Q & A with Rand of Randistic

Name: Rand

Age: 25

Occupation: artist/storyteller/activist

“You are powerful,” Rand Jarallah reminds her Instragram followers. She continues “and if you decide to commit to something with all your heart, you will be able to do it.” 

In the past year and a half, Rand has opened up the worlds of story-telling, make-up, and activism onto each other. With each of her radical and mesmerizing makeup looks, she’s painting a narrative for her followers to read. Her art addresses both sensitive social issues and personal struggles through a kaleidoscope. 

A master creator in her own rite, Rand learned her skills of make-up artistry on her own and with the help of the internet. She launched Randistic at the start of 2016 to connect the seemingly unrelated worlds of make up and activism. Now, through social media, Rand has dedicated herself to fostering a community for the safe expression and sharing of stories amongst her followers.

Working out of Jerusalem, Rand is vibrant, curious, and only in the beginning of her journey. Below, a Q&A with Rand Jarallah, Palestinian artist, activist and seasoned child-of-creativity:

What compelled you to launch Randistic? 

My obsession with artistic expression and how it fosters global human connection. 

Can you describe the relationship between human rights and artistic expression as you see it?

I truly believe that we can artistically express anything we want, in my case I am extremely passionate about human rights and mental health. I think art is a global language and I believe that it has the power to change the world. With Randistic, the aim is to start a conversation about the topics artistically expressed.

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I draw my creative inspiration from people, stories, art pieces and things that I read. I love expressing myself and I love telling stories, so whenever I come across something that sparks my curiosity I start to envision how I’d like to express it artistically.

What do you have to say about the movement against makeup?

The movement against makeup is an intriguing one but before I get into that I’d like to break down what makeup stands for in the world nowadays. The most popular narrative is that makeup is used as a way to hide what different institutions call “imperfections”- for example dark circles and/or acne to name a few. So my question is, why does makeup have such a negative image?

In many countries around the world makeup is perceived as a woman’s issue since the majority of makeup wearers are women, this of course does not mean that men are not allowed or don’t wear makeup, on the contrary. But how is this relevant? Women are continually bombarded with messages reinforcing that their main form of currency is their appearance: how skinny you are, how tan/fair, “perfect” skin and hair - basically an unrealistic version of themselves. All of these messages play on our fear... Our fear of being inadequate, our fear of not belonging, our fear of not being good enough. Our need to conform is greater than our desire to stand out and this is how the beauty industry flourishes, because it supposedly “provides” us with ways to look better and hide our so called “imperfections” which in reality are just an illusion. With the world continuously observing us and telling us how we’re supposed to look in order to meet traditional beauty standards, we internalize this perspective and start to constantly monitor ourselves as if we’re on display thus resulting in self objectification. “Objectification theory postulates that many women are sexually objectified and treated as an object to be valued for its use by others” (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1998). Women are raised with the notion that their bodies are projects that need improvement, while men are raised with the notion that their bodies are tools with which they master their environment. This drains women’s energy and instead of making a change in the world and occupying their cognitive resources with their goals and dreams they’re caught up with little things that keep them enclosed in a superficial shell. This is likely to contribute to mental health problems that range from depression to eating disorders to name a few. This brings me to my next questions, is makeup sexist and is it reinforcing this epidemic?

It took me a while to realize that makeup does not contradict feminism. The materials, the products and the actual ingredients of makeup are not feminist, empowering nor inherently sexist. The social context surrounding makeup, the social pressure, the gendering and the branding by the beauty industry are what’s sexist. The way we consciously and unconsciously make any makeup wearer (but especially women) feel like they need to attain a certain scale of beauty is what’s sexist. Making women feel less than what they are or “imperfect” is what’s misogynist. For me personally what’s most important is to understand that we are enough just the way we are, I believe that people should be themselves whether they wish to wear makeup or not.

So, what about the movement against makeup? I think the movement against makeup is not against makeup itself but rather against the narrative that makeup stands for and the notion that we are continuously judged based on our appearance. I think that it revolutionizes the way we perceive ourselves and I believe that it is an empowering tool against the objectification of women.

Do you feel limited by anything?

I personally think that many of our limitations are self imposed, therefore I try my best to keep an open mind and see things from different perspectives. 

What is it about your work that inspires your admirers?

I’d like to believe that it’s the way I use makeup and the untraditional connections I create between makeup and activism as well as storytelling. I would also like to represent an idea that you can do and be whatever you set your mind to.

In difficult moments, what motivates you to keep working and creating?

  • My passion for art and thirst for knowledge.
  • The thought of the lovely human beings that follow Randistic.
  • My vision of where I’d like Randistic to be and its influence.
  • The endless obsession with motivational videos.
Yasmeen MjalliComment