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.]