Browse all

Beauty, vogueing and queer world: a chat with @uglyworldwide

The American model was the protagonist of the Mercedes-Benz 'How To' experience

Beauty, vogueing and queer world: a chat with @uglyworldwide The American model was the protagonist of the Mercedes-Benz 'How To' experience

With her androgynous, almost extraterrestrial look, her very short platinum blonde hair and bleached eyebrows the face of Jazzelle Zanaughtti, better known as @uglyworldwide, has revolutionized the fashion industry, introducing a new aesthetic and imagery.

Born and raised in Detroit, she moved to Chicago first and then to New York. Already in this period, Jazzelle has a large number of followers on Instagram, that today has reached 542,000 followers. On her social media platforms, she speaks openly about women and the LGBTQ+ community’s rights, about gender identity and beauty, posting unpredicted, unusual images, which immediately capture the attention. The turning point in Jazzelle's life comes by chance when she went from long blond curls to a platinum buzz cut. Thanks to her bold haircut, her unique face caught the attention of world-renowned photographer Nick Knight, who sent her a DM and asked her to fly to London for shooting. The images of Jazzelle in a Comme Des Garçons dress mark the official start of her career. Jazzelle walked the runway for Savage x Fenty, was the first testimonial of ASOS Beauty and Nike's face, and the star of the cover of many magazines. The American model has become not only the face of inclusive and gender fluid fashion but also a reference point for thousands of young people.

A few weeks ago Jazzelle was the protagonist of the second chapter of Mercedes-Benz's fashion story How To, which took place in Oslo with an interactive event. After a talk on electric mobility and a test drive with the new EQC, Mercedes-Benz's first all-electric car, guests joined Jazzelle who, with her unique style and energy, learned the art of "voguing". 

We had the chance to ask Jazzelle a few questions. Here's what she told us. 


#1 During the Mercedes-Benz ‘How To’ experience, you had the chance to try vogueing for the first time. How was it? Did you have fun?

It was so fun!! Honestly, I had the best time, it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do so it was super cool to finally have someone like Jay Jay teach me the ins and out of it. 

#2 Are you usually nervous when you have to do something for the first time or are you positively excited? 

Yeah, doing anything for the first time is nerve-wracking but the second we got into it all the nerves just disappeared. It's really just the feeling that I may fail or not be good that gives me the nervousness. But once I started I realized it literally doesn’t matter cuz I was having a fab time regardless!

#3 World-famous photographer Nick Knight was the one who discovered you on IG, taking you to London for the first time. Could you imagine such a radical change in your life? How do you deal with the pressure and the stress of this job?

I did know intuitively that eventually, I would make something happen for myself, but no I could have never imagined it happening to me so young and so quickly. I deal with the pressure of the job just like I handle the pressure of everything else in life. I literally just don’t pay it any mind and do what I want. Stress is always there I just choose not to give it life. I stress for like a day and then move on to the next.

#4 Throughout your career you’ve basically revolutionized the beauty standards of the fashion industry. What is your definition of beauty? 

Honestly, after answering this question one million times, I don’t have a definition anymore. Beauty in my world at this point is undefinable. There is beauty in everything and there is beauty in nothing.

#5 Even on your Instagram profile, you’re very vocal about diversity, LGBTQ rights and gender issues. Do you feel you have a responsibility to talk about these issues since your big following? Do you see yourself as a role model?

I see a responsibility to talk about these things because I am a queer person, not because I have a large following. I would be doing the same thing now as if I had 5 followers. I do not see myself as a role model.