marekawaii

Make-up in Menhera and Misinformation

This topic has been on my mind a lot, but it’s hard to know how to approach it.

While it looks like the misconception that menhera is ‘drippy glitter makeup’ is finally dying, we are still having problems with people that think menhera is a specific make-up style, simply medical accessories, or yandere nurse costumes.

I think one of the problems is that a lot of people getting into menhera see misinformation, try to base a look on that information, post something that isn’t quite correct, people see it and the misinformation continues to spread. Conversely those who do menhera correctly are often too shy to post in public groups, and/or are ignored since their outfits are less flashy.

As a general reminder, menhera is first and foremost an activism community with a message of bringing awareness to and destigmatizing various mental health, stress, and chronic health issues. As a style it is casual and accessible, defined by vent art on a top (such as a t-shirt or a hoodie). This activism background and accessible focus means that it’s important to keep the style accessible and casual to avoid becoming a caricature or costume of mental health.

menhera.jp, THE menhera site

menhera.jp, THE menhera site

Personally I don’t think one non-casual element will completely ruin an outfit. For example, if you are someone who wears heavier make up normally, it would seem silly for you to purposefully wear less makeup than normal when dressing up. However, it's important to remember that these elements are not inherently part of the style.

Kuua Oyasumi, ‘mother of menhera’, in a standard menhera outfit

Kuua Oyasumi, ‘mother of menhera’, in a standard menhera outfit

If you are someone who loves the messages of menhera, but wants to branch out into a style that doesn’t fit into menhera fashion , here are a few suggestions of styles to look into:

If you want to focus on make-up, look into the living-doll community. This style isn’t about becoming a ‘doll’ but using your face and body as a canvas to create art. Many of the artists in this community use their make up as a way to express their inner torments and struggles just like menhera vent art.

Toshi and heirofglee, two prominent living doll artists

Toshi and heirofglee, two prominent living doll artists

If you particularly like cute medical motifs, just want to be a cute nurse, or prefer to be accessory heavy try medikawaii, gurokawaii, or medical themed decora. There’s a lot more freedom with these styles as an outfit can simply be an aesthetic without the need for the vent art and accessibility angle menhera has.

Matty Em does a lot of accessory heavy decora, fairy kei, and pastel goth looks. Sometimes he does medical themed looks too!

Matty Em does a lot of accessory heavy decora, fairy kei, and pastel goth looks. Sometimes he does medical themed looks too!

Just want to do a ‘yandere nurse’ style or to mix medical elements with gore and blood, try iryouu kei! This style is a bit controversial given the gore elements, but it’s less offensive since it doesn’t have the mental health activism element to it.

Lou Graves does a lot of iryouu kei and vampire themed outfits. This style allows him to play with the contrast of blood splatter and spill with dark or white clothing.

Lou Graves does a lot of iryouu kei and vampire themed outfits. This style allows him to play with the contrast of blood splatter and spill with dark or white clothing.

Menhera-inspired looks are always welcome, I personally do more of a menhera-inspired punk style myself, but I suggest mentioning if you are aiming to be menhera, menhera-inspired, or one of the other mentioned styles, particularly when you are posting looking for concrit. I’d also like to encourage those who wear more ‘standard’ simple menhera outfits to not be afraid of posting just because your look isn’t as flashy as a menhera-inspired style :)

Me and my punk x menhera nonsense :) Photo by Maya Elaine

Me and my punk x menhera nonsense :) Photo by Maya Elaine