Fashion Aficionado and Spoken Word Slammer, McCair Tulloch

You may have seen his face and story featured in The Visionary Alumni Magazine, Winter 2015 Edition or got a glimpse of him in U of T's Magazine, "Sneak Peak is a Slam Dunk." If not, you've probably seen him in and around campus, rocking a preppy and sophisticated outfit that you dare not ignore. McCair Tulloch never fails to make a great first impression and maintains an aura that is incredibly intriguing. 

McCair Tulloch is 20 years old in his 4th year of University and is a student of New College. He is currently double majoring in History and Caribbean Studies, with a minor in Philosophy and plans on someday becoming a successful Sports Lawyer.

Why a sports lawyer? What is it about this career that interests you?

Growing up, I always had a love for sports, basketball in particular. As a matter of fact, I played varsity all throughout high school as well as for a rep team in the North York area. I used to dream of going to the pros and competing at the highest level; I wanted to grow to 6'11 as well. However, I stopped growing at about 6'3, and the basketball scholarships weren't coming, but I still wanted to be connected to the basketball/sports world. Being a Sports Lawyer would allow me to would allow me to meet and defend some great clients, and still be closely connected to the world of my second love, basketball. Instead of competing on the court, I'd be litigating in the courtroom.

What was high-school like for you, and what were some of the changes and challenges you had to face?

High school was a little tough at first. I always considered myself to be rather anomalous and I had a difficult time fitting in. People often made fun of me because I did not fit their definition of “normal.” I was affected by an auto-immune deficiency, called Alopecia, which caused me to lose my hair and people weren’t accustomed to seeing a bald kid in school; well, with the exception of Caillou. As such, instead of inquiring and seeing whether or not everything was okay, many took to making fun of me and calling me extremely hurtful names. I didn’t have many friends in the beginning, and could never, ever be cool enough to be accepted by the popular crowd. 

Thankfully I had an extremely supportive family, and through their unconditional love for me, and the strength that I found in my Christian faith, through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I came to a place where I loved and accepted me for who I was, and for what I looked like. Whether I was bald or not, had facial hair or not, I began to look introspectively, and see myself as a King. In shifting my perspective and changing my mindset, I chose to live as a victor instead of a victim and resultantly saw an increase in my level of confidence, motivation and determination.

You have no control over how people treat you, but your response is indicative of who you are and it also says a lot about your character. So I’d say one of the biggest changes was just the way that I perceived myself, which ultimately altered my outlook on the world. I put no limits on myself, I try my best to maintain a positive outlook and I genuinely enjoy conversing with the “misfits” or “outcasts” because I know that story all too well. Interestingly, the less that I began to seek external affirmation from those around me, understanding that I was accepted by God and my family as I was, the more others began to accept me for me. I heard a great quote once: “Be yourself, don’t be a cheap copy of a Great Original.” People find it refreshing and are more inclined to accept you once you’re comfortable with yourself. 

I bet one of the first things people notice about you is your fashion sense, what inspires you to dress this way?

In terms of my fashion sense, I was really inspired by the 1960s era. The summer before my first year of University I began reading a lot of works from the time, and watching movies on great thinkers such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X as well as some classic films with actors like Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman. I really fell in love with the look; from the skinny ties to the blazers, fedoras to the wingtip shoes, the 60s look heavily influenced my personal style. I began thrift shopping a lot in order to find Vintage clothes, and coming from a high school that wore uniforms, styling was really something that was new to me. There was a point in time where I only replicated the 60s look but now my style is a conglomerate of various elements. I merge my love for vintage style with a touch of modernity to go for more of a unique look. It alters depending on the day, and how I’m feeling; some days I’ll suit it up, other days I’ll stick with a pair of jeans and sweaters, but I try to incorporate a vintage touch to most of the outfits that I wear.

Do you have any hobbies?

I have a few hobbies. I thoroughly enjoy playing basketball. Although I no longer play competitively for a team, I play recreationally at any gym that I can find and it’s always fun hearing people’s assumptions after I tell them that I play. For some reason there’s this misconception that preppy guys don’t play basketball, so some guys don’t take me seriously at first, then we get on the court and I dunk on them. It’s fun, though.

I enjoy being eccentric and unconventional; I don’t like to be boxed in based on the way that I carry myself or dress. I also enjoy reading, speaking to youth groups, and writing/performing spoken word poetry. I find spoken word to be an effective way of both clearing my thoughts and conveying them in an understandable and relatable manner. I do a bit of singing as well and I love to explore new places.