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Nightmare On Bean Street

Jazmin Bean is pushing the boundaries of beauty with their creepy-cute style

The stuff of nightmares, the stuff of dreams—childhood fantasies and horrors rolled into one. These are the first impressions you might get scrolling through the Instagram account of non-binary U.K. musician Jazmin Bean. Bean’s look pulls elements from myriad sources: the frilly pastel dresses of Lolita fashion; punk spikes and plaids; kink-inspired harnesses, chokers, and towering platform shoes; and even some vintage. The outfits are styled in ways you wouldn’t expect, mixing and matching garments subversively. Bean often appears simultaneously childlike, innocent, provocative, and nightmarish. With the addition of Bean’s terrifyingly cute makeup looks—the Cult Candy Cosmetics founder marries pastel colors with horror-movie effects and often a healthy amount of fake blood—something truly unique emerges. It’s a combination of “ugly” and sweet that may be challenging or off-putting at first, but ultimately offers a new, more expansive perspective on beauty.

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For Bean, blending these seemingly disparate aesthetics comes naturally. “My dad was really into horror films and my mom was really into Hello Kitty and Tim Burton toys. Having these styles around I had no choice but to love both!” they say. “They definitely combined in the best way possible.” Bean also draws on their Filipino grandmother for inspiration, and especially Filipino folklore, which is filled with ghosts and monsters. “Making my own little world is the most important thing to me,” they say. 

The ethos of Bean’s world goes beyond eschewing the gender binary: they consider themselves post-human. “[Identifying as] post-human comes from not wanting to be associated with humans, mainly because of the politics and the state of the world,” Bean says. “I definitely don’t identify with humans.” Bean is part of a relatively new subculture of like-minded artists and creators (that includes their best friend Salvia and Canadian design duo Fecal Matter) interested in pushing the idea of what humans can look like with clothing, makeup, and even prosthetics. It’s an aesthetic that never goes unnoticed, as their over 330k Instagram followers can attest, and Bean’s experience when out in public is on par with most people who present with a more “extreme” look. “It is a sacrifice of all things comfortable,” Bean says. “[But] it’s so worth it knowing that everybody who sees me is seeing exactly what I am. Some people will still wonder, ‘Why don’t you leave the house without makeup? You must think you’re ugly.’ I think I am gorgeous without makeup. It’s just, that has nothing to do with me.” 

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By Amy Mills 

IllustrationsGabriella Shery is an illustrator, graphic designer, and comic artist from Brooklyn, New York. You can find her work on Instagram @gabshery, or on her website at gabriellashery.com

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