Living A Transformed Life
Mode Lifestyle Magazine – Living A Full Life Issue
Editor: Sarah Curtis
Photography: D Mathes
Stylist: Michael, Style Star
Hair & Make Up: Plastic Martyr
Nails: Alexander Nguyen
Design: MODE Studio
Plastic Martyr is a transgender actress, model and activist born July, 4th 1989 in San Diego, CA. She is usually recognized from the acclaimed Amazon Original Series Transparent and her complicated cameos on the Lifetime Series Little Women LA. The name Plastic Martyr roughly translates to The One Who Would Die For Change; (Plastic) something that can be moulded or changed”, and (Martyr) “someone who dies for what they believe in”.
She began working in the industry as a fashion model at 14, being one of the very early openly transgender girls and later moved to LA. She has recently starred alongside actors and influencers for a limited iconic Sanrio Hello Kitty Campaign. She was the host of a radio show as well on ZinnaTV which had many actors and actresses on including Ron Jeremy, Lin Shaye, and Dean McDermott.
Most recently she started working with Grammy award winning producer Andrew Balogh and Capitol Records to release a series of Rock/Pop singles. Plastic recently released a very likeable single “Love In The Dark”. As an activist, Plastic aims to humanize transgender people and normalize them in mainstream culture. MODE interviewed Plastic for the “Living A Full Life” issue.
MODE: We listened to your new single “Love In The Dark” and really enjoyed it. When did you decide to branch out into creating music and how did it all start?
Plastic: Thank you so much! I’m beyond thrilled to hear that ya’ll enjoyed it! I started doing music a few years ago then took a hiatus to just finish up a few things going on in my personal life. After I was in a good place and felt whole and inspired again I started back up. I was going through toxic relationships like they were candy, and getting hurt one after another. The hurt and anger I felt towards them is what inspired Love In The Dark
MODE: The words to your single “Love In The Dark” are quite poignant. What do they mean to you specifically and how do you think listeners might interpret it?
Plastic: The song is really just an anthem for anyone who’s been kept in the dark by a lover. It’s about feeling used and objectified rather than loved and appreciated. I know I’m not alone in those feelings and unfortunately so many people have been treated that way. Hopefully this song restores the power to those who’ve been kept in the dark.
MODE: Because of increased general social awareness, being transgender is certainly very different to what it meant even just ten years ago. How did you overcome the hurdles and challenges in your earlier years?
Plastic: Yes, it’s difficult to say the least. This world is very unkind to anyone who’s different. I luckily have a super mom who supported me and validated me every single day. She’d remind me I’m beautiful when the world would call me ugly, she made me feel talented when I was told I “never had a chance”. She gave me power and strength when others would try to take it away from me. The only reason I’ve survived and am where I am is because of her. I was one of the lucky ones.
MODE: Would you say that family and friends were accepting of your identity right from the start or was it something that developed with time?
Plastic: My mom didn’t really give people a choice, she was very up front that this is who I was and if you have a problem with it get the f*** out. But for the most part yes, my family is wonderful and I cut out those who weren’t 100% accepting. It’s super important to create you circle of people who build you up, not tear you down. So I’ve rarely had issues with unsupportive family.
MODE: We know you started transitioning at around age 5. At what stage in your life did you finally feel that you could be and live freely and express yourself in your full and true identity or have you always been able to do that?
Plastic: I was always me, there was never a real “before and after” kind of thing. I was always very aware of who I was and what I wanted. My entire life and childhood I was always allowed to be myself, as I said before, I was one of the lucky ones.
MODE: At MODE we have always worked with and been welcoming of people of all cultures, races, and of course the LGBTQ community. It is part of our chosen ideals of being in the publishing, fashion and lifestyle industry. But of courses we know there are still challenges out there and wonder how you approach situations where people or businesses you interact with may not have been as enlightened as they should be.
Plastic: First, let me just say thank you, thank you for supporting the LGBTQ community and thank you for being so inclusive. We need it. Unfortunately, ignorance is something I encounter a lot in this industry. Hollywood is still not 100% supportive of transgender talent. We are still seen as jokes, or “freaks”. There is still such an inaccurate and degrading portrayal of us. I’ve been turned down more times than I can count for jobs because they found out I was transgender. As if it matters. My body 30 years ago and art shouldn’t have anything to do with each other. I just use that rejection as motivation to continue to prove Hollywood and the rest of the world wrong.
MODE: Some of our editors have asked that you simply must tell us and our readers your skincare routine. What do you do on a regular basis to keep your skin looking as fabulous as it does?
Plastic: Tatcha Tatcha Tatcha!!!!! Tatcha’s dewy skin moisturizer saves my life. My other secret weapon is Tree Of Life’s Retinol Serum and my favourite CBD infused exfoliating cleanser by Bevara. I also don’t drink any alcohol, I don’t smoke cigarettes and I never eat yucky processed foods or sugar. A healthy diet & lifestyle is really the key to beautiful skin.
MODE: How would you describe your fashion style?
Plastic: I’d say “New York Fashion Week meets Rock N’ Roll”. I like to keep things stylish without being over the top or trying too hard. People nowadays think the more over the top and expensive their style is the better they look. Less is more babies! You also don’t need expensive designer clothes to look fabulous. Your style and clothes should reflect you, not the other way around.
MODE: You seem to be moving full steam ahead in your creative pursuits. Including your new journey in music, what exciting things can we expect from you over the next few years?
Plastic: I try to never stop; when I stop and take a break that’s when the depression kicks in. When I’m creating I’m the most happy. I’m currently working on a 2nd single with Capitol Records & my amazing “Love In The Dark” crew (Andrew Balogh & Gregory Fletcher). I’m also in the process of starting YouTube beauty tutorials, so now everyone can see my skincare and make up tricks! But mostly I’m just writing a lot of songs and hoping to record a few more in 2020 if not a whole album!
*Read all the features in the “Living A Full Life” Issue of Mode Lifestyle Magazine
Available on Amazon: Mode Lifestyle Magazine “Living A Full Life”: Collector’s Edition – Plastic Martyr