Sunday, October 21, 2007

Can Make-Up Hide The Wounds Of Our Oppression?

"Not much is on the level here," a friend commented to me as we were examining costumes for Halloween. We'd been glancing through the women's selections, most of which catered to fantasies of being sick and helpless (the classic nurse/candy striper) to the sexy through domination (cops) to the outright bizarre, particularly an Alice in Wonderland outfit that bordered on mild society-sanctioned pedophilia. As an adult man or woman, you can dress up like a baby which brings to mind a period of time when adults were often seen carrying pacifiers as fashion statements. I looked at a fair number of tights, one of which offered the wearer a version of scarred legs, an image so jolting in this age of self-mutilation that I had to back away. In the spirit of full confession, I did buy the ones with a barb-wire design on them. As for make-up, I didn't need any -- my every day make-up is very Halloweeny and whenever I get my nails done, the woman doing them inevitably is shocked by my choice of black as opposed to the predictable palate of neutrals that most of my companions pick. Going to a Halloween party? the last one asked to which I said, My whole life is kind of a Halloween party.

Which is true. One of my students suggested that I dress up like a vampire cheerleader for the holiday this year to which I replied that I wanted to do something that wasn't so close to my regular look. I once saw a picture of a woman carrying a sign that read -- "Can Make-Up Hide The Wounds Of Our Oppression?" I thought about that for a long time, thought about the ways we try and hide all of our pain, to tamp it down, make it okay for everybody else. But on Halloween, we can wear it on the outside. We can be whomever we would like to for the moment, no matter how sick, no matter how transparent. Our desires and fears can consume us for a little while in front of everyone else. We can be sexy or scary. Or if we're really lucky, we can be both.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose." Langston Hughes

Cocktail Hour

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Sunday! Watch this section for the debut of "The Holy Pear" and Grouchie's first visit to an art museum next week! My condolences to my fellow midwesterners who had to endure any "Sweetest Day" garbage yesterday.


Brian in Mpls said...

I always feel sorry for people who have to wait for Halloween to act out their fantasies.

Ropinator said...

We have no halloween, the coctail looks nice

the walking man said...

If the equinox and the dark is loosed during this moon then for me it came early, but now i can just lock my gates turn off my lights and not let anyone near my house, although I am thinking of painting the dog black and red so it looks like she is bleeding profusely and no one would be able to get to her to help her because the gates would be all locked.

I wil throw small candy sized stones at anyone who rattles my gate to. Now that would be a Halloween party i might enjoy...and thank you for the beginning of bringing me out of my funk with the sweet thing you said.



Cheri said...

I have to dress up on Sunday for work because Royal Oak has some horrid trick or treat thing from 2-4 for kids. One of the gay guys at work is dressing up in full drag, sparkly makeup and tight dress with some crazy wig and I can only imagine what the parents will think..

As for myself, I have no fucking clue what to be. I think that being myself is scary enough.

Victoria Anne said...

i loooove each and every one of your posts!

Pythia3 said...

I love Halloween and I hate Sweetest Day!
I spent last night ("Sweetest Day") with a strong, talented, awesome woman who's strength became too scary for the man. (Yawn) Speaking of which...Kissing Jessica Stein is on TV.
And you are so right about the costumes - pretty sick. I think I'll be a voodoo child and carry a little man doll.

whitenoise said...

It's amazing how big Hallowe'en has become in the last twenty years. We've spend a small fortune decorating our house "for the kids". ;-)

My usually shy 13 yr-old hosted a party last year which boosted his popularity within his peer group. As someone who was a social outcast at his age, it was heart-warming to witness. His 2nd annual will be this Friday night, a little bit bigger, a little bit louder...

Detroit International Marathon Man said...


Rodney Dangerfield said...

Sorry it took me so long to come upon your photo, Michelle. I was in a bar along the Detroit marathon, if you know what I mean

Charles Gramlich said...

"My whole life is a kind of halloween party." Great line. About all I ever add to my look to say halloween is a leather hat and a bigger earring.

eric1313 said...

Yesterday was sweetest day?

Ha! I guess I could lump all the phonecalls I got as sweetest day garbage.

Although, they were nice.

So was the my whole life is kind of a halloween party line. Except you're not very scary. Sorry!