Minaj makeup artist uses soapbox to support Trump-protesting aunt

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Tatiana Ward: “There are a lot of people running around who actually think my aunt is a terrorist.”

The sight of her aunt's being escorted out of a Donald Trump rally in South Carolina was too much for the celebrity makeup artist from Hatfield, Montgomery County.

You may remember that earlier this month, Rose Hamid, 56, stood in silent protest of remarks by the GOP frontrunner that linked refugees to ISIS. Trump supporters began chanting "Trump! Trump! Trump!" Hamid, who is Muslim and covers her hair with a scarf, was removed from the rally. Pinned to her shirt was an eight-pointed yellow star bearing the word "Muslim," similar to the yellow Star of David that Jews were forced to wear throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. As she exited, an attendee stupidly asked, "Do you have a bomb?" to which she responded, "No. Do you?"

Watching from home, Tatiana Ward, better known as BeatFaceHoney, makeup artist for Nicki Minaj and other hip-hop stars, was outraged. She is Hamid's niece, and she took to Instagram, where she has more than 400,000 followers, and began posting images in support of her aunt.

"There are a lot of people running around who actually think my aunt is a terrorist," Ward told me last week.

Instead of the glamorous selfies and beauty shots for which she's known, Ward put up a screen grab from CNN of a scarf-wearing Hamid in the blue T-shirt she wore when arrested. It said:

SALAM. I COME IN PEACE.

Ward also posted a snapshot of herself with Hamid, writing: "...Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all black folks are thugs. And, yes, not even all #DonaldTrump supporters are racist and awful..."

#AuntRosieForPresident Yes, that is my Aunt on CNN. And yes, I couldn't be more proud of her�� I mean, I've always been proud of her, but she's a hero to many today and my heart couldn't be more overwhelmed with pride❤️ She attended a #Trump rally last night and peacefully stood in silent protest when @realdonaldtrump started his nonsense about Muslims in America... She stood quietly in a shirt that read #SalamIComeInPeace and was escorted out because of her silent protest. The crowd heckled and mocked her but she just kept smiling�� @CNN interviewed her. She spoke so eloquently. She, My Mom and their siblings were all born on American soil. She daily advocates for Islam and her faith. She's just an American girl who wants you all to know that Muslims are not bad, evil or any different from you regardless as to weather they were born here or anywhere else. I love you all for being so proud of her and hearing her plight❤️ The t-shirt she wore is on sale at www.CoolMuslimShirts.com and you can bet I'll be grabbing mine and wearing it PROUD!

A photo posted by Tatiana Ward (@beatfacehoney) on Jan 9, 2016 at 7:53am PST

Ward went a step further by posting an editorial cartoon from the Charlotte Observer. It showed a caricature of Trump telling a crowd of angry-faced supporters: "There is hatred against us that is unbelievable. It's their hatred. It's not our hatred." The cartoon had Trump pointing directly at Hamid, who stood with her head down, hands folded.

This is my My #WCW ❤️ Girl Scout leader. Flight attendant. Little sister to my Mommy. Silly. Devoted. Awesome mom to my three awesome cousins. She, my mom and their other two sisters are ladies I marvel at as they've all kept their husbands and marriages for over 20 plus years. And let's not forget that Aunt Rosie stood up to the big bad wolf this week���� Total rock star! #RoseHamid is not nearly as meek as this illustration would make her look. In fact, I think she might have done the strongest thing in the world even after they yelled at her and said "DO YOU HAVE A BOMB?!?!?" She smiled and said, "No. Do you?". This question asked of the lady who insisted that my cousins and I do the nay-nay at her daughters wedding and she can murder the stanky leg like a pro�� It's unbelievable to watch the lies that have been spread about her by back wood, inbred, banji bloggers...what's even more unbelievable is that when I speak to her she's just as chipper and happy about life amidst all of this attention she's getting. She's got one mission: To be in the good graces of God by spreading his real message of peace and love & to be heard���� I'm so proud to say she's doing just that���� #AuntRosieForPresident ����

A photo posted by Tatiana Ward (@beatfacehoney) on Jan 13, 2016 at 4:45pm PST

Ward wrote: ". . . #RoseHamid is not nearly as meek as this illustration would make her look. In fact, I think she might have done the strongest thing in the world even after they yelled at her and said 'DO YOU HAVE A BOMB?!?!?' She smiled and said, "No. Do you?" This question asked of the lady who insisted that my cousins and I do the nay-nay at her daughters wedding and she can murder the stanky leg like a pro. It's unbelievable to watch the lies that have been spread about her."

That posting attracted several thousand likes, many from Muslims thanking Ward.

Then things got weird. Suddenly, Ward couldn't access her Instagram page.

"I went to the page [and] it immediately redirected me to the log-in page," Ward told me. "Instagram has not said anything to me as to why I was shut down."

For Ward, this was no small thing. She had built her business using social media, most recently on Instagram. It was through Instagram that she was able to rally her followers - she calls them the BeatFaceBrigade - to reach out to stars such as Brandy and Minaj to convince them to let Ward do their makeup. She also depends on the app to publicize her popular makeup classes, for which she charges $300 a person.

I swear man... I have such an affinity for Muslim girls�� I'm not a fashionable girl but for the most part my fashion sense is modest so when these girls put on I'm always getting ideas�� Not to mention the makeup on this gal! She commented on one of my pics and I outright GAGGED. Come through @withloveasmaaa @withloveasmaaa @withloveasmaaa ❤️
A photo posted by Tatiana Ward (@beatfacehoney) on Jan 21, 2016 at 4:56pm PST

Members of her BeatFaceBrigade contacted the social-media giant - purchased by Facebook in 2012 - on Ward's behalf. She also started an Instagram page called BeatFaceHoney_was_hacked. It quickly attracted more than 9,000 followers, an impressive sum for just about a dozen posts. (In comparison, yours truly has fewer than 2,000 Instagram followers. But I digress.)

And then one day, just as mysteriously as it had vanished, BeatFaceHoney was reactivated.

Last week, I reached out to Instagram, which responded: "The account takedown had nothing to do with any content that @beatfacehoney posted."

Ward, a self-trained makeup artist, is just glad to have her original account back. Since it's been reinstated, she has been back to doing what she does, advertising her class and posting selfies. She also put up a post railing about the polluted water in Flint, Mich.

In her own way, Ward is following the model of her courageous aunt, who told me she stood up at that Trump rally because she wanted to set an example. "If the masses would stand up every time he says something ridiculous, he would get the message that he needs to change his tune," Hamid said in a phone conversation.

Ward's business is beauty, but it's not only skin-deep.

"There are those pages and those artists who strictly dedicate their page to makeup, but if you have a following, you have to use it for something more than stupid makeup," Ward said. "If you have a voice, you have a responsibility."

Well said, sister. Well said.

armstrj@phillynews.com
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Twitter: @JeniceArmstrong
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