THOUGH NOT PERCEIVED AS IMMORAL AS THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, VANITY DEFINITELY IS CONSIDERED TO BE A MINOR SIN. VANITY. THE EXCESSIVE BELIEF IN ONE’S OWN ABILITIES OR ATTRACTIVENESS TO OTHERS. BOASTING IN VAIN AND SELF-GLORIFICATION ARE ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH VANITY. OBJECTS THAT REPRESENT VANITY ARE JEWELS, GOLD AND OF COURSE THE EVER PRESENT MIRROR. THE WINDOW IN WHICH ONE CAN ADMIRE HIMSELF. BUT IS VANITY REALLY THAT MUCH OF A SIN. IF YOU REALLY ARE AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS, BUT PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY, IS ONE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT ONESELF? EVERY NOW AND THEN?
For several years now the artist who operates under the name ZYX Photography has worked on a project that involves mirrors. Mirrors and beautiful men that is. One of his latest additions to this ongoing quest was no one less than Jack Mackenroth. ZYX Photography originates from Mexico and operates from Dallas, Texas. Without revealing his true identity, his work probably already gives you an ide who we are talking about. You can check him out on Twitter. When we first laid our eyes on these portraits we couldn’t wait to share them with you. But strangely enough it actually too some convincing. Not of us and not of ZYX Photogrpahy, but of Jack himself. Because no matter how much Jack has been photographed, and how many times his photos have graced magazine pages, seeing himself posing like this in front of a mirror made him wonder. Was this not a bit too much?
Sure, vanity can be a negative thing but then again, if you’ve got it you’ve gotta flaunt it. And Jack Mackenroth has definitely got it. Jack Mackenroth became world famous when he announced on American national TV that he was HIV positive. He did this while participating in the popular reality show Project Runway. He didn’t do it because he needed to boost his participation. Jack was at that tile already one of the more successful and popular players. Jack caught a contagious infection during the height of the fourth season of Project Runway and even though it was not related to his HIV status, he made the bold decision to withdraw from the competition. A bold decision that received enormous support from the American audience. Since then Jack Mackenroth has been a shining example of living a healthy and normal live with HIV and a role model for many.
When Jack Mackenroth was just a small boy he managed to ride his little bike into a boat that happened to be parked along the road. Looking back to that now one might take that as the moment that it was clear that Jack was born to entertain. During High School he wasn’t one of the popular kids. Contrary to that, he hung out with the alternative group and focussed on a passion that would eventually become his red thread through life: fashion. What at time started with altering the clothes his parents bought him, much to his mothers irritation, would later transform in a reason to move to New York where Jack enrolled at the Parsons School of Design. After graduating he opened his own boutique on Bleeker’s Street in new York’s West Village where he offered new designers a place to showcase their work alongside upscale brands such as Gaultier, Diesel and John Richmond. A few years later Jack exchanged the boutique life for a career in design and accepted first a designers position with Tommy Hilfiger and later with Levi Strauss, before becoming Design Director at Weatherproof Active Wear.
Jack Mackenroth is a real entrepreneur and destined to make a success of every project he starts. His public HIV status gave him the opportunity to promote safe sex practise wherever he saw fit. In 2008 he did it in the form of a wedding dress, designed and entirely created with condoms. The fact Jack is allergic to latex makes this even more extra ordinary. Jack Mackenroth was diagnosed in 1990 and has since then tried to combat the stigma of HIV by living honestly and being a role model through professional and athletic achievements. "I am most proud of the fact that I was open about my positive HIV status on the show and exemplified that a person can manage HIV and live a successful life," Jack says. "Every time a person with HIV is open about his or her status it helps everyone who is living with the disease.... I am a living testament to what you can accomplish by letting go of shame and being your own advocate."
Is this all enough reason to take a look at yourself in a mirror and be satisfied with what you see. I would say yes. But Jack Mackenroth is a man of many skills and both his public status and designers career were not enough for him. Already during his school years Jack was a passionate swimmer. Something he continued doing in his adult life. In 1990 Jack won bronze during the Vancouver Gay Games. He has won at least one gold medal in every one of the international competitions since and in 2006 he set a national record in the breaststroke leg of the 4x50 meter medley relay. Jack is also a figurehead for several HIV and AIDS education campaigns, such as Living Positive by Design. And if that is not enough, he also transformed himself successfully in a male model for many international renowned magazines. I’d say, with so many accomplishments under his belt, Jack Mackenroth has all the right to look in the mirror and like what he sees. –BM-
BeautifulMag archive for Jack Mackenroth: Jack has Stars [BT] | Jack Mackenroth Super Star | World AIDS Day 2010: A Message from Jack Mackenroth | Jack Mackenroth Calendar 2012 | Jack of all Trades, An Interview with Jack Mackenroth.
JACK MACKENROTH | BEAUTIFULMAG
ZYX PHOTOGRAPHY | BEAUTIFULMAG