I just saw a young woman in CVS giving herself a makeover with the drug store products. I was in awe of her utter lack of inhibition, her complete abandon when it came to all matters public and grooming. There she stood on aisle 8, applying direct from a fresh tube, coat after coat of blackest black mascara. Normally, I find this type of behavior disgusting. Social decorum not only prevents us all from becoming literal monsters, but encourages me to participate in an over-populated city. This instance was special, however. I found myself lingering by the budget lipstick made with real avocado in order to steal glances at this pharmacy’s Joan of Arc. There she stood, facing no mirror, applying numerous layers with a dangerously tiny wand. She wasn’t hiding her mission. Potentially losing an eye didn’t even phase her. She went on, creating a masterpiece with complete confidence. As I feigned interest in the Berry Blast gloss in front of me, another thought occurred – perhaps I’ve happened upon an incredible display of performance art. One that decries the societal pressures that every woman faces to paint on a daily mask, while also giving a giant middle finger to the corporations and beauty brands that market self-confidence and self-love for $8.95 a tube. This woman is not only slightly unhinged, but the definition of an American hero. I turned to continue my shopping, leaving our heroine to change the world one product at a time. I selected my two pairs of pantyhose (because a run in this patriarchic accessory just won’t do) and headed to the register. But before I left, I decided to check on Joan once more. I simply followed the smell of freshly killed ozone and jojoba to aisle 7, and there she was – squatting on the floor brushing her hair while rocking to an inaudible song. I like to think it was Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You.” Forget her, I never will. Heroes are on all types of drugs, folks. And I’m never buying makeup from that CVS again.

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