Eden, named after Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel, loves the idea of making oneself a piece of art. In SLU interviews, I usually ask how far back they can remember being so passionate about their self-expression. Eden was in diapers when she discovered makeup on her own during her dad’s naps. Today, she favors extreme eyebrows and bright lipstick and is on her way to having her own makeup line. She says that makeup isn’t fake: “Even if you have clown makeup on, I still think it’s some part of yourself that you can exude.” Face paint is of so much importance to her that if the world came to an end, she says she’d use strawberries for her lips and find a way to create eyeliner.
There are many overriding threads among SLU’s so-called black sheep, one of which is getting kicked out of class for not conforming to dress code during their formative years. Though she was voted homecoming queen, Eden was sent beyond the principal to the doctor’s office for deconstructing her Catholic school uniform and wearing “crazy” hairstyles, fishnets, 5-inch maryjanes, and cut-off sleeves. I wish I could have seen Eden in full teenage affect, although her inner creator is still very much in full swing. With wedges and hose that would stop traffic, Eden’s heros, Dita Von Teese, Betty Page, and Madonna, better move over.