Updated August 12, 2022

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As a hearing individual, one of my favorite things to do in my free time is to play with makeup. I can sit for hours on end learning how to apply makeup and how to accentuate my beauty on sites like YouTube, or I let my own creativity take the wheel and try something completely new and experiment with my makeup techniques. When you think about it, it’s easy to sit and listen to people explain how to do your makeup and follow along when you are given the ability to do so. For someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, it may not be so simple. We can learn about beauty through the Internet, or pursue the passion professionally by becoming licensed makeup artists. I looked into how Deafness can coincide with the beauty industry to see if it helps or hinders their abilities. Upon conducting research, you can see that each situation varies from person to person and each individual has their own perception of how their deafness has affected their ability to learn and create and follow their passions.

In the most recent years, beauty influencers have been taking over the online world. Everyone can learn to do makeup like a pro without the expensive cosmetology classes via the social media platform, YouTube. If you go on their website, YouTube does provide captioning, but even when I use them it is not an accurate representation of what the beauty vlogger is actually saying. For someone who is Deaf and or Hard of Hearing, these tutorials may not be as easy to follow. Deaf beauty vlogger, Louis Jenson, spoke to bustle.com via email talking about all the difficulties he faces while being Deaf in the beauty community. There are times where vloggers forget to show the name of the products that they are using and it can be difficult to follow along without the correct captioning. The point being made is that representation of the Deaf community is far more important than we fail to realize (Tonic, 2018). Jenson felt that creating Deaf-friendly makeup tutorials on YouTube was another way to connect with his community and has helped him grow as well as others that are a part of the Deaf community. There are also some tutorials that you can find that are completely shown in ASL so those who are fluent in the language can follow along.

For someone in the Deaf community, it would seem that pursuing makeup artistry as a professional career would have its challenges, but not for Kayla Wisdom. She is a student at QC Makeup Academy and is also hard of hearing. She uses Assisted Hearing Devices (AHDs) occasionally, depending on what type of setting she is in. It is not apparent that she has any major hearing loss until there is a situation where she cannot make any eye contact or read body language. Without those staples in her conversations, she is unable to “hear” what is being said (Deck, 2017). Wisdom finds that the art of makeup when you are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can give you an advantage. Wisdom sees makeup artistry as a completely visual medium (Deck, 2017). She feels more aware of visual cues like changes in body language and such. Wisdom is able to see exactly what’s going on with the client when they’re in the chair, without any exchange of words. With understanding this, she can make her adjustments accordingly and help provide the best services possible. Kayla has landed many jobs doing makeup on live television, as well as helping actors and musicians get prepared for the stage.

Kayla Wisdom’s greatest inspiration is Deaf makeup artist, Tia Albert. Albert works in the film industry as a licensed makeup artist. She has an interview posted on YouTube where she talks about her experience with her career and being Deaf. The way film sets are arranged it makes it difficult for her to hear voices, ultimately leading her to become missing in action and not being able to hear all instructions or information that is said. Instead of yelling out her name, the director she worked with would use a laser pointer to get her attention when it was time for her to help out on set, (http://deafyouvideo.blogspot.com/2013/03/dwif-tia-Albert-deaf-professional.html). She felt it helped her immensely with her efficiency at work. Albert has worked for PBS and the grand opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She discussed her struggle with being a people pleaser and not speaking up and saying no to things that she didn’t feel comfortable doing at first, but now she is able to decline certain jobs or offers, which helps her tremendously.

Overall, I feel that each individual had such different experiences with pursuing makeup while being a part of the Deaf community. It is great to see that they are inspired by each other and work hard to make sure the people from the Deaf community are represented well. This has helped me realize as a hearing individual that being Deaf is something that they are proud of and it is a part of whom they are. It is amazing to see how people like Kayla Wisdom use their “disability”, that can be seen as a detriment to others, as an advantage in their career. Louis Jenson is proud of his culture and community and is creating that stepping stone for others who have a hard time following along with makeup tutorials and want to get all the products that they use. Tia Albert serves as an inspiration for Kayla as well as others. Tia left the advice to others who want to follow in her footsteps, to make sure that you are always smiling and if you ever need help, she is there to give you a helping hand. It’s so heartwarming to see how a community who is so spread out all over, can be so generous and loving. At the end of the day, the Deaf community is beautiful on the inside and out.


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DEAF CULTURE AND BEAUTY. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/deaf-culture-and-beauty/


What are 3 good examples of Deaf culture?
Some examples are: Eye contact. Eye contact is extremely important. Touch. In Deaf culture, it is acceptable to touch another person to gain their attention, even if you do not know them well. Physical proximity. Directness. Thumping on tables or floors.
What are 4 cultural behaviors in the Deaf culture?
Deaf community norms include: Maintaining eye contact. Being blunt and direct, whether in description or opinion. Waving, tapping the shoulder, stamping on the floor, banging on the table, and turning the lights on and off to get someone's attention.
What are the 4 core values of Deaf culture?
All cultures, including Deaf culture have four components: language, behavioral norms, values and traditions . For Deaf culture, vision plays a significant role in each of the four components. People who are Deaf rely strongly on their vision to communicate and gather information.
What is unique about Deaf culture?
Deaf people are unique because of their hearing loss, early experiences, language and community commitment . In many respects they function like a minority group. Almost certainly they have a firm base of "culture".
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