The show Euphoria has taken the youth by storm. Its crazy real drama and amazing actors helped the show take off, but the makeup and costuming design became one of the most popular topics on social media sights, so I decided to partake in all the hype.
I conducted a photoshoot right before starting my sophomore year of college. I did it with a purpose and a reason.
A LOT of young people have been sharing their inspired looks from the show and some even copying the skilled artwork of makeup artist Doniella Davy, who created most of the looks for the show. Yes, the makeup in the show is absolutely breathtaking, yet I felt that young people were adhering too closely with the makeup and not with the issues of the characters themselves. So, during my photoshoot, I decided to represent the glorious makeup along with the problems the characters in the show faced.
Let’s start with Cassie. In the show, Cassie is a sweet girl who’s been taken advantage of countless times. She has a confused soul with an alcoholic mom and loving older sister who provides her with guidance and a sense of security. Cassie gets pregnant in the show and debates keeping it stating “I’m not saying I want to have a baby. I just wanted to dream about it for a minute”. My takeaways from Cassie is that she craves real unconditional love and attention. She searches for it high and low without ever finding it. A baby was her hope for love. After receiving an abortion Cassie is faced with herself and her decisions. While teen pregnancy is a large issue in society so is the sexualization and objectivism of women which Cassie has faced her whole life, which is exactly what I wanted to depict in my photos.
Now for Jules. Jules is a transgender woman, with lesbian sexuality. She moved from the city after her parents got a divorce. She has a complicated love life, often meeting up with older men in the town’s motel. One of these men ended up recording her without her consent. This video is kept on a CD. In my pictures “Jules” is seen chained to her recording or past. She struggles with this secret on top of being bullied for her orientation, looks and sexuality. She has trouble with the balance between acceptance and defiance.
Maddie. The icon who is seriously inspiring many young people right now. One of the most loved icons of the show and her makeup looks were absolutely insane. The glamorous life of Maddie, however, includes domestic abuse from her boyfriend Nate. It’s easy to forget the issues at stake when the makeup looks so fabulous and the costumes are so inspiring. Maddie had loved the spotlight since she was young. She had always had stellar confidence and never cared about what people thought. Oddly enough, her abusive relationship demeans her self esteem while hightening it. Her and Nate (her boyfriend) are toxic for each other yet can’t live without each other. I wanted to depict this in the photographs of Maddie many have praised the character for her sweet glam, while ignoring the issues beneath it all.
Last but not least, Rue. Rue the main character struggles with addiction, lost her father at a young age, and fights with a variety of mental health disorders. She was introduced to drugs at a young age because of this which later turns her into an addict. It goes to show that prescription drugs can be dangerous even if they are taken in the correct way. Rue battles with the high of drugs and the downs of life, which is exactly why I conducted my pictures this way.
While Euphoria is a magnificent show and resonates with young people everywhere, I don’t want people to ignore the issues behind the characters’ beautiful faces. Therefore, if you’ve seen the show I hope these photos reminded you of both the beauty and troubles of the characters that face real-life issues everyday young people face. And for those of you who haven’t seen the show… I highly recommend you do.