I recently got lip filler for the first time. Was it something that I did for myself to feel more aligned with how I view my own femininity as a trans woman? Was my lip filler one of the answers to the questions I ask my younger self? Or, have I finally been bombarded by the cisheteronormative beauty standards enough that I have succumbed to them?
I am honestly not 100% sure, but my lips look good, and when I check in with a younger version of myself, she seems happy.
The first time I appeared on Vogue was in a street style piece dedicated to The Romance of Ribbons, photographed by Phil Oh. I was not even invited to that show. The question isn’t how did I get there — I got an intern to put my name on the list the night before at a smaller show. The question is, how did I get invited to NYFW in the first place?
TikTok was still pretty new when I moved to NYC in 2021, that is probably how I initially made my way into NYFW. No one really knew that 50k followers on TikTok was not the same as 50k on Instagram. I mean, I knew.
By early 2022 we were all being bombarded by the same beauty standards on IG and TikTok, depending on who you were following. No makeup-makeup. Upcycled vintage nightgowns. People were already dissolving their BBLs, but lip filler was still in. Fluffy eyebrows. Brown Mascara and a subtle liner. I was aware. But I have always been more interested in appeasing my younger self than the people around me.
On the day of the Wiederhoeft show, younger Blossom wanted to dress as a clown. I wanted big blush circles on my face. Lots of texture. Red tights. Younger Blossom didn’t have boobs yet, but current Blossom’s estrogen was working wonders, so we went with an exposed-bra moment. Looking back, I was still very flat chested, but I was feeling myself, and I stand by that choice.
My idea of beauty was never going to be dictated by what the trend cycle is doing. I didn’t grow up with my Mormon mom in her vanity showing me how to apply the perfect red lip. Honestly, I don’t even like a red lip. Give me a lip stain and a blue glitter gloss any day. My understanding of beauty came from girls from Montreal on MSN Messenger, my top 8 on Myspace, seeing what my students were doing on Instagram, and then finding my community on TikTok at 30 years old.
I grew up in a vaguely francophone, mostly English, sometimes quebecoise, AIM and MSN messenger era. A place where the coolest girls I knew looked like Manny from Degrassi in that one episode with the blue thong. But they all spoke French. I was just another scene kid in Maine trying to find the right angle for my new profile pic on Myspace. I am originally from Massachusetts, but I lived with my mom in Maine during the summers, and I choose to remember that part of my adolescence.
By the time I left college, I was heavily influenced by Lady Gaga. Nowadays we all know, “There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don't believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life,” but back in 2009 my favorite thing she ever said was, “My whole life is art and my whole life is performance.” That is something that has always stuck with me.
Given the opportunity to live as art, what would my younger self choose to look like? What would she wear? What would her makeup look like? Would she live as a woman? Where would she live? Would she live? You’re looking at the answer to those questions. I still like to ask myself the first three questions daily. As for the others, I already found those answers.
When I ask myself what to wear, I normally dress in Moschino found on The RealReal or Vestiaire Collective. As another trans person who named herself after a cartoon character, it may not come as a surprise that the Moschino x Powerpuff Girls and Moschino x My Little Pony collabs speak to me.
Makeup is a whole different story, though.
When I left my career teaching high school and moved to NYC — after living in Massachusetts, Maine, Italy, upstate New York, the Basque Country, and New Jersey — my platform on TikTok revolved around language. My background in multilingualism, education, and sharing ways that nonbinary people were creating neo-pronouns for themselves in romance languages. That wasn’t paying my rent.
All of my content was talk-to-camera style, much of it in Spanish, French, or Italian. But what was most significant for my wallet was that I was also transitioning in front of the camera, in real time, and makeup was one of the most important ways I was aligning myself with my gender. Sponsored posts on languages were few and far between, but I could go grocery shopping with the money I made from makeup and skincare.
As I started to create more content sharing how I used makeup, my following grew. I came to a realization. Any popularity I had was fleeting — I needed to leverage my experience with social media to gain a new career. I was a great teacher, but when I asked younger Blossom who she wanted to be, she much preferred a job in beauty.
A few people who worked at Milk Makeup were following me back then. Milk has always been my favorite makeup brand, and when I asked myself my dream place to work, that was it. It wasn’t until the day that one of the founders followed me on Instagram that I decided to take a bold move. I made a video telling Milk I was going to work for them.
Five months later, I became the Community Manager on the Organic Social team. I’ve been there over a year at this point and I couldn’t be happier.
Out of all the people watching my livestream today, it was a trans masc kid named Percy who had the best idea: “try adding some small circles.” I grabbed a straining spoon from my kitchen, placed it over my blush, and applied some purple eyeshadow. Crowdsourcing makeup ideas on TikTok is not something I always had access to. This is just another story of a pink-haired ex-mormon trans woman misunderstanding beauty on the internet.