Archive for the ‘people’ Category

Overheard In The Beauty Department (Or “Mean Boys (And Girls) Suck”)

Overheard in the beauty department, uttered by a high-ranking artist from a makeup brand I know you all know:

“Ask her what her favorite designer is. If she doesn’t have a favorite designer, well, she probably has no business wearing (makeup brand redacted), but we’ll sell her stuff anyway.”

I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately express to you how horrified I was.

Though I heard this particular fellow say this rather audaciously on the selling floor, I can name you at LEAST two other brands who have trainers and/or ambassadors who have said things like that behind closed doors.

It is this kind of unconscionable snobbery that is part of driving consumers to buy online. We all want to feel pretty and not be judged. The sad part is that there is some sort of longstanding badge of honor to be exclusive, especially among the executives in the cosmetics industry, so this sort of thinking winds up being encouraged instead of re-educated…then brands wonder why they aren’t getting their increases.

Including people feels a hell of a lot better than excluding them–on ALL sides.

Advertisements

Here’s The Thing

In that couple hours leading up to a show, in the venue, I’m the nervous band manager.  I wonder, “Is anyone going to be here tonight?  Will our people show up?  Will the bar’s regulars show up?  Does this bar even have any regulars? Is the bar going to make any money?  Will we have enough bodies in the room to be asked back?”  I fret, posting my last bits of promotion (really, barely veiled pleas) on my social media.

In that couple hours leading up to a show, in the venue, my social anxiety is ramped up to a million.  I don’t have a role during this time, not really, not after we confirm whether or not the band gets a comp tab and the bar manager for the night lets me know whatever it is I need to know.  I often sit there by myself, painfully aware there is not much for me to do but watch the sound person and the band get set.  Slouching into myself, I feel particularly self-conscious sitting there because…

In that couple hours leading up to a show, in the venue, I’m 41, fat, overdressed at least from the waist down, and I always have on a ton of makeup and glitter.  It doesn’t seem to matter which room we are playing; I look out of place.  When I have to go to the bathroom or when I walk through the venue, I imagine I can feel the eyes of the patrons and staff alike on me, though it might just be my social anxiety kicking up again.

In the last 30 minutes leading up to a show, in the venue, I’ve changed into the rest of my outfit, always topped by giant feather pigtails and a bright lip color.  This time I know there are eyes on me Sometimes they are curious, other times they are rolling.  “Who the hell is that and who does she think she is?”

Up to the very last minute leading up to a show, in the venue, I feel it all–I feel anxious, I feel fat, I feel old, and I feel conspicuous.

HOWEVER

After soundcheck, when it is time to do this for real, I look out into the venue and I think, “Just you wait, motherfuckers.”  I’m energized, I’m gorgeous, and I AM conspicuous because damn right I am.

Because when that show starts, that stage is mine.  This band?  It is mine.  This microphone?  Sure as fuck is mine…and you’re about to find out why.

“Big Mistake. Big…Huge!”

The story about Leslie Jones trying to get a dress for her big “Ghostbusters” premiere broke my heart when it first came out.  Leslie took her hurt and frustration to Twitter because designers didn’t want to dress her because she was not their sample size. Christian Siriano stepped up and she was gorgeous in his gown. Here are photos of her happy ending. I would have loved to have done her face.

Edited to add this lovely triptych from Siriano’s Instagram-

csiriano

I wonder if the style of the dress was a sly homage to the opera dress in “Pretty Woman,” winking at Vivian taunting the shopgirls who wouldn’t help her.

Save

Mea Culpa

Okay, friends. I will not be buying any more Jeffree Star products. I can no longer keep the person separate from his brand to justify lining his pockets. I thought he had changed since his MySpace days–who wants anything they did when they were 19 to define who they are forever?–but sometimes awful people just get older without actually growing up.

I made excuses because I DO like his products, cringing but trying to explain away how awful he talks about women (telling that other awful YouTube bully, MannyMUA, how terrible vaginas smell). I knew better–and knew I knew better–but chalked it up to his persona, which was foolish of me because it wasn’t even a persona I liked. I fully and shamefully admit I sold a corner of my moral real estate for the price of a cool green lipstick and a gleaming white highlighter. In the end, though, you all know I despise that Mean Girl (and Mean Boy) “Bitches ain’t shit” mentality and my conscience won. I can’t do it anymore.

This video was the scale tipper for me–you can skip the review and start in at 19:44 to get some bullet points about him being rude, racist, and sexist–ALL with proof (much of it video) to back it up. A further Google search goes down a deep, deep rabbit hole of things worse than Stephanie’s examples. Oof.

I’ve expunged mentions of him (where I could find them; some are likely buried) on my various Social Media accounts so I’m no longer actively promoting him.

I apologize to any of my friends who were already aware of his hateful, problematic nature and were quietly offended by my effusive love of his lipsticks and highlighters. Your feelings are worth more than those.

How NOT To Contour For Your Special Occasion

Anyone who has sat in my chair and uttered the word “contour” knows how I feel about it. If you’re not careful, that carved out cheekbone turns into a distracting, “what was she thinking” line unless you are at just the right angle and/or in a specific light.

Here’s a good case in point: Michelle Visage, obviously painted and contoured for the purpose of shooting this video.  However, due to the conversational nature of this piece, she is moving her head and chatting, much like any normal person does when they go out. Notice how in some shots she has a carefully sculpted cheek, while in others she has a bronze streak on her face?  The next time you want (or want your artist ) to do the Instagram Contour to do anything other than be in a fixed set of positions, remember this and Just Say No™

 

Over 35 Does Not Mean “I Give Up”

I just saw an article on a popular magazine’s website full of before/afters on changing one’s hairstyle to “look younger.” I’m not linking you to it because all the “afters” were awful! They were plain, frumpy, homogenized, and sexless. Why must women’s beauty media do this to other women? Why must women be encouraged to cast off their vibrancy once they hit 35, even within the same five pages wherein they purport to do the opposite? No…just NO. You are allowed to have full, bouncy hair if you want it, just like you are allowed to wear a smoky eye. We are adults. We can eat cake for breakfast and we can wear burgundy lips if we want to.

Our Own Worst Critics

A lovely 18 year old girl sat in my chair today and asked for full coverage foundation. I asked her what she was covering up, because her skin was beautiful.  She said, “Scars and grossness.”  I handed her the mirror and asked her to show me what she meant because, honestly, I couldn’t see them.  She pointed to places I really had to lean in to see, and even then they were hardly anything.  I said, “You realize you’re the only one who can see those, right?”  She spent the next ten minutes calling herself 10 variations of “ugly,” apologizing I had to “fix” her, etc.  At one point she asked me to feel her “gross skin,” and I swear to you, I have clients who buy $200 serums to get that amazing skin texture for themselves.  I said what I could in those ten minutes to do my part to tell her otherwise but, as someone who struggles with self-image, I know it will not make much of a difference.

Who told her she was ugly?  How is she walking around with that beautiful face and skin, thinking she’s hideous?  She was pointing out things to me in the mirror that I swear weren’t even there.

We are our own worst critics.  These awful self-critiques–we wouldn’t say them to anyone we loved, so why on earth do we think it is acceptable to say these things to ourselves?

Broke my heart, not only because of the way she feels, but because I was her when I was 18, too.  If I’m honest, I’m still her, all too frequently.

Love yourselves, my friends.