I was reading an article today about stars loving the “natural beauty look” this season. I thought I would find images of stars out in the streets looking flawless, yet normal, having left the house with only the convenience store lip gloss they found buried in their purses glittering on their mouths. Instead, I found red-carpet photos juxtaposed between the beauty products that made these looks possible. Then, the idea of the “natural beauty look” took on new form in my mind.
It’s really curious to me that popular culture presents so many ideal images to the public as if these images are reality. Just yesterday, I read about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s bust line reduction in her ad for the show “The Client List” in Entertainment Weekly. Her size went from a hefty DD to about a small C cup (based on my judgment). As a busty woman, I always assumed that a large bust was desirable and sexy. And this Love-Hewitt ad is sexy, but the altered ad is much neater. There is less cleavage showing and her lingerie fits her perfectly. In the original, her breast seem to pour out of the outfit, much more like mine would should I buy an outfit like it. But it seems that even sexy isn’t sexy enough if it isn’t also tidy.
Back to the “natural look:” What on earth is natural about makeup that makes you “look” natural? What does that even mean? I’m the last to knock people who wear makeup–I hardly ever leave the house without eyeliner, mascara, and bronzer–but I take issue with the concept of presenting this “look” as if it is how we should look naturally when it took more than one product to achieve.
Maybe we are just being merchandised. Perhaps Big Brother, The Man, whatever you wanna call it, just knows that if we were to ever embrace our natural beauty, a lot of people would lose their jobs.
I marvel at how content we seem in an altered reality.