PANDA EYES [black eyeliner, continued]

As promised, here is the continuation of my previous post. (And just for coming back, here’s my Instagram — take a glimpse into my world, with and without eyeliner.)

People always asked me why I wore my eyeliner the way I did. My default response was usually “because I do.” That was the truth. I didn’t wear it to rebel. I didn’t wear it to stand out. I painted my face the way chose, the way I liked. My black eyeliner was me.

Most people told me to stop hiding my beautiful face. Most people said I looked better without it. But I liked my face better with heavy black eyeliner. That was all that mattered. Honestly, the only reason I stopped wearing my thick eyeliner is because I knew, after college, I’d have to get a “big girl job” and in big girl world my panda eyes would be deemed unacceptable.

I can’t tell count how many times people said I looked like a raccoon, whether they said it to my face or whispered it in someone’s ear. I just wish people would have been more original with their attempted insults.

My friend Ajax (my given nickname to her) said I looked like a panda. That comment actually made me smile. You see, pandas are cute and our mutual friend Nani loves pandas. Nani passed her love of pandas on to me, the humanized panda.

I miss my panda eyes.

Not only were they my panda eyes–they were my pirate eyes, my Taylor Momsen eyes.

This past weekend I got my eyes back.

My boyfriend, my best friend and I went to see The Pretty Reckless at The Sandlot in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was one of the best nights of my life. My love caught me a drumstick!

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Call me silly because I’ve never met Taylor Momsen, but she just might be my third favorite person. I mean just look at her rocking that stage.

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She looks about as happy as I was when I got my face back.

When Momsen knows she’s being photographed, she rarely smiles. People wonder why. I don’t, though. I think it’s the eyeliner.

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Once Upon a Time: Black Eyeliner

So, I’m going get a little more personal in this post.

Once upon a time, I used to wear heavy black eyeliner every day, for years. I religiously wore my eyeliner starting my freshman year of high school until I was a senior in college. So, about 10 years. And boy, did I receive some negative comments and ugly looks. Some include:

  •  “You’re emo. Go cut yourself.”
  • “Did it hurt when you got punched in the face?” (Not offensive, just way overused)

Most of the people who gave me nasty looks and rude comments were adults in their 40s and 50s. Sad, isn’t it?

On a lighter note (ah, the contrast), I also received some delicate comments.

When I was in college and working in retail, this little girl, about 4 years old, turned to her dad and said “Daddy, that right there looks like a pirate.” Little did that sweet girl know, I was (and still am, actually) obsessed with pirates.

It’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking that the nicest compliment I received was from a 4-year-old.

There was also my former co-worker and the occasional person who said I resembled Kesha. For that, I was also flattered. I love Kesha, for many reasons.

But then there was Taylor Momsen. Ah, yes, Taylor Momsen. My favorite idol.

I’ve been a fan of Momsen ever since she starred as Cindy Lou Who in the 2000 version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I grew up with Momsen. She’s only a couple of years younger than I am and she was/is in everything I was/am intoThe Grinch, Gossip Girl and, my favorite, The Pretty Reckless.

Soon after her role as Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl ended, she started focusing more on her music and her band. I discovered she was into heavy metal, rock, classic rock–and so on–as was I. And then…Her. Black. Eyeliner.

I was overjoyed that she, of all celebrities, painted her face the same way I did. I’d never met or knew of anyone else who did that (aside from the rock bands back in the day…) I may not know Taylor Momsen personally, but as soon as I discovered she wore heavy black eyeliner too, and the music she was into, I felt like I knew her a little better.

The only way anyone could somewhat understand is if they too, once upon a time, wore–or still do–heavy black eyeliner.

PS
My next post will be a continuation of this post. It will be about Taylor Momsen, my first time seeing The Pretty Reckless, and that same way I “paint my face.” So, please, stay tuned!

xoxo,
the woman in black