Beauty and brains: Drag queen hosts makeup class for tweens at Ditmas Park library

Brooklyn Paper
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Gussying up: Abigayle Ganter, 12, Tiffany Mustopa, 16, and Kalha Norviloe, 16, do their makeup at the beauty workshop.
Fairest of them all: Kalha Norviloe, 16, checks out her makeup.
Helping hand: Marley Shea, 12, helps her twin sister, Maya, put on false eyelashes.
Head of the class: Marley Shea, 12, and cosmetology professor Cholula Lemon show off their fierce looks.

This teacher was a real drag!

A professional drag queen taught youngsters how to channel their creativity using cosmetics during a makeup tutorial at Brooklyn Public Library’s Ditmas Park branch, where the lady of the hour walked the kids through a toned-down version of her own fabulous routine.

“The difference between drag and regular everyday makeup is that drag is just more,” said Jonathan Hamilt, a leader of do-good group Drag Queen Story Hour, which partners with the borough library system to bring queens to book lenders for readings. “We remind everyone that if you want to wear this in real life, tone it down a little bit.”

The new cosmetology workshop, which debuted at the Courtelyou Library on Feb. 21, sprung from the book lender’s ongoing partnership with Hamilt’s group.

But unlike the readings — which cater to 3- to 8-year-olds — librarians geared the makeup mixer to a middle- and high-school-aged crowd, inviting 12- to 18-year-olds to watch New York City–based queen Cholula Lemon demonstrate how to apply such products as eye shadow, mascara, and fake eyelashes, according to the organizer.

The new gender-bending collaboration between the librarians and the lady performers introduces a different age group of kids to the queens, allowing the tweens to recognize and embrace differences that make their peers unique, according to Hamilt.

“Our mission is to instill tolerance, acceptance, and love, and to promote gender diversity,” he said. “We want kids to know its okay to love yourself for who you are, and let everyone know it’s okay to be different.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 6:14 pm, February 25, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Penny says:
I am so pleased by the diversity of this event - even Muslim hijabi girls putting on drag make-up! You go girls!
Feb. 26, 2019, 7:03 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Spread love and diversity! Beautiful to see!
Feb. 26, 2019, 1:33 pm

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