Alex Blaze

School bans a boy from wearing make-up

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 14, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: black lipstick, dress code, gender policing, make up, middle school, school, school policy

What are the chances they took the same stand with girls at that school?


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It's nice to see his mother being so supportive. Also, I'd never seen badges like that - is that a common practice in US schools?

It's getting to be more and more common. When I was in middle school, we had ID cards with a similar statement of values on the back.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 14, 2008 3:30 PM

I thought the whole "guys wearing makeup" thing became a non-issue way back in my high school days (the 80's) when some guys used to wear eye-liner.

This is a clear case of gender stereotyping. If a girl came to school wearing the same makeup it would not be considered extreme.

The most recent news I could find is three weeks old, but apparently Matt returned to school without makeup and without disciplinary action being taken against him. At that time, Matt and his mother were considering a court fight.

I love his mother's attitude:
"When I spoke to the principal," Ball says, "She told me it was distracting because of the black makeup and I said, 'Well, I'll get him pink,' and she said no, because he's a male, he's not allowed to wear it, the public don't accept males wearing make-up."

It's a clear case of do as I say, not as I do. No wonder so many kids turn away from education. They can't stand the hypocrisy.

Angela Brightfeather | October 14, 2008 8:49 PM

As a 63 year old Trans woman, I look at this clip and ones like it and feel that I missed the boat.
Inside I scream to turn back the hands of time and to be reborn again in a more undefined gender where I can dress and be what I want at a younger age.

TRhen I hit myslef on the forehead with the palm of my hand and kick myself for not having done what Matt is doing right now, back in 1960 when I started high school. It is a simple case of looking at something like the Popiel Pocket Fisherman and wondering why I did not invent that and become a millionaire. Why didn't I invent the "Goth" look back then and how much farther would Trans youth be today had I had the huge epiphany to not wait around for Marylin Manson to come along?

I've felt this way before when asked to speak to a group of Unitarian young men and women about Transgender issues four years ago. After exchanging thoughts with many of them and answering a few questions, one of the young men, about age 13 asked me to attend their Summer Camp Final Day Dance, where all the boys become girls and all the girls become boys and switch places for the evening in a riotous exchange of gender roles. When I heard that, I just felt so old. The boat whistle shreeked in my ear telling me that the boat had once again left without me.

Listening to Matt'a mother, I think that I understand what her support means to him. I compare her to my mother who, after catching me using her makeup a few times, threatened to send me to a psychiatrist who would administer shock therapy and that she would dress me up and have my father drag me down the middle of the street in front of my friends.

I love people like Matt's mother and Matt, who stick up for each other because they realize that true love is unconditional and who clearly know that threats and failure to support and stand up for each other, are sometimes just another name for child abuse.

Extreme? Goth? I thought his makeup was subtle and well-applied. The lipstick wasn't exactly black - that was a tasteful natural shade that probably was close to that worn by many female students and faculty.

Of course, it's because he's male. For now.

Give it another twenty years, it won't be as strange for men to wear makeup. There's too much untapped money there for the cosmetic companies. Plus, a lot of men could sure use some cosmetic help.......