Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#646: MY FIRST STAB AT EYE SHADOW

When I was about five years old, I secretly gathered together a few crayons, the one with the softest wax. They were all in colours that I thought were beautiful, bright and warm and dark. I hid them in an ornately carved wooden box meant for two decks of cards. It was a secret only I knew, and I took them out to feel them every day. I kept the box on top of a hot air vent so that the wax was warm and malleable. They smelled like paper and candles and dry wood.

I was saving them for something special, and one Sunday, I knew just what that was. I took my favourite colour from the box and rubbed it along my eyelids. I was going to be beautiful. I was going to glow, and people at the church would be awed by me. They were going to stare at me and wonder. My mother noticed my face as we were leaving and snapped What have you done?!. She took me to the bathroom mirror. Have you seen what you've done to your eyes? You look like you've been beaten. You didn't think this looked good, did you?

We did not feel the same way about the red smeared along my upper lids, and she scrubbed at my eyelids with a rough washcloth until all the redness left was my own. I went to church ugly that Sunday.