[Beauty Overheard] Jennifer Aniston Used to Be An Onion

Oil Painting of Jennifer Aniston by  JonMickArtist

Jennifer Aniston tells InStyle that it took “years of peeling back the onion to finally stop using makeup as a mask and feel comfortable in my own skin.” (Via PopSugar.)

Of course she also makes the requisite Pretty Celebrity reference to her “dumpy teenage” self. By golly, Americans love an Ugly Duckling-Turned-Swan story. But I’m stuck on the creepy yet accurate onion metaphor. It reminds me of cleansing clients during facials at Beauty U. Whenever someone came in with a full face of makeup on, the process did feel rather onion-like. And the face that was revealed once I swirled, swirled, swirled with my finger tips and cotton burgers didn’t always bear much resemblance to the face they walked in with. Sometimes they really did look older or less attractive without that mask. Sometimes they just looked… clean.

Still, I’m always a bit pleased when a Pretty Celebrity admits that she too, has struggled  to accept herself without the mask. And not in a “she’s just like US!” way. I think it’s for the same reason I wanted Tina Fey to be more honest about Photoshop (and I’m so pleased when magazines get Photoshop so very wrong): Jen is letting us see how the sausage is made and that reminds us that it is, in fact, sausage (with onions — oh dear, these food metaphors are getting away from me…).

Because these women have to encounter the masked version of themselves on every newsstand and TV channel. It’s got to be way harder to like what you see in the mirror when you first wake up in the morning when you’re constantly inundated with images of your perfected self.

In contrast, I may never achieve Jennifer Aniston levels of perfection (assuming we subscribe solely to the Hollywood Beauty Standard and don’t work on broadening that definition to include a whole spectrum of ideas about beauty, in which case, Jen and I are both hawt). But the difference between me first thing in the morning and me after I’ve put some effort in isn’t nearly so stark. (Mostly, it’s hair-related.) And that’s pretty freeing: Those of us who don’t need to fulfill the beauty ideal in order to keep our jobs also don’t need to work nearly as hard as Jen and friends to achieve and maintain that ideal. I think maybe that makes it easier to feel comfortable in your own skin — because you get to wear your own skin all day long, while they have to constantly change their skin. To please us.


PS. The migration from old blog to new blog is complete — I’m hoping y’all have come along for the ride, but please do leave a comment or shoot me an email if you’re having any trouble with your email or RSS feed subscriptions. (And if you have any questions or feedback about the new site, I’d love to hear that too!) 

PPS. Oh and don’t forget to like the new page on Facebook! Okay, now go about your day.

[Image: "Jennifer Aniston - Original Acrylic Painting" because when you're this pretty, random people will paint you. And put a price on you. In this case $150,000. Or, $60 for a print. Wow. By Artist Jon Mick.]

Filed under Beauty Overheard

Tagged as , , , , , ,



  1. Safari Read Mores
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Your ‘Read More’ links don’t work – unless “Sometimes they just looked… clean.” was the end. In which case, there’s a random Read More link leading to nowhere. Using Safari. Sorry this isn’t really a valid comment xD

    • Posted January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      It’s a totally valid comment! I noticed the same glitch on Google Chrome this morning and reported it to the Super Runaway pros. Hopefully we’ll have it sorted out asap. (That is not the end of the post — there is quite a bit more!)

      So sorry for the inconvenience!

      • Posted January 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        PS. You can read the entire post in a Google Reader (or other RSS Feed, I assume) or if you get the posts emailed to you — just not in the site. Maybe a great excuse to subscribe if you haven’t already? ;)

        • Posted January 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Hooray! It’s all fixed now! Super Runaway’s Jeff is a genius.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!