If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your mugshot taken, there are worse things to be than a self-taught makeup artist with a freshly applied look — just ask 19-year-old Marshala Perkins.
A native of Dallas, Texas and student at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Perkins had a run-in with the law that may just prove booming for business, after her glammed up mugshot went viral on Twitter, with over 280,000 Twitter likes and counting.
Honing her makeup skills via Youtube tutorials growing up, she decided one night in early February to Facebook Live from her dorm room a particularly striking look, with shimmering pink eyes, bold brows, and neutral lips:
But she couldn’t have known the drama about to ensue. No sooner had she stepped out to meet friends later that night, she caught the attention of two police officers by her car, noticing she was parked in a handicap spot. Speaking to Buzzfeed, she recounted, “One officer asked me for my handicap sticker… I gave it to him and he brought it back, said everything was clear,” having explained that she often drove around her mom, who rightfully needed the sticker.
But whilst they were at it, the officers said they smelled weed, and proceeded to search her car, unfortunately finding two grams of marijuana. Next thing you know, she was arrested and snapped, in a beautiful, full face of makeup.
Thankfully, the mugshot has gotten attention for all the right reasons. It found its way to the (somewhat questionable) Twitter account Mugshot Baes, and a retweet last month saw it go viral, with users all over championing her on-point makeup skills:
We need a tutorial! Free her! https://t.co/RWbrKMPUUj
— aries (@proletariatitty) July 27, 2018
— Stephanie (@stephanie29893) July 28, 2018
what eye makeup is she wearing
— RENEMIE (@renmie24) May 1, 2018
I just want to know what eyeshadow palette she used because it is Poppin!
— Hannah Brown🏳️🌈 (@sincerely_bean) July 28, 2018
waiting for her to drop the tutorial on this look tho
— ♏️ (@taylor3xo) April 18, 2018
Luckily, she was able to see the silver lining. After all, if there’s any reason you want thousands of people talking about your mugshot, this might be the only one.
“At first I was embarrassed because that’s not really something that you want to be broadcasted. But then when I saw all the support for me with my face beat—because makeup is something that I really wanted to do—I was like ‘Okay!’ I wasn’t feeling too bad about it,” Perkins conceded.
But all kidding aside, there’s a more serious issue at play here. As a result of the arrest going on her permanent record, she lost her part-time job at Walmart, and with court fees of $2,000 US to pay, she has taken a break from college to work full-time as a security officer (while continuing her makeup artist side hustle). Plus there’s the six months of probation hanging over her (admittedly gorgeous) head.
Not to mention the bigger picture, where the issue of race becomes involved. Noting the experiences of her fellow black students, she said it was depressingly common, “…it was getting to the point where nobody that I was meeting was able to tell me, ‘Oh no, I was never arrested down here for marijuana’ or ‘I’ve never been stopped or searched or anything’.” That seems to track with state-wide and national statistics, with recent figures reporting that marijuana-related arrests in 2016 were highest in Texas (with 98% for possession), and that sadly, a black person is more than twice as likely as a white person to be arrested for possession in Texas, and almost four times as likely across the US. All this, despite the fact that actual marijuana use amongst black and white people is pretty even.
From all this, Perkins has found a way to move forward, launching a brand new Youtube channel of her very own, and noting the importance of young women, especially young black women, knowing “their rights.” At the very least, we hope she gets to expand her makeup client base, and develop those formidable skills. And if you’re still thinking about that tutorial for her mugshot look — she plans to drop it any day now.