This make-up artist is visiting transgender prisoners to offer make-up lessons
A make-up artist who has specialised in a line of trans-inclusive make-up has been visiting trans prisoners in the UK to give them make-up lessons.
Jessica Blackler was contacted by a group of trans make-up artists at Parc Prison in South Wales, decided to offer make-up lessons to the prisoners when she discovered the difficulties the inmates experienced in prison.
As items such as eyeliner and mirrors can be constituted as weapons in a prison environment, it is difficult for women in a prison to access make-up.
And for those who may be transitioning or denied hormonal treatments in prison, the struggle to represent their identity can be incredibly troublesome.
As Blackler create a make-up collection with trans and gender inclusivity in mind, she decided that she would bring her skills to the prison and tutor trans women on honing their make-up skills.
“The trans women aren’t all kept together on one ward, so prison can be a very isolating experience for them- more so than for cisgender prisoners- and they often face violence and discrimination because of their gender identity from the other inmates,” said Blackley.
“This was a nice way to bring all the trans women together for an hour or two to have some bonding girly time.”
The artist has said that the visits have allowed her to celebrate some key moments and milestones in these women’s lives.
During her last visit, she applied make-up to a prisoner who was about to see her mother for the first time in years.
Trans prisoners are known to struggle significantly more than their cis counterparts in prison.
2016 saw a record number of trans prisoners die by suicide.
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As recently as last month, a trans prisoner in the UK went on a hunger strike over their treatment in prison.
Blackler created her line JECCA MAKEUP after many trans women reported to her that traditional makeup didn’t meet their needs.
Jessica is a Stonewall ambassador, and will donate 5% of the profits made from her line to the charity.
Her Crowdfunder to expand her line can be found here.