Reflekt Muse: Norma Jean
When we first met Norma Jean, she had huge teased black hair reminiscent of a Tim Burton character, alabaster complexion, all black gothic clothing, and a huge sweet smile. We chatted with Norma Jean at her favorite church in Palo Alto about her obsession with Robert Smith and love of black goth attire. Read her style story in Issue º5 available in our webshop.
Tell me your life story.
I was born March 27, 1991 to 17 year old brand new parents. Growing up was fun with them. We didn't have much and we shared our small apartment with my Uncle. My Uncle used to listen to Def Leppard and The Police and my parents would listen to old romantic Spanish music. There was always music in my house so the ambience was happy and I would dance around in little hats that my mom would buy me. So music has been around me since childhood and I've always loved it.
Most of life was spent in school and my teachers were the greatest people I could have learned from. They always told me I was special, creative and to be my own person. I really do thank them for helping me blossom into who I am today. In elementary, people would be mean about how I looked and I would cry. My teacher would see me cry and she would comfort me. She was my encouragement to not care about the people who were insulting me.
By Middle school I met more people and I noticed the different cliques all around school. I loved what I saw! From then on, I explored music from my norm. This new environment made me curious to what else was out there-more music, more styles of people, more styles of clothing that classified people.
This is where I learned who "The Cure" was. One day I got to see the singer's face in a magazine, and it was love at first sight!! From that moment I saw Robert Smith's face on my magazine, I wanted to have hair like his. He was a god, as silly as that sounds. I decided to look more into this "cure" I had found, and their music was magical and angelic to my ears. It had feeling, beautiful melodies, I was in love with "The Cure".
In high school, I had more clothing and my family was still trying to figure me out. I was trying to figure myself out. By this time, I had the courage to tease my hair and style it up similar to Robert Smith. The 80's style had a massive influence as to how I looked. With the money I saved up I went to buy me a black blazer that I loved to wear with a white collar shirt. Nobody in high school looked like I did. Felt kinda good. Although I would get weird looks sometimes.
I had a few friends that admired the way I dressed. They never failed to make me feel special. Sometimes I would look like a bum, but with style. Draggy clothing, ripped pants, flannel tied around my waist, scarf, with my hair all messy. It all came together with color. Other days I would look like a gothic fairy or l looked like a boy. I had a friend who would call me "Robert Smith Jr.", that was a compliment for me! To this day, I still love Robert Smith and I hope to meet him one day.
Early style influences?
Pink, Avril Lavigne and Cyndi Lauper. I mostly went for the tomboy look since I was into sports when I was younger.
Favourite fashion moment?
When the teased hair came out and it just bloomed in the 80's. It was adopted by the 80's goth, glam, and everything in-between.
How do you think people react to your style?
Some people smile to it, while others just laugh and others look scared. I think it gets the little kid's attention a lot. They're the ones who stare the most. My parents thought I was odd. They would make fun of me on what I would wear sometimes, and it wasn't until 8th grade that they let me use eyeliner.
How I did my eyeliner just gave them another reason to make fun of me. One of their favorite things to say was that I looked like Pocahontas rat friend...with the line in the eyes...I forgot its name. Or they would ask if I rubbed a hot cheeto in my eyes to get red shadow around them. I owned my own pair of rainbow socks, and my grandma would call me screw legs.
What are your hobbies?
I love to skate, take pictures, paint, draw, look at stars, watch the sunset, dance, exploring and trying new ice cream.
What fascinates you?
I am fascinated by witches, fairies, vampires, the infinite colors of the world, the sunset, flowers, and skeletons.
Do you feel your personal style reflects who you are?
I'd like to think so. I feel, or hope that my style conveys my free spirit. and...any other way I may be.
What do you want to do in the future?
I want to do everything in the future. I want to design, teach little kids to explore their creativity, I want to learn how to glass blow. I want to be able to sculpt and hopefully one day put all of my work up for people to see. I want to bring all the stuff I enjoy doing into one and just have fun doing it.
At first it's scary going out into the world not knowing how people are going to react to you, but if you're true to yourself, what you like, and who you are, the rest shouldn't matter. Therefore you have more reason to do what makes you happy. There's nothing sadder than not allowing yourself the ability to express yourself in a way that will make you feel good. Express your creativity, and let the person you are come out. However it may be, go out of your way, to make yourself feel good about yourself, be proud and humble all in one.R