Make-up artist Joey Killmeyer wasn’t scheduled to work the first Sunday of 2016, but he was filling in for a colleague when a unique client walked into his Tampa-area studio.
Eight-year-old Ethan really wanted to learn how to apply his own makeup. The young boy had been watching videos tutorials for men interested in applying their own glam, drag-style makeup and wanted a chance to learn for himself.
While Killmeyer has been working with cosmetics for years, he had only recently been certified by MAC to teach others how to apply makeup. Ethan was his first official makeup tutorial client.
Ethan’s mother was totally behind her son’s dreams.
“His mom is so supportive of him and is letting him discover who he is,” Killmeyer wrote in a Facebook post featuring a picture of the teacher and the student.
“He is a very artistic child and loves to express himself creatively, whether through drawing, gymnastics, or performing arts,” the boy’s mother, Season Wilwert, told BuzzFeed after Killmeyer’s photo went viral. Learning how to apply makeup, she said, “is just another form of that expression.”
Killmeyer said he taught Ethan by applying the makeup to one side of the youngster’s face and letting the boy match the technique on the other side.
“I don’t remember the last time I saw Ethan so happy or so confident in himself,”
“I really respect the mom who is letting him be himself and discover who he is and what he wants to do in life,” the professional makeup artist wrote.
“Ethan is young and who knows what he will do in his life,” Killmeyer told BuzzFeed. “I posted the story because I was so touched that his mom was supporting him in what he wanted to do. As an artist, I love bringing joy to my clients and Ethan was so happy and confident when we were finished with the lesson. There are too many kids whose parents ignore or deter these things.”
“Our children should be encouraged to freely explore and discover their identities, not just be handed them,”
“This is a pivotal moment in my son’s development, and I know that by letting him just be Ethan, regardless of what others may think, that I am doing something right as his mom.”
Killmeyer felt that it “was meant to be” that he was unexpectedly scheduled to work that day and ended up meeting Ethan.
“It shows me the world is changing from when I was his age and that there is hope for kids who are different. And whether he is gay or not who knows.” And who even cares? The kid has talent.
Hopefully, these fabulous photos of Ethan help spread a message of acceptance.