Beauty, or its perception is a very personal thing. It is taste. This will be down the individual, it can be environmental, what you were bought up around, it can be cultural. But I digress.
I am working in collaboration with a friend and fellow (albeit infinitely more talented) makeup artist, Wechselbalg (find him on facebook) to bring to life some concepts inspired by the Hansel and Gretel : Witchhunters film. To this end, I selected the Desert Witch as my first witch.
The image I have included with this blog is the unedited image I uploaded to Instagram last night. It got some positive comments on it – which of course delighted me. But it also made me think about the perception of beauty within our own and other societies. I was told that I look pretty, amazing, beautiful. But… and this is really what I am trying to get it. Is it really me that they are complimenting or my work.
I call myself a makeup artist although I have no formal qualification. I do however, use makeup as my artistic medium and outlet. So, if we take it as a compliment of my work, I am honoured. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I was lucky that the weather was bright and worked in my favour.
However, the other interpretation is that they are saying that I, am pretty. And it feels wrong. I cannot really accept this as a compliment. And please let me explain why.. take a moment to look at the picture. I am wearing a wig (which I customised), blue contact lenses, self tan, and a bucket load of makeup. So .. there is nothing in the photo that makes me, me. I am the canvass a painter starts off with before applying paint.
And this is the point that bothers me. Is skin truly only skin deep. Am I only pretty when I have so many layers of makeup, my own mother wouldn’t recognise. This is a difficult topic as clearly, I do love makeup and apply it at times, with wanton abandon. And yes, it makes me feel beautiful, I love looking at the mirror, and seeing what I have created. I don’t want to bring the patriarchal or feminist gaze into this. Really, makeup is a personal thing, wear it, don’t wear it. Throw it on with a trowel, go natural. If it makes you happy, then really whether someone is hitting like on it, count it as a bonus and not a comment on you as a person. They are liking the art created?!