Stars without Make-Up!

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?

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5 thoughts on “Stars without Make-Up!

  1. You make great points and they totally make sense. I think that us women can get ridiculously competitive over non-sense and that it makes no sense sometimes. Also, you’re point about how women are expected to look glamorous all of the time, while men aren’t is true. It’s horrible. It’s true that the media scrutinizes women more than men and that is not right, like you said. I actually did a speech for my speech 1A class about this topic… the title was something along the lines of “Media and it’s negative influence on self-esteem” 😛 Anywho, I’m rambling, just wanted to let you know that I agree with you.

  2. I was actually just thinking about this last night and today. Recently a magazine labled Sarah Jessica Parker as one of the least attractive women, and I was pissed because chances are half the people who decide that are probably uglier then dirt and don’t have anything pretty on the inside to make up for it. And when hundreds of because on different blogs or mags start ragging on Miley Cyrus I get pissed because who are they to put down a 15 year old girl who is just doing her job & being a teenager. The media can be horrible, but a lot of ‘us’ the comsumers are cheering them on.

  3. Sarah Jessica Parker has a clothing line as well as her acting achievements, and this is exactly my point: we are supposed to overlook what she has done and focus squarely on her appearance, and whether that meets society’s approval. I hope she laughs all the way to the bank at them. And I totally agree; these magazines must sell to someone, so it’s feeding a want.

  4. What a shock! Celebs are PEOPLE too and they don’t always look amazing. Really? This is news? This is worthy of a magazine cover? Pathetic! No wonder many stars require their photo shoots to be retouched. It seems like we want perfection and then penalize people who try to achieve it. You’re right: get a life!

  5. Our society is sick! More and more women are becoming obsessed at chasing the idea of perfection fed to us through the media. More women are getting plastic surgery in seach of the “perfect” nose, the “perfect” boobs, and etc. Where is the individuality in that? Why would I want to look just like someone else? It becomes a dangerous downward spiral into obsessiveness and body dysmorphic disorder. I thought Ashley Simpson was sooo cute! Now, after surgery, I couldn’t pick her out of a crowd. Where does it end? When are we going to learn to accept ourselves as beautiful, unique individuals? I was awed my Jamie Lee Curtis years ago when she posed for pictures, untouched, showing her real thighs, sags, wrinkles. I applauded her for it! It was honest, and the way it should be!

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