These photos of a very handsome homeless man/beggar in China have been circulating for awhile now. The man looks good, with the disheveled hair, intense eyes, and vagabond/traveling samurai look straight out of the movies.
And yet, I can’t help feeling at least a little guilty. Here’s this guy, living dirt poor, probably homeless, likely struggling to scrounge up enough money to survive day-to-day. And here I am, halfway around the world, admiring his street-chic look through the comfort of my computer desk, a “look” that’s not street-chic, not a style choice at all but just the reality of his situation. It feels exploitative, no?
What do you think? Does he look good? And do we even have a right to be looking and judging?