Within the first ten minutes of Transparent Season 2, there is a Pfefferman makeup disaster. Sarah is preparing for her wedding, and her makeup is all wrong — a portent of things to come.

“Does the outside of my brow look ebony to you? I feel like it’s a little ebony,” Sarah asks, showing the first signs of her nervous breakdown. “Am I crazy? Did we talk about mahogany? ‘Cause I feel like we talked about mahogany and this is a little ebony.”

In a show this intent on exploring and dismantling prejudices about gender and sexuality, makeup is a natural storytelling device. It’s a tool in the performance of femininity, after all — and like just about anything else primarily associated with women, it’s considered superficial. Read more…

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Ali’s emotional state in ‘Transparent,’ as told by her eye makeup