I've basically had it up to here with people telling me what I can and cannot do with my body. From short skirts to high heels to dark lipstick to tattoos, it seems like everybody has an opinion about what I'm doing right or wrong. And all of it is nitpicky garbage talk, but some stuff just goes beyond the pale.
Exhibit A: Blue eye shadow.
The first piece of makeup I ever owned was a compact of Cover Girl blue eye shadow. A super hot girl in my class gave it to me in the bathroom like it wasn't even a big deal and said, "This would look great on you."
I'm sure it wasn't a big deal to her. But I used that eye shadow every damn day like a weird little ritual. I'm sure I didn't do it right. Luckily I grew up in an age before the Internet, so there are no selfies of my early makeup errors left to haunt me.
Blue eye shadow has gotten a seriously bad rap since my first foray into it in the late '90s. It seems like every time I turn around someone is telling me how blue eye shadow isn't for everyone. In a piece on Total Beauty, one woman tells the story about how she thought blue eye shadow looked cool, so she tried it, and was immediately told by her mother that she looked like a clown, so she never did it again.
You know what? Fuck that.
It would be one thing if the people in your life only ever called you out as a femme person when you were really pushing the bounds of looking weird or whatever, but that's not the case. We are constantly told what we are or aren't doing right when it comes to our bodies. From what we put in them to what we put on them to how we present them to the world, nothing femme humans do is correct.
I can't tell you how many times people have told me that my black eyeliner is too much. That I need more color in my wardrobe. And for a while, that criticism kept me from doing the things that I like doing with my fashion. The clothing I bought was uncomfortable, my makeup made me look like a fucking character in a CW teen drama, and I generally hated myself and the way that I looked when I walked out the door any damn day of the week.
Nowadays, though I still feel the sting when people comment on my presentation — my work wardrobe is definitely goth professional and I wear and purchase nothing if it doesn't make me feel like a heart-eating harpy. Because damn it, if I'm going to be criticized anyway, I might as well feel like myself when they do it. So I can snarl at them with all the self confidence I can muster, rather than peeping my protest from a place of insecurity and shame.
So the next time someone tells you that blue eye shadow isn't for everyone, you slather that shit on however you feel looks the best and tell them that you're not "everyone."
Because darling, you're not. And you look fucking amazing.
Seraphina Ferraro lives with her girlfriend and their fur babies in Philadelphia. She is a poet, writer, homemaker, loud-mouthed queer, gamer, and social justice badass.