Meet Miss Beige, a feminist, anarchist madrileña after all our hearts. She’s a common girl living in her own beige world, and she’ll spit pipas at anyone who tells her to smile.
I dare to be who I am.
… she tells me, to which we both raise our cañas and say “salud”.
Miss Beige has more than 12,000 followers on Instagram, and in none of her photographs is she wearing makeup, smiling or posing behind a filter. She’s openly defending her freedom to not look pretty and wants to inspire others to do the same, but in reality, is the world ready to be beige?
I ask Miss Beige why she carries a hammer in her purse and she tells me that she’s in the middle of fighting for women’s rights. In a world where La Manada exists (the infamous, self-titled “wolf pack”), women are not safe. The hammer is not a weapon, but a symbol of solidarity with the women who are forced to defend themselves against violence, and indeed those who can’t.
Miss Beige and I continue chatting about our projects, and more and more parallels emerge. She’s from Madrid, but spent 15 years living in the UK, so she has a deep knowledge of Madrid but also the gift of an outsider’s perspective. She was also a bit of a rebel in school, often getting in trouble for questioning authority. In fact, the very same look she used to give her teachers is the one you can find in her photos. We also realise that there are many other things that we have in common…
We love no-frills bars.
And white plastic chairs.
We support small, local businesses.
We fight for migrants’ rights, and were both there at the powerful Lavapiés protest following Mame Mbaye’s untimely death.
We’re urban explorers. We love exploring every corner of Madrid, and understand the significance of Madrid’s abandoned spaces.
We cherish Madrid’s free drinking fountains, especially this one.
We love Madrid’s working-class architecture.
We appreciate how important it is to remember our past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
We’re only interested in real, ordinary people. We talk to strangers and listen to their stories.
We love Bar El Jamón!
We also both believe in showing others what’s so special about the ordinary, and in fighting for what we believe in. And we believe that, as Miss Beige puts it so well,
Common people rule the world.
Cañas raised: cheers to that!