The Beauty Experiment

make-up

Fancy Feathers on the Men

by on Jun.28, 2013, under biology, gender, make-up, self-image

As an anthropology person, I love this project for putting the sexual display feathers on the men— just as in the animal world, males are often the showy ones while the females are dun or grey. While I’m not ready to give up my teal, peach and gold, these pics do a good job of stretching, toning and re-conditioning the mental schemas.  Note your first reactions on a memo pad for insights into your own bias.

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Celebrities without their makeup!

by on Jul.26, 2010, under hair and skin, make-up

It must be trending because there was another one in the checkout line today: stars without their makeup. Katie Holmes had a big nose zit, Tyra Banks went without mascara, Angelina Jolie looked tired.

I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be surprised, horrified or encouraged by movie stars’ normality when they are not working. We all know they don’t look like Oscar attendees when they get up in the morning, but I suspect some childlike part of us doesn’t want to believe it. These barefaced pictures are sort of like a nasty friend telling us there isn’t really a Santa Claus, while at the same time offering a doorprize. “You’re just as pretty as they are,” the shots whisper, “actually, given the right eye makeup and wardrobe, you could be a star, too.”

I was about four years old when I thought being a star would make me flamboyantly happy and endlessly delighted. I imagined I’d walk on clouds, have six-foot-long hair and be rich, which meant I’d have a horse with a white mane and tail and an automatically replenishing roomful of Hershey bars to slide around in. My daughter, age four, has her own star myth involving costume balls and airplane travel. Neither myth admitted the slightest awareness of acting or professional television work.

What’s your myth? How old were you when you thought it up? Does it do anything for you now?

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