'Desaturated Santa' hits SantaCon for second year
Throngs of red-suited St. Nick copycats crowded San Francisco at the annual SantaCon on Saturday. Among them, in many photos of the event: a black-and-white pigtailed Santa, a vision in gray, looking as if all her color had been drained away.
She looks like she had been digitally inserted in the photos. She had not.
She would be Brody S. of Berkeley, who has asked that her name and profession not be disclosed.
“I’m not sure if it’s a GET OFF MY LAWN response to digital manipulation vs authentic experience, or if I’m Monday morning quarterbacking-style overthinking this,” she wrote in a blog post. “All I know is, it sure was fun, and that’s what I was going for.”
Brody, an atheist who doesn’t celebrate the holiday, first appeared as “Desaturated Santa” at the Bay Area event last year as “something of a lark.” This was after she tired of two years of dressing up as “SluttyClaus like a lot of women.”
“SantaCon has nothing to do with Christmas for me. It's just funny to be in a group of 1,000 people dressed up as Santa,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It would be just as funny if we were dressed like rabbits or potted ferns.”
So Brody bought a sewing pattern and made herself a Santa suit in a dark gray fabric. She took the cloth to a Kryolan SF, a cosmetics and beauty supply store, and color-matched some makeup for her skin.
Then came the gray wig and contacts. A photographer friend taught her how to paint her face. The entire get-up took months to assemble.
Once in public, the waterproof eyeliner on Brody’s lips kept coming off. She feared that eating would cause smudges, so she subsisted on juices and boba tea.
But the hassle was worth it, as she took photos with fans, many of whom said she looked like a zombie or robot version of Santa. The Santa parade comes to Los Angeles this weekend.
“It’s easier, faster and cheaper to use a green screen, to use Photoshop to desaturate or to add crazy color,” she wrote on her blog. “But I’d rather travel, sew and paint, or get naked and bodypainted any time.”
Wonder if she ever goes to Comic-Con.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photos: Ben Thompson, from Brody S.'s BrodyQat Flickr account.