Why We Love Stars - Even Without Makeup!
If you have ever used the internet, you have probably stumbled across pictures of a celebrity without makeup. Usually, a picture of an actress covered in liquid tanner, contoured and highlighted to within an inch of her life, smeared with the most flattering shade of lipstick available to top makeup artists, and stuck with false eyelashes and hairpieces, is placed beside an image of said celebrity looking pasty, wrinkly, or red, and squinting in broad sunlight. Although these pictures are usually taken in the worst lighting, and possibly even retouched to look as horrific as possible, I won’t be the only one unwilling to admit that some are shockingly unattractive, particularly in comparison to the way the world usually sees these celebrities.
However, the term “without makeup” should not be taken completely literally. It doesn’t mean “said star is not wearing any makeup in photo,” but rather, “star may be making a funny face, may be sporting slightly less than the usual circus-worthy level of face painting that is standard at awards shows, or may simply look like crap for another reason – for example, has confused hair extensions with a mop, is on the way home from microdermabrasion (a la Samantha in an episode of Sex and the City,) or has no excuse and simply looks awful without industrial amounts of makeup.”
The reason why people love these photos isn’t hard to understand – people simply want to destroy the illusion created by skilled makeup artists, stylists, airbrushers, and photoshop masters. They want to look at these pictures and go, “Hey, I totally look better than that.!” or "if they look that bad without makeup, I could look just as good with some on!" They crave an antithesis to the digitally altered pages in magazines, the unrealistic scenarios in movies, and the other industry tricks. Hello, does anyone actually wake up with perfectly applied makeup on? Not unless they have a makeup artist visit them in their sleep! I for one am sick of TV and film characters cuddling up in bed looking like they visited Sephora instead of brushing their teeth.
Maybe if the media presented slightly more realistic looking women, the craving for pictures of unattractive celebrities would be lessened. What if Eva Longoria Parker didn’t wear false eyelashes to bed in Desperate Housewives? Marie Claire magazine seemed to be thinking along these lines when it released its May issue, which featured Jessica Simpson on its cover, along with a claim of “no makeup, no retouching, no regrets!” This picture is quite a big change from the unflattering pictures in the tabloids, considering its intention was to showcase ‘natural beauty’ rather than to prove that there is nothing natural about beauty at all.
Since then, however, there has been a lot of disagreement regarding the truthfulness of Marie Claire’s claim, and it has been theorized that Jessica was only wearing more natural makeup, rather than none at all. If this is the case, Marie Claire is doing the public even more of a disservice by sending the message that women should look this good, even without a lick of makeup on. Maybe the tabloids have it right: Halle Berry and Cameron Diaz may look awful without their makeup, but no unflattering pictures will take away their sex-symbol status.
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