From Robert Mapplethorpe to low-rise jeans – get to know her here

The Dazed 100 is back, but not as you know it. For 2020, we’ve partnered with Converse to spotlight not only 100 of the world’s most creative, outspoken, and passionate next-gen names, but also their creative and philanthropic ideas. Explore the list, and you’ll find 100 manifestos to create, inspire, connect, and power change. 

Which fictional character does YouTuber and model Ella Snyder most identify with? Gossip Girl’s queen B Blair Waldorf, obviously! While her outfits are a little more downtown than Upper East Side, it’s safe to say we’d love to see her star in the remake. Currently studying photography at Parsons and vlogging – about her t4t relationship and spilling the tea on Brandy Melville – on the side, this year sees Snyder join the Dazed 100. Get to know her in a series of quick-fire questions below as she takes our pop quiz, and head here to vote for her idea: a photobook documenting the trans and non-binary members of her community.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Ella Snyder: Growing up I wanted to be a butterfly or a rock star when I got older. 

What clique were you in during high school?

Ella Snyder: In high school, I didn’t really belong to any clique, I just floated from one social group to another. But I feel like because of that, I became the butterfly that I wanted to be growing up – I became a social butterfly!

Who gave you your first break?  

Ella Snyder: I feel like this is my first break – being on the Dazed 100. 

Why do you do what you do?

Ella Snyder: I do what I do because I’m passionate about the representation of trans people and non-binary folk across all forms of media.

What does community mean to you?

Ella Snyder: Community means everything to me. It means love, it means acceptance, it means family, it means teamwork, synergy, togetherness… Everything. 

How does your community inspire your creativity?

Ella Snyder: I would say that the trans community overall is the biggest motivator for my creativity.

“Community means love, it means acceptance, it means family, it means teamwork, synergy, togetherness… Everything” – Ella Snyder

What issues are you most passionate about?

Ella Snyder: I find myself to be extremely passionate about a lot of social issues. But I think that because of my trans experience I’ll always be the most passionate about trans rights. 

Who do you think is making real change in the world?

Ella Snyder: Literally everyone who has been featured on (the Dazed 100) before I have. They are all change-makers and they’re all my role models. 

If you were in charge for a day, what law would you invent?

Ella Snyder: I would definitely pass a protection act for trans women everywhere. Just so that there would be major repercussions when these women are treated with such violence. 

Explain your Dazed 100 grant idea in one sentence? 

Ella Snyder: My grant idea is a photobook exploring my space within the trans community.

Why should people support your idea?

Ella Snyder: Because we need better representation of all gender identities (in) all forms of media, and I feel like my artistic project is at least making some kind of effort towards getting there.

When do you feel most creative?

Ella Snyder: I tend to feel most creative when I’m collaborating; when I’m working on a project with someone else who I can bounce my ideas off of, and continue to brainstorm together. 

How do you get over artistic block? 

Ella Snyder: That’s a tough one! I would say for me personally, the way that I’ve overcome artistic blocks in the past, has been taking a distance from the project I’m working on and being able to come back to it with fresh eyes. 

Name three things that inspire you?

Ella Snyder: My friends, my home (New York City) and, always and forever, trans icon Marsha P. Johnson.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?

Ella Snyder: I saw Rihanna in sixth grade and Kesha opened for her. But I also saw One Direction in seventh grade, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I can choose between the two!

If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?

Ella Snyder: Probably a Robert Mapplethorpe print or a Hope Gangloff painting. 

What’s the last thing you made?

Ella Snyder: Well, before corona and the lockdown, back in New York I’d actually just finished making two black and white photo prints on big sheets of silk organza. And they’re definitely some of my favourite photos I’ve made so far, and I think that printing them on fabric as opposed to paper has taken them to a whole new level. 

What’s a lesson that you learned the hard way?

Ella Snyder: Sometimes it’s more important to put your own needs first.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

Ella Snyder: Blair Waldorf.

What’s your secret talent?

Ella Snyder: I give pretty good haircuts! And I’m really good at doing impressions and impersonations. And people have told me before that I’m a good singer…

What’s overrated?

Ella Snyder: Parsons art school.

What’s underrated?

Ella Snyder: Low-rise jeans.

“What’s underrated? Low-rise jeans” – Ella Snyder

What keeps you motivated?

Ella Snyder: A challenge. 

Which film do you never get bored of?

Ella Snyder: Black Swan. I’ve seen it six times. 

What song is stuck in your head right now?

Ella Snyder: Dua Lipa’s entire new album is on repeat in my brain right now. 

What are you embarrassed to admit?

Ella Snyder: The fact that I couldn’t choose between Rihanna and One Direction for my favourite concert! 

What piece of clothing means the most to you?

Ella Snyder: That’s literally such a hard question. But I would have to say this little diamond ‘F’ necklace that my boyfriend gave me for Valentine’s Day.

What advice would you give your past self?

Ella Snyder: Be proud of who you are. 

What’s your favourite slang phrase?

Ella Snyder: Litty! Everything is litty right now. 

What’s your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Ella Snyder: It’s hard to pick between glazed doughnuts and reality TV.

What will the world look like in 2050?

Ella Snyder: I don’t know. But hopefully just a lot less trans women facing violence.

“I would say that the trans community overall is the biggest motivator for my creativity” – Ella Snyder

What’s a misconception people often have about you?

Ella Snyder: I feel like because of my soothing voice – at least I get a lot of comments about this on my YouTube channel – people assume that I’m high all the time. But I’m not! I’m only high sometimes (but) not in my videos! 

What book changed your life?

Ella Snyder: The Bible. I’m just kidding! I don’t read for pleasure. I read magazines for pleasure. I read Dazed for pleasure.

What song hits you the hardest? 

Ella Snyder: Probably Born This Way by Lady Gaga. That’s always been a ‘hit’ for me. 

Which living person do you most admire and why?

Ella Snyder: My mom. For being one of the most powerful women I know and for being such a good role model and so accepting of my need to become one of those powerful women as well. 

Head here to vote for Ella Snyder’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100.