I don’t blame Amber Heard for forgetting the makeup she applied to her bruises. I have.

Dr. Mosley says it is common for abusive survivors to feel ashamed of their experiences. During her work on a community study in Detroit with sex workers of all sexes, Dr. Mosley witnessed many participants trying to hide their injuries from the world, masking bruises with makeup, glasses, hats and clothing.

“[When Heard speaks about] I don’t think I ever want to go public with bruises [it] it speaks both of the internalized stigma of survivors of violence and of how deeply the victims feel they are personally responsible for causing the violence, ”he says.

Something that some trans women included in the study repeated Dr. Mosley, he’s still chasing her. “Almost all of them survived intimate partner violence, and I remember two women in particular who said something in the sense that ‘I knew I became a woman when my partner started beating me,'” he says. “There is something in our society that really has to be a woman with abuse, to the extent that the trans women we interviewed and who survived considered it a basic criterion for being a woman in society.”

Before becoming a makeup artist in Los Angeles, Katey Denno spent ten years working as a social worker in Virginia, the Bronx and Washington, DC. Part of her job was to cover clients’ bruises with the only thing her shelter had on hand – children’s face paints.

“Most people felt embarrassed and embarrassed and sick to have the experience [body]Says Denno. “People are ashamed [and would wonder things like] “Why do I let my children testify?” “How come I didn’t see the warning signs?” [and] “How come I’m still in love with that man?”

There were times when clients didn’t want Denno to cover their bruises – sometimes they showed their injuries in an effort to convince dubious friends and family that the abuse had actually taken place. Or maybe, like Heard, they went to court to prove their abuse, and thought it might make a judge or jury believe them.

“I always wanted it [the abuse] did not happen, but [covering bruises] It also confirmed to me that makeup can be very strong, “adds Denno. at this time.”

Covering my own bruises didn’t seem like an act of control to me. Before the abuse, I was one person and I became another when I felt a puff rubbing against my skin. But when I spent about an hour googling “what shade fixes bruises” and tried to learn color theory, I had one glimmer of understanding: life doesn’t have to be that way. My mind whispered this mantra until I finally found the courage to believe it.

I don’t think I’d get to a higher level if I didn’t experience the demoralization when I had to figure out how to cover the bruise. I will never forget the shape of the compact and the delicate feeling of its padding on my skin. I can still close my eyes and feel the plastic of the product in my hands. I’ve been trying to remember the brand name all week, but like Heard, I’ve been trying to remember it.


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