Kairyn Potts, Indigenous Content Creator, On His Bold Makeup Looks

Pictures courtesy of Kairyn Potts

“No make a difference where I go, I experience like, in a way, I’m bringing dwelling with me.”

Kairyn Potts’s TikTok videos are seriously nuanced. By mixing comedy, real-daily life ordeals and education and learning, the Toronto-centered Two-Spirit youth advocate and former social employee has amassed a pursuing hovering near the 293,000 mark. His entertaining material shines a light-weight on important Indigenous matters and difficulties, like Two-Spirit/gender identification, psychological-wellness recognition, sexual health and fitness and baby welfare, to name a handful of. It is a winning method that has landed him on TikTok’s 2022 version of The Find Listing, a compilation of 50 creators from across the globe who are earning a large affect on the system. A further critical component which is typically woven through his movies? Colourful graphic eye seems to be. Below, Potts shares how makeup plays a defining position in his messaging.

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I’m a Nakota Sioux from Alexis Nakota Sioux Country near Edmonton in Treaty Six Territory, and I grew up heading to powwows. Powwow makeup can be lots of factors, but 1 of the most important seems I would see females in my local community do as extravagant-shawl and jingle-dress dancers is actually graphic liner along their eyes, utilizing a large amount of dots in various colours and dimensions. That make-up was the pinnacle of magnificence to me, like the upper echelon of what it meant to be fairly.

I was a powwow dancer myself when I was younger, besides I was a men’s conventional dancer and I was not currently being me. I was really terrified of what folks would assume, so I stifled myself a large amount and would always say to myself, “Damn, when I mature up, I’m heading to check out that type of make-up.” Now that I’m older and not ashamed of who I truly am — I have come into my Two-Spirit identity holistically, and I’m truly self-actualized as a particular person — I do not spot all those limitations on myself any longer. I make it possible for myself to have a ton of entertaining recreating all of the appears that I noticed as a child and that screamed “beauty” to me — but distinctive attractiveness that you would only see if you were being on the powwow trail along Treaty Six Territory.

The colors I pick out to dress in maintain deep importance for me as nicely. When the Nakota, Dakota and Lakota peoples went to war, they painted their faces, and pink was a colour they utilised to signify blood and energy. In a additional contemporary perception, crimson has been involved with the Lacking and Murdered Indigenous Females, Ladies and Two-Spirit People today motion, which is a thing I talk a lot about in my on-line content. So when you see me donning red, I’m shelling out regard to and increasing awareness for that movement in distinct. Orange is also an exceptionally critical color for the reason that it represents Orange Shirt Working day and the Every Little one Matters movement — calls of justice for Indigenous small children who have been taken to household faculties. And I like turquoise so a lot. Turquoise stones are like diamonds for Indigenous folks. They signify prosperity, power and luxurious and have a very regal air about them. Turquoise jewelry parts are ordinarily handmade, and a whole lot of them arrive from the Navajo Nation. When I dress in turquoise, it’s like the equal of wearing canary diamonds.

I also genuinely like to match my makeup to my beadwork. I’ll establish an complete glance all around a piece, whether or not it’s beaded earrings, rope, a choker, a headband or a jacket. Beadwork from Treaty Six Territory is genuinely one of a kind (it usually signifies the wild florals that expand in the prairies there), and a lot of my items, most of which my husband generates, include elements like abalone and dentalium shells, bone, horsehair and quill perform.

It took a extended time for me to feel I was gorgeous I was often teased and overwhelmed up for my femininity. But now that I’m older and I have come into my human body and how I seem, my make-up actually aids me package that all with each other and specific myself in a way that pays homage to my roots and my upbringing. No matter where I go, I come to feel like, in a way, I’m bringing residence with me.

Below are some of Potts’s makeup package staples.

This short article 1st appeared in FASHION’s March 2023 situation. Come across out additional right here.