Currently reading : Hot Girls: Female Masking
Since the female masking subclulture has been thrust into the limelight of the tabloid-reading populous this year thanks to a recent Channel 4 documentary Secrets of the Living Dolls and this week’s internet frenzy over the originals of that Emma Watson doll video, I thought it would be a good time to share an interesting interview of firsthand experience of female masking.
The practice has a fairly longstanding internet presence, most of the websites of masking individuals boasting 10+ years of sharing images of their mask-play, their different personas adopted ranging from the fanastical secret-agent identities adopted and shown in videos by maskon.com’s Masking Impossible by masker Kerry Johnson, who takes the transcendental nature of persona adoption to surreal limits, to the fantastically mundane day-to-day activities shown on Miss Kallie Scott’s flickr seen on Sang Bleu earlier in the year.
Below is an excerpt from of Hot Girls, a magazine devoted to profiling mask-play across the world with the intention of finding greater acceptance and community for what can often be a lonely existence:
Tame by hardcore standards, hardcore by Disney standards – a fetish magazine rated PG-13 – Hot Girls seeks to blur the lines between individual fetishes, and to influence greater mutual acceptance among all of the beautifully different people of the world
The interview, from the magazine’s latest issue, features a French female masker discussing her journey and influences in becoming Irene:
TV: Is Irene your full alias or do you have a surname also.
IR: My Doll name is Irene, and I live in France – I live in the Montpellier area.
TV: What inspired you to start masking?
IR: For me, it started when I was twelve or thirteen years old. One day when I was playing with my sister, I was dressed as a young woman, and my cousin came in and they did not recognize me. They were immediately intimidated, and I really enjoyed the feeling of power and security that I felt at that moment. Thereafter, I continued to disguise myself in secret. I lived with three friends when I was studying, and one day one of them found a magazine called Female Mimics in my things. Because of this, I then introduced them to cross dressing and they were impressed. This gave me enough confidence to open up to them and to show them what I was doing.
During my twenty year marriage, my wife did not want to see me dressed as a woman. However I am divorced now, and I can again express myself in this way. Regretfully, my face is quite masculine, and good makeup is no longer sufficient for me to be convincing, so I have come to use masks.
TV: What masks did you start with?
IR: I started by making my own latex masks, and my experience with women’s makeup was very helpful. Then, I used masks from Greyland; however, I requested that they be provided without eyebrows and eye shadow, so that I could do my own makeup. Other modifications that I made included cutting the necks shorter, and cutting the ears off so that the mask would fit closer to my head and allow my own ears to be exposed. Sometimes I will cut the upper eye socket, which allows my own eyelids to move freely with extended lashes. I use makeup to blend my eyes and mask together.
TV: With so much emphasis on Drag, perhaps I will ask how you regard yourself?
IR: Cross dresser, transvestite, female masker.
TV: Does anyone else know about your fetish?
IR: Only a few close friends know. However, I feel like two different people; In my ordinary life I’m a man and I think, act and feel like a man, but when I am a woman, it is as if I walked into another role and I think and act differently and I feel like… a woman.
TV: What have been some of your influences?
IR: For masking, of course, like many of us, I was influenced by the television series Mission Impossible.
TV: If you could be anything, or anyone else, what or who would it be?
IR: My fantasy would be to have the gift of metamorphosis – not to be able a particular person, but rather to be able to change at will – and to embody different characters. Masking allows something close to this.