“A woman can enjoy her acting career for as long as she wants. But for someone like me, I have so many limitations to go ahead with the acting profession”. With these words, Vineeth, who is a transgender makeup artist, gives us a sneak peek into society’s mentality when it comes to the third sex. Even though the Apex Court has identified transgenders as the third gender, society has not still given them a free pass.
For television viewers, Vineeth is a person they recognise. Vineeth, who was part of the famous reality show ‘Comedy Stars’, has performed for various stage shows and television shows in the past. Vineeth has recently entered the world of makeup. She has a passion for bridal make up and has clients not only in Kerala, but in cities like Chennai, Bangalore, etc.
Vineeth’s journey is an inspirational story for those who are neglected. Vineeth describes the journey that made her choose this profession.
“As everyone knows, I was a media artist and have performed in various shows including stage programmes. But, one important aspect is, being a transgender, there are limitations to continue with the acting profession. Also, all these years, the acting role would also be the same. I was thinking about all this for a long time. Initially, I thought of choosing fashion designing as my profession. But finally I decided on makeup. In my acting days also, I was doing my makeup by myself. So what I thought was, if I can do it myself, why can’t I do it for others. However, to make it into a career, the limited knowledge I had was not enough. So I learned what I don’t know from experts. Today, I do all kinds of makeup. But I am more focused on brides,” she says.
Once Vineeth decided to take make up as her profession, she travelled to Hyderabad and Mumbai and learned the art from the best. From the past four years, Vineeth has been establishing herself in this field.
“I get assignments frequently. Most of the works I get through my clients themselves. Rather than doing it for celebrities or famous people, I love to do it for normal people. Whether it is a girl from a high class family or middle class family, every girl dreams to dress well and to present herself well at her wedding. So my priority is this. My work is affordable, even for the poor. But, that doesn’t mean I would compromise on the products I use. I only use international products, the same ones used by other makeup artists,” she said.
Vineeth added that most of her clients were doctors. When asked whether there was any difficult for people to accept her as a makeup artist, Vineeth said that, “I bought the makeup products using the money I earned from my acting career. However, I never thought at any moment if I would get make up orders or if people will call me or not. Such thoughts never disturbed me. I only thought about what I can do today. Irrespective of what I get or not, I was happy to be in this profession. My friends and husband helped me a lot and they supported me throughout,” she says.
Vineeth has been married for the past 10 years. Though she is happy with her profession and enjoying every second of it, transgenders are still targeted by certain groups of society. She recently recieved some vulgar messages on Facebook. “I received those messages. But I never said anything back to that person. Instead, I took the screen shots and gave it to that person’s family. What some particular groups in society think is that all trangenders are living for sex. He seems to have sent the message with this intention. Most of my friends and I recieve the same behaviour from Facebook,” she says.
Vineeth add that, “People have started accepting transgenders. But still, those who live in rural regions take time to accept transgenders. Usually, Malayali attitude has always been like this. If the dress we wear is a little misplaced or we walk differenly, suddenly people start making fun. There are people who get a satisfaction from making fun of us,” says Vineeth.
However, Vineeth is optimistic and hopes that a change will come soon.
Ending the conversation on a lighter note, Vineeth says her area of specialty is eye-makeup. Vineeth believes that eyes can highlight the beauty of a bride and it is the area which takes most time while doing makeup.
And when we see the brides she has worked on, we get to know that Vineeth is absolutely right.