Once in a while, while trying to draw inspiration for work, I find myself trying to remember who or what inspired me to go into makeup and yes the usual suspects come up. Marilyn, Elizabeth, Audrey etc. Yes yes yes these glamorous women of Hollywood are indeed powerful influences when it came to makeup and hair but if prodded deeper into the recesses of my childhood memories, one character always shines through and She's Truly Outrageous! Jem & The Holograms!
A US cartoon series that ran for 3 years in the mid-80s. It involves a music company owner Jerrica Benton who uses her deceased dad's holographic computer to project her alter-ego Jem and with her sister & friends Kimber, Aja, Shana and later Carmen, they form The Holograms! Filled with cheesy 80s pop music and as a rotund kit obsessed with fashion, colour and clothes, this cartoon had it all! Bright coloured hair, block colour makeup, the bluntest, heaviest fringes this side of Toni & Guy, leggings, shiny lurex, it makes Top Shop kids look very tame and pretentious! I still remember nicking pink chalk from school (yes kids we used chalk back then!) and crushing it to apply on my little sister's face in a poor but later very influential attempt to mimic all the looks she had in every episode.
It wasn't all fun and games with Jem and crew, they had rivals and boy were the vicious and wild! Fronted by rich bad girl Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer and later Jetta, The Misfits were everything Jem & the holograms weren't. Everything Jem stood for in pink and beautiful colours, fashion and positive music, The Misfits indulged and contrasted, in loud, clashing animal prints, acid colours, naughty chaos and a total disrespect for the law!
I loved how the makeup was a disarray of coloured slashes, asymmetry and scratch lines. Way before a certain Lara Stone, Pizzazz was rocking the bleached brow look with fury and 80s cockiness!
So sure, the cartoon tackled issues important to a child growing up such as reading, lying and friendship but to 9 year old rotund boy in Asia, bored and crazy about fashion, makeup and colours, it would prove the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the magic and power of makeup and clothes! So does anyone actually remember this series? What impact did it have on you? Comment please, I'd love to know that I'm not the only one who's sad enough to remember this and admit to it!