Cynthia Taylu is a model, actress and creative, she developed a love for fashion and styling from a young age and has since continued to use fashion as a way of self-expression.
WHAT IS RADICAL LOVE TO YOU?
Radical love helps us bring our walls down, to be seen for all that we are and to have the ability to hold space for our loved ones unconditionally. I see radical love in so many of my relationships, from the way my mother speaks to me for hours in moments when I feel weak and need reassurance, to friends who can instantly pickup on my energy and check in to make sure I'm alright, to feeling completely seen and safe with a love interest-Radical love is all around.
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOVE
Words have always been my love language. I love occasions like birthdays and Christmas because they give me an opportunity to write a card for my loved ones. There's something so special about taking the time to reflect on the ways a person has impacted you or even perhaps just an observation of how much they've grown as a person. It feels quite intimate writing a handwritten note.
HOW IS YOUR NOTION OF LOVE DIFFERENT TO "NORMAL EXPECTATIONS" OF LOVE?
I think a lot of people in this day and age are scared of putting themselves out there in the fear of looking 'stupid' or needing to save face. Regardless of how a situation may go, there's power in not being scared to be nothing but your authentic self. If perhaps things don't go to plan it's not the end of the world, instead there's solace in not having regrets.
Dan Polizzano is a New York-based photographer with a focus on natural light portraiture and narrative fashion. In conjunction with photography, his work spans across disciplines including art direction, styling, and fashion management.
WHAT IS RADICAL LOVE TO YOU?
Radical love carries an abstract connotation. My inclination is that it just exists, something that goes on in perpetuity which we can either chose to open ourselves to or deny ourselves.
There is a simultaneous singularity and universality – radical love as something that exists for all but is experienced on an individual level. Our ability to experience radical love is not contingent upon another, whether platonic, familial, or romantic. It comes from within and radiates outward. The closest parallel I could think is gravity. It is a universal force of nature that we each engage with (i.e., maintaining balance) on an individual basis.
How this shows up in my own life is the relationship I have with myself. The grace, forgiveness, gratitude that I grant myself allows me to show up in the world with greater authenticity. Like maintaining my balance relative to the force of gravity, maintaining integrity to the existence of radical love maintains my sense of peace.
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE LOVE?
As opposed to radical love, love is something in which we share. Love is a tangible thing that we choose to participate through our platonic, familial, and romantic relationships. For me, celebrating familial love has centered around quality time – being present with each other whether in quiet moments over coffee or noisy moments over a meal. Platonic relationships celebrate shared interests and adventure. In the celebration of romantic love, my younger self tried to master the art of grand gestures while as I mature, vulnerability becomes a bigger focus.
How I celebrate love continues to evolve, something I find myself succeeding at times and other times falling flat. Recently, I’ve gotten more comfortable vocalizing “I love you” in platonic relationships. While the celebration of love is so much more than a three-word expression, I’ve found it a beautiful celebration of friendship that has evolved beyond the commonplace and an acknowledgment of others (my community) that share in their own experience of radical love.
I once heard a definition of love as being entrusted to hold the heart of another in your hand. As my celebration of love continues to evolve and mature, I’ll hold that definition dear.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT TO NORMAL OR POPULAR CULTURAL IDEAS OF LOVE?
The way I celebrate love differs from what's often portrayed in normal expectations or popular cultural ideas. In a digital age where many showcase seemingly perfect relationships online, my approach is more private and less overt. I don't feel the need to prove anything or conform to the trend of projecting idealized images of love.Rather than broadcasting my personal relationships, I find value in the subtleties and genuine moments shared privately. My love isn't defined by public displays or grand gestures; it thrives in the authenticity of intimate connections and meaningful one-on-one experiences. In a world where external validation is often sought, I take comfort in the depth and sincerity of my personal connections, which may not be as evident to others but hold significance in my life.
HOW DO YOU CULTIVATE LOVE FOR YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE OUTLETS OR YOUR CAREER?
I like to think of the act of creation, regardless of discipline, as an act of love. Love is a signal of intention – what we prioritize, value, aspire – and the creative act (or outlet) arises from a point of intention. In my own photography work, my most foundational intention is to bring out something from within. A memory, experience, conversation, something I read, or work of art I saw has an emotion or beauty attached to which I want to honor, for myself. I also feel compelled to share the meaning or significance it holds with others.
There is a reciprocal process to creativity by which (radical) love grounds us in a connection with ourselves and then cultivates love for others to establish a connection with one another. Remaining intentional about the music I listen, energy of people with which I spend time, or the books I read is all part of how I cultivate love for myself. The peace that follows empowers the vulnerability to reveal and substantiates the meaning to express myself through my creative work and career.