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For Julian Montalvo, it’s all about the ‘LQQK’

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He gets looks on campus. He gets looks at the grocery store. He gets looks in 7-11 while buying cigarettes before going out for the night. In the most mundane of places, FGCU student Julian Montalvo finds passersby focused on his outfits, makeup and “lqqk,” as he writes it on social media.
“That’s what’s most important to me, is regardless of the kind of value of the look, whether it is positive or negative, it doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m getting a look,” said Montalvo, a senior dual majoring in communication and philosophy.
Montalvo focuses and embodies the idea of bodily and general liberation. Every day for him is a blank canvas, allowing him the space to do whatever he wants, however he wants.
“It’s fun, regardless of whatever kind of attribution may be attached to that behavior or act or piece of clothing,” Montalvo said. “There’s liberation in that.”
When Montalvo goes out, he sometimes uses homophobic slurs on his face, which is what people usually recognize him for. He puts himself in the spotlight as people’s object of entertainment out of his own will.
“It almost teeters between martyrdom because of how radical and severe I can be,”  Montalvo said. “There’s an alleviation of tension, and it comes through objectifying myself to such a degree. It’s like being a jester in a court. I can be the butt of jokes, but the only reason that joke can take place is because I’m there, and I’ve allowed that joke to take place.”
There is a privilege in taking power, Montalvo recognizes. Montalvo said that he is consciously aware of the fine line that he walks on.
“There are instances where people are objectified, especially women just walking down the street… and there’s no power in that, it’s demeaning,” Montalvo said.
His detailed makeup is described as “many mistakes,” totaling nearly four hours to perfect his polished looks. Montalvo ranges from dollar store eye shadow to a $126 Make Up Forever pallet. A close friend of Montalvo’s recently began his endeavor into drag makeup and asked Montalvo a question that resounds with many trying to dance to the beat of their own drum.
“At the end of the day, regardless of the way that your makeup looks, if you have that confidence and you can just be sure about it, you will be the most glamorous person in the room, and that’s all that matters,”  Montalvo said.
No matter if your lines are straight or if your blending is perfect, Montalvo believes that all people who express themselves in this artistic way can show their confidence proudly.
“It’s definitely hard,” Montalvo said. “There are all these weird stigmas about makeup. Who cares if it’s natural? Who cares if it’s excessive? Always know, don’t do things for other people.”

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