"In ten years, I want all the drama from those past years, but I want it to now actually be inclusive. Foundations for all skin tones! Outfits for all genders and body types! Give me the spectacles, but don’t whitewash them anymore!"
Over time, I realized that it is not only my duty as an artist to contribute to upholding the value of "unity through diversity" but that I am creating for myself, and not for someone else's approval, affirmation, or benefit. I am creating to be seen, to feel heard, to make room for other identities like me that are often told to hide who they are in order to thrive and be respected in our cisgender, binary, white supremacist world.
"Nowadays, things are much better because I surround myself with supportive people in real life, and online, I follow people that I find inspiring. I think the push for better representation in the beauty industry today has helped a lot."
We get a short time to inhabit this earth. Explore every facet of your being while you can! Do not hold back. Be yourself with reckless abandon and don’t give a f–– about when anyone has to say about it.
I don’t like to go out alone with a big makeup look on because people are going to point the figure at me and laugh. But I do it because people tell me I inspire them. It’s the only reason. I want to make people feel more confident, and to do that, I have to learn to do it myself. So a tip for anyone who wants to do so: don’t think and just do it, you get used to it at some point.
I have a lot of big feelings, and the meditative, meticulous nature of my art helps me create space to sit with those feelings in a way that feels safe. I make art that is gentle, filled with teeny reminders to pause and breathe; art that asks you to get lost for a moment; art that is sometimes painful to make but is worth it in the end.
I was always torn between presenting myself in the way I actually wanted to, and toning it down for fear of being ridiculed or rejected. All of my friends were girls because they were the ones who were most supportive of my more feminine attributes and personality traits, so I naturally gleaned a lot of makeup knowledge from being around them.
As a theatrical performance artist, makeup is a medium that allows me to tell stories. Whether I’m dressing up as a cloud or as a shelter dog, makeup helps me create a totally unique identity for my characters.
During periods of gender dysphoria, I would reject all things that are seen as traditionally “feminine,” like makeup, because I was afraid people wouldn’t take my non-binary identity seriously. But that also implies a super cis-hetero definition of makeup, that it’s something exclusively used by women to make themselves appear more attractive to men. And that’s not how makeup should be defined.
A lot of my work dives into magical realism as a way to explore power dynamics and this piece is no exception... Representation is really important to me and it’s very limited in theatre—I aim to create complex queer characters who challenge us as an audience to be better.
Inspired by a blend of masculinity and femininity, Laurence Philomène's photography amplifies the fluidity found in gender. As they take inspiration from My Chemical Romance to their close friendships, their work becomes more and more autobiographical. Take a look through a small lens to discover a large world of Laurence's beauty.