Every once in a while, I am called to do H/MU for a show on Discovery ID. Its a re-cre show called Deadly Sins. Its my third year working with this crew, and I love it. The show features dramatizations and retellings of gruesome murders, and while that scarred (yes scar, not scare) me the first few months, the crew has been able to keep a light vibe on set, easing the sometimes nasty and horrendous mental journeys. My job is to make certain cast members look "dead" or paint some sort of laceration or the like when needed.
This time around, I was to make an actress look like Marjorie Nugent, who some called the wicked witch of East Texas. The actress portraying her was stunning and full of life. At a mere 70 years old, she had been acting for 8 years and wore clothes from H&M and Forever 21 and bragged about doing yoga and hitting the gym everyday. Marjorie on the other hand, was known as someone who people hated so much, that when she was murdered, no one even bothered to look for her 9 months. The actress and I had our work cut out for us. She had to really get to a mental spot where she could be so evil and emotionally abusive that someone would want to kill her, and I had to make this beautiful woman look mean and haggard. You'd think that being so happy-go-lucky that this lady would be pretty comfortable in her own skin, right? Wrong....
I turn into a therapist whenever people sit in my chair. She was no exception. The actress started by telling me how madly she was in love with her husband, but later as I applied the makeup, she'd say things like "You know, I just wish I could know what its like to be pretty. Even if its for a day." I assured her that she was gorgeous, and in fact she was so gorgeous, I was being paid to make her look ugly. She wasn't buying.
That really broke my heart. This actress was sitting before me, a fierce queen and still she felt "unpretty". What's it gonna take to make every woman feel good about themselves?? I'm totally guilty of this too, but my gosh--what a terrible feeling of not feeling pretty, on top of that--not having words that are good enough to lift that person up. Whether you are as hateful as Marjorie or as spry and lively as the actress, I hope you take a moment to love yourself. I will if you will.
In the immortal words of RuPaul: "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gon' love someone else? Can I get an Amen?" AMEN, Ru.
I just had to include photos of this lady. Yeah this queen is 70. FIERCE.