Though you’ve heard me sing praises of the Deep South before here, you might not know I’m originally from Baltimore, a place a bit more Northern, but always close to my heart. And as a Bmore girl, I harbor deeply my affinity and appreciation for hometown hero, John Waters.
Waters’ status goes beyond cult icon in Baltimore, where he can still be seen petting his thin little stache through the streets of Hampden. His films are not the kind of thing most sensible parents would allow their children to watch, but I was fortunate enough to be born of two parents who generally DGAF, which worked out for them and me because I am artistic and perfect and smart and I’ve only been to jail once.
But John Waters is sort of mainstream-famous, right? Everyone and their lame mom has seen the 2007 version of Hairspray, which wasn’t even shot in Baltimore (Toronto is great and full of neat buildings and beautiful xoVain writers, but it is no Baltimore) and features John Travolta’s laughable excuse for a Baltimore accent.
However, the original Hairspray is AWESOME and campy in the best ways, and Divine is in it, and a young Ricki Lake, and Debbie Harry’s there, too! Oh man.
But the film that had probably the greatest influence on me was the first John Waters film I saw, Cry-Baby. I found Cry-Baby available for free Instant Watch on the TV in my parents’ basement when I was 13. This was right after the first Pirates of the Caribbean film came out, and while other girls were pinning magazine cutouts of Orlando Bloom (meh) to their bedroom walls, I was furiously Google-image-searching Johnny Depp every day after school at the public library.
So Cry-Baby was BIG for me. Here was a baby-faced Johnny Depp playing a sexy bad boy Drape with his heart set on a good girl Square, and he was singing and moving his hips and he had those cheekbones and that hair and oh my god, you guys, why am I writing about this--I am clearly not over this crush situation.
But here’s what really got me about Cry-baby. The film is full of these total babes who looked incredibly different from the women I was accustomed to seeing in TV and movies. And get this: in the movie, these women call themselves beautiful!
Watching Cry-Baby was, I think, the first time I ever actually heard a woman call herself beautiful. I’d seen my father call my mother beautiful, but I’d never heard her call herself beautiful. All the women around me stumbled around in a tanning-bed-induced daze chanting some varied mantra of “Need to diet; need to dye my hair; eed to, need to, need to.” So when a character literally named Hatchetface called herself beautiful on screen, my 13-year-old mind was blown and enamored.
So, the ladies of this film are HOT. Recreating their look is simple and fun and easy. Pretty much just wear anything really tight, a leather jacket, curl your bangs under, flick your eyeliner out, and paint your lips red. Aim to look like any lady tattoo artist on Instagram, pretty much. By that I mean, equal parts smoking-hot and crazy-tough.
But I’m gonna show you how to recreate the look of the heartthrobbiest heartthrob of them all: Cry-Baby himself, our sensitive, sexy, face-tattooed Halloween look.
Start with your hair straightened. If you want to work a bit of coverage onto your face, use a light BB cream. No blush, eyeliner or mascara for this look.
Use some dark brown shadow to fill in your brows, and use that same shadow to lightly contour your cheeks so as to look a bit studlier.
Then, fill a spray bottle with water and thoroughly soak your hair all over. Feel free to use this time to practice your mean, bad-boy faces.
Then, use your fingers to slick all your hair back. Using a fine-toothed comb, smooth the hair on the sides of your head down flat and use your fingers to froof the middle section up a bit more.
Then, work a ton of hair gel into all of your hair. Make sure to gel the back down to keep it all uniformly sexy. I used American Crew Classic Firm Hold Styling Gel. They’re the official supplier to men, apparently. It worked great.
After your hair is thoroughly gellified, blowdry it. This will set the style and keep it in place.
Take a piece of hair from the front and pull it out so it hangs in the front of your face, like Cry-Baby’s. Because I have short bangs, I pulled a piece from farther back, and pushed my bangs around it so it didn’t look too obvious.
Man, you look so hot already! Now it’s time for your face tattoo.
Cry-Baby got his nickname for his ability to cry one single, solitary tear. Babes love sensitive dudes. (But not tooooo sensitive.) While he was locked up, Cry-Baby gets a teardrop tattoo because his love for pretty Square chick Allison is forever. Love is real!!!
Use liquid liner to draw a small teardrop below one eye. Then throw a leather jacket over your white tee, and go break some hearts!
So I guess what I’m asking is, are you a Drape or a Square?