Bastille, 12 pm

Jason is an actor. He’s a member of the 1000 visages association, created by filmmaker Houda Benyamina (known for the movie Divines). The young man began his career as an extra in movies, before he began playing small roles in short films. « I chose this job because I always loved cinema and the theater ever since I was a kid. I started getting roles in plays in school, then independently with shootings. I also act in theater company Théâtre du MIDI in Chelles. » His second passion besides the theater and cinema is fashion. « I’ve always loved to draw. Fashion really is a way for me to express myself. I get most of my fashion ideas from characters in movies. »

While Jason tells me about a short film he was a part of, in which he was dressed and was wearing makeup in a feminine way, I take the opportunity and ask him about his definition of gender, and where he stands according to this definition. « To me, every man has a feminine side, and every woman has a masculine side. People can’t take their opposite side, yet no one is 100% man or woman. I believe the real problem lies in the definition people have of gender. For a long time, many people would tell me I had very fine features for a man, or that there was a bit of a feminine side to my figure. I made research and came across the concept of androgyny, and it really stood to me. I learned that to be androgynous doesn’t mean transsexual or drag queen, it’s merely someone who looks neither like a man or a woman, and who was born this way and accepts it. Later on, I was contacted by a director who wanted me to play an androgynous character. At first, I couldn’t see myself playing this role because of my religion and culture, but eventually I told myself… come on! Play it anyway! It can be interesting, and so I did. »

Who are the women that inspire me ? « The first woman who inspires me is my mom, because of her style, but also because of her life journey, and of what she went through to give life to me. Otherwise, when it comes to women that aren’t close to me, my icon is Marilyn Monroe. I like her story and the impact that she had on cinema, and her way of being as a symbol. I really think that it’s thanks to her that women could find their place in cinema, and not have to play secondary roles anymore, and she’ll remain an icon. She was able to show she wasn’t only pretty and curvy, but also very talented. Another iconic woman who I really like is Grace Kelly who, just like Marilyn, really had an impact on her time, and was inspiring.To refer to more contemporary women, I love Rihanna, Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj. First because of all the impact they had on music, fashion or pop culture, and even more because they are black women and that’s inevitably an indicator of identification. They are true women, business women, dabblers, who never let their gender stop them. I love the rapper Shay too and her whole Jolie Garce (Pretty Bitch) thing. I think she has this whole empowered super girl and gangster side, and she is a breath of fresh air in contemporary rap. These type of women inspire me, those who show they’re here and that they are determined. I could tell you about many more such as Naomi Campbell or Oulaya Amamra… »

We than began discussing feminism, and I ask him about his definition of the movement and what he thinks of it: « To me, feminism is a movement in which women want to be considered equal and free in all fields. It’s a statement in this society that turns a blind eye to certain things. Men often forget that it is thanks to women, and especially to their mother that they are the men they are today. »

To me, a real girl is an independent girl who isn’t afraid to do what she likes, without caring what other might think of her. Who doesn’t belong to anyone or to a society, who does whatever she pleases.