring accessories, and I try to have mehndi on my hands as often as possible.
What is your ideal birthday meal? An infinite amount of wings and a whole cheesecake, and I wouldn’t share any of it.
What’s on your bookshelf these days? I’m devouring everything by Chris Kraus. I finished I Love Dick a few weeks ago and now I am reading Aliens & Anorexia. After that I am picking up The Diary of Anaïs Nin. I’m really into feminist narrative and autobiography right now.
Hangover cure? Glacier Cherry Gatorade, lots of eggs, lots of sleep, and a hydrating facemask.
What’s your beauty and grooming routine, if you have one? I use Jojoba oil on my face before I sleep and when I wake up, I am obsessed with Vaseline, and I’m pretty diligent about keeping my nails clean and painted.
Any projects or people you're really interested in right now that you wanna turn Mask readers on to? Yes! I am a huge fan of NY artist Ayqa Khan, her subjects are often Black women and women of color, and in other pieces she seamlessly incorporates a lot of great South Asian and Islamic imagery. I also appreciate the aesthetic eye of Isaac Kariuki; London-based digital artist and creator of Diaspora Drama Zine. Sara Sutterlin is a poet who writes on (post)modern intimacies and other affects of sex. Reading her poetry makes me feel like I am sinking.