Tuesday, December 06, 2011


I saw the Cassandra Bankson video a few days ago and was amazed by her artistic talent. She was able to transform her canvas in the most extraordinary way - it was like watching artist create a master-price. Her message is straight from the heart - it takes a lot of courage and empathy for such a young person to be able to show a face so badly scarred for the world to see. Most women wear makeup - from a little to a lot of it. It is not unlike children using crayons to express themselves. What we make of our "crayons" can in the end be very different. Cassandra is able to use them as a powerful tool - it frees her from social awkwardness and self-consciousness that an acne ridden face can mean.

She uses makeup to liberate herself and that is a powerful transformation to watch. She is a beautiful person even without the makeup but with her skills she is able to achieve the level of airbrushed perfection that millions of others aspire to. I was left wondering about reality and illusion as I watched the video - which is the real Cassandra. As her face nears perfection, you can almost feel the internal transformation happen - she emerges like a glorious butterfly from its chrysalis. Makeup when done as perfectly as Cassandra's is like a mask infused with life. It enables the person wearing it take on a completely different personality. In her case, a career path that would have otherwise been impossible. It is no longer about simple vanity, it is an enabling force - I don't think I had ever thought of makeup in those terms until I saw this video.

A woman freshening up to go to work would be the equivalent of a child's doodle to Cassandra's Rembrandt. Professional makeup artists do what Cassandra is doing every day; the fact that she uses her own face ( the blemished canvas) to illustrate her art is what makes this a such powerful and personal statement about what is in the realm of possible for anyone to achieve.

1 comment:

ggop said...

Very gutsy of her to bare all.
I remember the pancake stuff that Madhuri Dixit would wear in the 90s in Bollywood movies did diddly squat for her pimples. Techniques have improved so much since then.