Breaking the gender stigma in the beauty industry ft. Miguel/Mia Mawe

This pride month we sat down with Leamington Spa's hottest new queer creator to discuss breaking gender stereotypes. Read on to hear Miguel/Mia's story...

miguel in mirror with quote "I'm still on a journey of discovery and to me that is beauitful"

Can you give The Gossip Chair readers a quick introduction to yourself?

Hey, I am Miguel / Miss Mawe (pronounced ‘more’) if you’re nasty….no just kidding. You can call me Mia or Miguel.

I am a small town shapeshifter, working towards my passion for makeup (amongst other things) and using it to explore my creativity.

One thing I love about makeup is how it can make people feel. A bit like when people wear what makes them comfortable - when people feel good about themselves it shows and they carry themselves differently and it's contagious!

#meninmakeup currently has over 300 million views on TikTok, how do you thinkTikTok has positively and/or negatively impacted the beauty community for men?

I think it has 100 percent positively impacted the beauty community for men, women, non-binary individuals, trans individuals and people in general.

It is a platform that has allowed creators to express their art through various mediums whilst applying them to viral trends to grow a community and share their art with the world.

Especially during the pandemic it was a creative outlet for a lot of people during a time of uncertainty. The exposure it has given people is wild!

pride rainbow makeup under eyes on miguel

Would you consider yourself a drag queen?
Yes? No? I don’t know. I am still on that journey of discovery and to me that’s beautiful.

…I like to say it’s my alter ego but Rupaul is constantly saying its an exaggerated version of ourselves, that drag actually - their words “reveals who you are”. 

When did you start wearing makeup/doing drag?

It’s funny because back when I was at college I used to wear foundation and mix it with my moisturiser. I don’t really know why I did this but I was just experimenting (as we all are through our teenage years but you should’ve seen my hair! No regrets but wow I was going through something haha). I stopped as I went to university but I feel it was definitely something that I couldn’t explore at the time and with the rise of the internet and social media came more exposure to people with common interests.

People were unapologetically showing up for themselves which is very inspiring to see and be around. I think more people need that growing up. Showing people there are many ways to navigate this thing called life. No matter who you are!

It took me a while to get to this point where I am still experimenting with makeup but doing it unapologetically. I had to overcome my own self-limiting beliefs, societal pressures and do a lot of learning and un-learning. 

When people are expressing their joy and creativity they aren’t hurting anybody, so why not? Be you and do you.

loveheart makeup on face with white eyebrows with echo effect

Did you have anyone to show you the ropes or has it been a self-taught journey?

The first time I was put in drag and introduced to drag was at university by my flat mate at the time. It’s been a lot of trial and error. I have just tried things really - watched some YouTube videos and here we are! 

I still have a lot to learn but it’s exciting! 

What were your biggest lessons or/and do you have any stories of mess ups along the way?

Messing up?? Look at my earlier content and you’ll see it was/is still messy but I can look back and laugh (especially at my drag brows)

Another lesson is to not take myself too seriously but take my craft and the work I do seriously and loosen up. 

There are definitely some looks that didn’t make the social media cut!

trixie mattel style makeup on miguel

Is there a story behind your drag name?

With my drag name I wanted to pay homage to my Portuguese heritage and language.

So it’s spelt a little differently to how it’s pronounced. It’s pronounced like [me-ah-more] but spelt like ‘Mia Mawe’

Where does the inspiration come from for your looks?

My inspiration for looks comes from a lot of things. It could be pride for example, other artists, makeup trends, national events and holidays. I just try and mash different ideas and apply some techniques together to create a look.

miguel in HIM for powerpuff girls inspired red makeup with yellow eyes

What’s your favourite look you’ve created?

My favourite look so far is re-creating Trixie Mattels drag face, I would steal her face if I could haha but also my HIM inspired look from the Powerpuff Girls - that was fun to do and also took over three hours

Where can our Gossip Chair readers find you on social media?

Find me on instagram (@itsmiamawe) and tiktok (@miamawe) 

I do need to post Mawe content though (see what I did there)