NRI Pulse

Tribute to Atlanta Naari

Drawing from her personal story, Atlanta makeup artist sheds light on autism

Article & Makeup by Kripa Bhatt ​
Photography by Divya Desai
Model: Nathana Marques

“Wanting to be free,

Wanting to be me,

Tryng to make people see,

And accept the real me!!

-Scott Lentine

My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months old. On that day, my life took a different turn. Not having an idea what that word meant, I went home puzzled and anxious. After researching autism, it seemed to me like this was the end of everything.

Autism is developmental disability that affects the way a child interacts with the rest of world. Communication and social skills impairments as well as unusual behaviors are some of the traits of an autistic person. Autism is derived from the Greek work “autos” which translates to “alone”. Approximately 1 out of every 68 children born is diagnosed with autism. Children with autism may have reduced sensitivity to pain but real sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as sound and touch.

As my family started to go through a phase of being anti-social and conscious, the future seemed to be unpredictable. Our journey has been challenging and inspiring. My son is an adolescent now. I was inspired by him to let my passion out into becoming a make-up artist.

Kripa Bhatt (right) and model Nathana Marques.

April is Autism Awareness month. Recently, I had an opportunity to participate in the International Skin Games Makeup challenge competition and was blessed and thankful to showcase my creativity in expressing the emotions of an autistic person via makeup.

The model’s makeup has the facets of an autistic person. The blue hair represents the color of autism awareness. The hairstyle has been shaped into the symbol of DNA representing genetics of an autistic individual. Headphones represents the sensitivity to loud noises. Puzzle represents their confused state of mind. Emoticons on the hair represents the roller coaster of emotions and feelings. The eye makeup represents lack of eye contact and depth. The colors on lips shows the sensitivity to different textures. The word “INSIDE” represents the lack of expressiveness of an autistic individual. Through the makeup, I have tried to portray the true nature of an autistic person.

Life has a way of changing things in incredible ways. My journey continues by getting inspired and passing on the inspiration to others!


*Kripa Bhatt and Divya Desai recently participated in the Skin Games Challenge. Bhatt came in 1st place in the Bridal category, and was highly praised for the other categories.  These photos are from the Avant Garde category.

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