In 2021, during a period of illness, I was unable to wear eye makeup. This caused me more distress than I would have expected, and prompted me to think about what my makeup choices mean and why my sudden inability to wear eyeliner had such an impact on me. A paper grew out of this, which was then published in Existential Analysis. It presents a phenomenological exploration of my relationship with makeup — specifically, with gothic eyeliner, which I have been wearing to various degrees since I was a teenager.
This paper presents a phenomenological exploration of my relationship with eyeliner. I draw parallels between the loss of possibilities in Heidegger’s being-towards-death and the cutting off of the possibility of wearing eyeliner through illness. I discuss Sartrean and Kierkegaardian views of the self and how, through illness, self can become Other.
The full paper can be downloaded here.