This Pride, we spoke with four of our team members about what it means to have pride in who they are, and how that impacts how they connect with themselves and the world around them. To The People invited Team YTTP to guest edit To The People, a space to bring stories to life, and highlight the artists and advocates who are bringing pride to the people.
Chantee Willis, the Influencer Relations Coordinator at YTTP, took over To The People to spotlight her friend, Gregory Arlt. An Emmy-nominated makeup artist, beauty influencer, and sit-down comedian based in Los Angeles, Gregory calls himself a “beauty exorcist,” using makeup as a vehicle to highlight the inner beauty of his clients.
“Throughout my career as a professional makeup artist, there have been many veteran artists to inspire me—some I’ve watched from afar, many I’ve had the opportunity to meet, and a few I’ve had the pleasure of learning from.
Gregory falls into the latter category, and I’ve had the honor of this experience several times now. I’ve sat feet from him while he made up Dita Von Teese, effortlessly sculpting the tiny, stunning woman into the vixenous character we all know. I’ve been in the room for the fabulously famous dad jokes and puns he tells while simultaneously whipping a brush across the face of a model, no doubt making her feel like the most important person in the room. That’s what Gregory’s magic is.
As the Director of Artistry at MAC (where he’s worked for over 25 years—he’d joke that he was an infant when they found him), Gregory is a pillar not only in the artistry community, but the LGBTQIA+ community as well.”
— Chantee Willis, she/her
Influencer Relations Coordinator at YTTP
Dive into Gregory’s Youth Questionnaire here.
Question 01: How do you help others?
I strongly believe that showing up fully is how I help. This means actively listening, paying attention, and being available in whatever capacity I am needed.
Question 03: Where are you most free?
When I am on my bicycle! I honestly feel like I am flying and some of my best ideas come to me as I glide through the city.
Question 04: When were you recently perfectly content?
On my bicycle!
Question 06: What does pride mean to you?
Pride means living 100% authentically and unapologetically. Beyond that, it’s being—and feeling—equal to all.
Question 07: Describe something that inspired change in your perspective.
By nature, I am a fixer. I go into immediate problem solving if someone is in need. Many years ago a friend was sharing some challenges they were going through and I went into a tirade of unsolicited solutions. They told me that they really just wanted me to listen—that they had it under control. It was a moment of humble growth for me! So now I ask, “Do you need support or a solution?”
Question 08: What is your coolest trick?
The Irish exit!
Question 09: What is your favorite memory in nature?
The first time I went to Big Sur, California I was left speechless. I’d never seen beauty of that magnitude and of that nature—literally! I just remember being humbled by the grandeur.
Question 10: Describe your relationship with your ego.
We actually get along quite well! From time to time, I need to put him in check and remind him to NOT take things personally. I try to stay vibrationally aligned with my inner being as much as possible.
Question 11: What is your favorite flower or tree, and why?
I’ve always had a huge fascination with the weeping willow. I’m perpetually compelled to lie under them and daydream! Bonus answer: Casablanca lilies! Their smell is intoxicating!
Question 13: What is your most useful affirmation?
“Confront it or let it go,” is my personal mantra. There is no gray area. If I don’t deal with it, I don’t allow myself to ruminate on it.
Question 14: If you could encourage others to support something you believe to be universally beneficial, what would it be?
Volunteering! Any free time I have, I donate to Project Angel Food. I help in the kitchen, preparing meals for people homebound with terminal illnesses. It’s a win/win. It feels good to know I’m helping someone in need.
Question 16: What song lyric, lines of a poem, or other excerpt best describes your outlook?
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight;and never stop fighting.” — e.e.Cummings
Question 22: Is it necessary to have things in common with those who you love?
Not at all! In fact, our differences can make us stronger, and we can certainly learn more from one another with those same differences.