Style File: John Graham '14

By Mara Aussendorf

To some, he is known as Hipster Jesus; to others, John Beautiful. It is likely you’ve seen this Macalester Junior around campus, easily spotted by his long, golden hair. A physics major, Ohio native and Frisbee player, John Graham ’14 developed his individual, inexpensive style during his gap year in Belgium. He discusses gender-bending, Snoop Dogg (excuse me, Snoop Lion) and, of course, his hair. What affects your style?
I feel like I started dressing the way that I do now while I was abroad in Belgium. I don’t think Belgium’s style specifically had anything to do with that, but more like, I just decided I really like tank tops. I wear a lot of tank tops. Arm mobility. Does your lifestyle make you choose certain clothes, such as tank tops, for optimum arm mobility?
I guess. It’s hard to analyze what makes me do the things I do. But generally speaking, I like stuff that I think looks ridiculous. What’s your most ridiculous item?
I have these red skinny jeans that I got from a rummage sale. I cut them off because I was going to make them into cutoffs, but I only made it as far as capris. Really, really tight capris. I look really ridiculous, but I like those. How does the style in Belgium compare to your style?
Belgian style is weird. Everyone has a lot of hair gel. They wear things from this company called G-Star Raw, it’s like Eurotrash kind of stuff, leather jackets that have big shoulders. They wear tight pants. My friends in Belgium strived to look like they paid a lot for their clothes. Classy, that kind of thing, which is sort of different. I strive to look more like a homeless person. They all dressed very similarly. Maybe some of the reason I got my fashion is because I was like, ‘F— that.’ Because I was an outsider looking in, it seemed silly to me. What are some other things that affect your style?
I like the challenge of rocking something that is ridiculous. Like wearing really, really short cutoffs and a tank top that’s really, really tight, or something. You kind of look ridiculous and you get a lot of attention doing that, but to do that you have to be able to keep a straight face. I like that. I’m all about getting rid of those gender binaries in terms of dress. I much prefer women’s pants to men’s. Do you feel like fashion should become more ambiguous, gender-wise?
Definitely. My dream is where guys wearing pigtails could be a cool thing one day. That’s the dream. Speaking of pigtails, I have to ask about your hair. Can everyone achieve such [hair] lusciousness?
I don’t know. I don’t know how you define my lusciousness. How wouldyou define your lusciousness?
I started growing out my hair when I was on exchange. I waited a month, and then I waited two months, and then after three months or so I was like, well, I’m only here for nine more months. I might as well just not cut my hair the whole time. So really though, how do you make it so luscious?
I guess the key is to wash it very infrequently. I don’t shower in the morning. I sometimes shower at night. I sleep on it and I don’t comb it. It’s very low-maintenance. It’s a product of inaction. So I think inattention is what really does it. Inattention to detail. Do you have any fashion icons?
Snoop Lion. Holy shit, yeah. He looks a little different than I do, so he could probably rock things I couldn’t rock. Although, now that I think about it, Snoop Lion rocks pigtails all the time. Have you ever rocked pigtails?
I have, yeah. I’ve been doing that a few times. I did it last week one time. Slowly. Slowly phase that in. Beauty or utility?
Beauty in itself is a utility. The main thing is to dress to inspire confidence. That’s what beauty is. When people see you feeling good, they see you looking good.