When I agreed to model for one my MUA (make up artist) friends, Cait - I didn’t quite know what I was letting myself in for. Yes I did, I’m so lying aha.
A couple of months ago my good friend Cait Owens (go check her out https://www.instagram.com/caitowensmua/ she’s amazing and you’ll see soon why) asked me to help her out in one of her final make up assessments for the year and being the top notch and always willing (little bitch) pal I am agreed without question. Now I can’t remember her exact brief but I feel it was down the line of, theatrical/androgyny, as during my session I was a strong she-man in a sea of David Bowies.
Now when she mentioned it was going to be a drag look, I’m not gonna lie, I was incredibly intrigued. While I’d never had any massive urge to have my face caked in make up, stuff my shirt with chicken fillets and have a new ass carved out of Styrofoam, the notion did bring back memories of my 5 (10) year old self wanting to wear my Mothers dresses and shouting at the top of my lungs, “AM A LADY”, aha good lord.
I had watched the BuzzFeed video, with the ‘Try Guys’, and it was actually hilarious, they all ended up looking so good and they all looked like they had a great time so why not - so I also had a little idea of the process I was letting myself in for, including the gluing back of my eyebrows to be replaced by finely tuned, non-beaver like ones.
So the morning of the test run for the make-up I hadn’t slept the night before, as my end of year graded piece was due that morning so I was fairly exhausted and irritable. None the less, I am a man (kinda) of my word and put on a brave face that was about meet a smorgasbord of makeup aha. I actually made a point of not looking in any mirrors while the make-up was being applied as I really wanted to see the transformation (little did I know how big a one it would eventually be) - it took just over an hour the first time, between me cringing when anything went near my eyes and the flash eyelashes - bleh. After the basic make-up was done, Cait escaped to grab me an array of lice ridden wigs for me to try and I eventually settled on the red.
I was actual flabbergasted. I wanted to date me. I think what took me by surprise was just how little like myself she looked - she being Miss Sylvia Liddel ahaha. That turned out to be my porn name but none the less, it sounded better than Gus Lammermoor. It wasn’t even that I had a face full of make-up, but between the conturing and other face shaping combination wig - I looked more feminine than ever and I didn’t even know that was possible. When I posted it on facebook/insta etc, some people didn’t even know it was me lorde. Props to Cait.
When it came to the day of the actual photo-shoot, we’d gotten the makeup down to fine 45 minutes and me, looking like the image above, had to walk from one college building to another encountering countless folk on the way, and no one looked twice. amazing. I mean I was wearing a pair of Dior Sunglasses so most people just thought I was being ambitious with a bold lip aha. Our photographer for the day, Siobhan Morton, took very good control of the shoot allowing me to channel all the full blown feminine poses that Euan certainly couldn’t get away with, but Sylvia could. While I was satisfied with how the overall look went, I am a bit of a dedicated exhibitionist so finishing of the look with a cheeky complimentary heel, wouldn’t have gone a miss.
I honestly didn’t have that many reservations about doing it, like I don’t think I’m so comfortable with myself that I would do it super regularly or perform like others do. But to me it was just like a great, very elaborate game of dress up - with a professional MUA followed by a heavy duty photo session. It was just a great experience to see just how different you can act and look with the right equipment. And while I know the two aren’t really connected it kinda confirmed a few queries I had over those who go through sex change surgeries, it’s less about trying to conform to “social norms” and more about, like so many other things, allowing the outside you to comfortably represent the real you and the person you want people to see. I guess I felt slightly uncomfortable by what some people might have thought but future Euan definetely didn't want to end up saying "oh yeah I almost did drag once, but nah was worried what others would think".
I think everyone should do drag at least once. Feel fun and flirty for an hour or so.