Elizabeth Israel Says Being Gay Has Nothing To Do With How Much You Like Makeup
Elizabeth Israel a.k.a @Smalltit_liz is well-known for her YouTube tutorials that show her seriously sick makeup skills. Which is exactly the point of contention in a small time scandal gone viral a few weeks ago, reported on in detail by Buzzfeed. After one Twitter jerk-off commented on the difference in Liz’s looks before and after applying make up, saying “this is confusing,” her girlfriend clapped back at the Twitter bully, saying, “good thing she’s my girl, and not yours, stay confused bitch.”
That got a lot of retweets. Here, Liz talks about the viral incident, her relationship to makeup, and why no one should ever have to endure any kind of bullying for liking makeup, regardless of sexual orientation.
What made you start doing YouTube tutorials in the first place?
A lot of people were asking me to do makeup tutorials, and that’s the main reason why I started. Aside from my love for makeup, I just figured it would be fun. It’s given me a lot of opportunity. When I was young, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, so I think it intrigued me a lot. So when high school came around, I started playing around with makeup. I’ve always been pretty artistic, so it’s not really about changing how I look, it’s just a lot of fun.
How do you think being openly gay influences your brand?
My followers obviously know that I’m gay, and I don’t think it bothers them, otherwise they wouldn’t follow me. I think there are a lot of stereotypes that think of lesbians are “dykes,” and I’m really not into stereotypes, and I think it’s cool that people accept me as I am. There are no rules to make up; you can be gay, transgender, lesbian, whatever. I just feel like my followers can obviously relate to me in more than one way, but people tell me that it’s inspiring.
When did you come out?
I just graduated high school. I want to say around my sophomore year, going into my junior year, I was really scared not to be accepted. I didn’t want my friends or family to view me differently, or be uncomfortable, and there were a few people that knew, but during junior or senior year, I became more open about it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that if someone doesn’t love me for who I am, then they really don’t matter to me.
Do you find the term “lipstick lesbian” offensive?
I’ve actually never heard that before! I don’t like putting labels on myself, or classifying myself as anything.
A photo posted by liz (@smalltit_liz) on
Are there products that you’re really into right now?
I’m definitely planning to make a more wearable look for people, because I spend hours on my makeup, and nobody really wants to do that [laughing]. Obviously, anything that’s waterproof is good for summer. There’s something that’s really popular — the Nivea aftershave balm for a primer is blowing up on YouTube. Normally I like to keep my face matte, but in the summer I like being kind of glowy.
Are you into lip gloss?
I was on that whole matte lip trend for a while, but recently I haven’t been wearing any lip color at all.
What’s it like to grow up in Florida?
I feel extremely lucky to have grown up in Florida. People from South Florida are like, kind of crazy, but every part of Florida is completely different.
What’s it been like down there since Orlando?
Since the Orlando shooting, I feel that all over social media, people are really supportive of the community. It’s heartbreaking. I feel personally, not scared to be gay, not alive…but I feel scared to go places… and a lot of people probably feel that way. This is the first real time that I’ve ever felt targeted – not me personally, but the community, because my family has been so accepting, and going to Pride festivals has been so amazing, and I’ve been so surrounded by love and positivity. Although I’m not ashamed or afraid, it does get to me that it’s affecting other people. I just want people to know that you have to be strong and true to yourself.
Do you feel like Pride is geared more towards more gay men?
I feel like it’s very equal. Honestly, I’ve only gone to Pride twice, and it’s been amazing, because it’s not about meeting other gay people, it’s just about meeting people who understand. It was cool, because I went to Pride a few months ago in Miami, and I met this girl who’s friends with my girlfriend and her mom came, and I know a lot of people bring their siblings, and their kids, and it’s just about spreading love and positivity.
Check out Liz’s YouTube channel here.