Boricuas Are Using Makeup To Protest Governor Ricardo Rosselló And Highlight The U.S.’s Horrifying History Of Colonialism
Since last week, protests have erupted all over Puerto Rico as the island’s population campaigns to remove the current governor of the United States territory. After many government scandals, Governor Ricardo Rosselló has finally agreed to step down and resign from his post. The disgraced head of government is expected to hand over control of the island to Puerto Rico’s new Progressive Party. This comes after controversy following leaked private chats revealing the governor and his inside circle making mocking and degrading comments. It also precedes federal agents arresting members of Rosselló’s administration for alleged fraud and money laundering.
Thousands of Puerto Rican protesters flooded the streets of the island — chanting and demanding resignation. Celebrities like Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin flew to the island to join in the protests. Even Puerto Ricans in mainland America took to the streets in elaborate displays, doing the electric slide to the blaring music that accompanied the gathering.
All of these factors helped to rectify this unjust situation in PR but we would be totally in the wrong if we did not acknowledge the powerful makeup and face painting that also rallied resistors.
Twitter User Shaly Torres made it her mission to keep non-Spanish speakers in the loop with what is happening in Puerto Rico. In a thread pinned to her account, the Puerto Rican make up enthusiast shared pictures and information about the ongoing riots. In her thread, there was a common theme of showcasing protesters and their creative way of using makeup to express their demands.
In it, she encouraged makeup artists to take a stand with the protesting Puerto Ricans and don bold make up looks in support of their struggle.
It doesn’t take a lot to show your support for a movement. You don’t even have to be in the same area that a protest is impacting. Thanks to social media and the internet, we can connect with people across the world and understand their feelings. We can show them our support in both small and significant ways and that is what Torres encouraged in her post.
Across Twitter and Instagram, makeup artists and enthusiasts showed off their official face paint to honor the protesters in Puerto Rico.
To protest the sexual violence, fraud, and abuse that the corrupt Puerto Rican government has been perpetuating, some artists scrawled abusive words over their bodies and faces. This Twitter makeup artist painted the Puerto Rican flag upon her face near the word “Enough.” Her post asks, “Asi o mas claro” — is it clear enough what these protesters are asking for?
Protesters weren’t afraid to paint graphic images on their bodies to show the pain that they’ve endured thanks to this administration.
Twitter / @melolops
This protester painted “Dios nos libera del dinero” (God save us from money) — representing the financial corruption that Rosselló’s administration has used to rule over the Puerto Rican people. On her back is a hand holding a machete, thrust up in revolution. It’s accompanied by the rainbow flag to represent the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community currently faces in Puerto Rico.
A common theme among the face paint was that the fires of revolution have caught and are now burning.
Support for the PR protesters has reached far and wide. This one, for example, comes from an artist in Connecticut.
Makeup artist, Gian Morales, showed his support with this breathtaking paint job. Making himself the Puerto Rican flag, Morales depicts himself with tape sealing his mouth — no doubt a nod to how voiceless the current administration has made its citizens. His gorgeous eye makeup should be appreciated for the work of art that it is as well.
Protesters have gone above and beyond to make sure their message is heard.
Anchor for CBS News, David Begnaud, pointed out just how incredible the PR protesters are and he wondered what other innovative ways citizens will show their support of the revolution. He tweeted:
“I have to say: Puerto Ricans are the most creative protesters I’ve ever covered. Under the water In the water Yoga. What’s next?”
He was answered by Twitter user @monlinangelia who shared a picture of herself skydiving with the phrase, “Ricky Renuncia” painted on her arm. We have to call this one of the most daring protests we’ve seen during this conflict.
We aren’t sure what will change in the near future to improve conditions in Puerto Rico but we know that the citizens of the island will hold their new government accountable. They have the support of their people and the Latinx community around the world. One thing is clear: we can’t deny that these incredible makeup looks have made their mark on the revolution.