Star magazine is still kicking around its Stars Without Make-Up cover, promising to unleash celebrities’ hideousness without their usual professional make-up and hair work. Celebrities are an easy target because they are essentially paid obscene amounts of money for having limited talent but either scandalous lifestyles or otherwordly good looks, but articles like this one disturb me on many levels.
First, it’s hardly unique. Plenty of magazines besides Star trot out an issue (or a few) ridiculing celebrities without makeup, inviting us to open the pages and “ewwww!” and “gross!” over what these people look like once the goo is scrubbed off and their hair is taken down.
But wait a minute…we’re only supposed to feel good that women occasionally look bad. There are no male celebrities in these articles. Am I to believe men don’t have bad hair days, or that men stroll about 24/7 looking impeccable and gorgeous? A quick look around tells me no, that’s not the case.
So…we, as women, are supposed to look at these magazines and feel…what? Relieved? Happy?
How about catty and stupid?
These magazines make me cringe, as do the occasional e-mails I get from lunkerheads with photos side-by-side, one a starlet with her make-up just so, her hair flat-ironed and shiny, her lashes practically curling up and touching her forehead in glam overkill; in the other, kicking around in sweats, a baseball cap, no makeup, a ponytail. Comments run the gamut of “What a difference make-up makes!” to flat-out making fun the woman and calling her ugly without make-up.
First, I’d love to see the photographers, reporters, and readers of these magazines on their way to the grocery store or Wal-mart. Peek in your rearview mirror, jerks. You’re probably not much to look at yourself without making an effort to look good.
Celebrities make a load of money for looking good, possibly opening themselves up to more criticism than the average bear. But the bulls-eye focus on female celebrities only, allowing only male celebrities to be human, rubs me the wrong way. So does the idea that women should enjoy cackling gleefully, making fun of and putting down another woman, bolstering their own egos by tearing someone else down.
Sounds like–bullying. Is making fun of other people to feel like a better person simply easier than becoming a better person?