In a new ad campaign called “Beauty By Nature” for Gemfields, actress Mila Kunis is presented in a fairly natural manner by German photographer and filmmaker Peter Linderbergh. She looks stunning, but I was irked by this statement:
“I didn’t have any make-up on; I didn’t have my hair blow-dried — so I felt a little bare. But he made me feel the most beautiful I have ever felt, and he was able to capture a very honest moment.”
I get it, celebrities–you woke up like this. You naturally have curled lashes, sexily tousled hair and perfect brows. No, wait, never mind Mila; you are so clearly wearing eyeshadow, mascara, brow powder, possibly brow gel, lip balm and what I’m going to guess is either BB or CC cream. All of which add up to “wearing makeup,” regardless of how natural it looks.
When I was still doing makeup for film, well over half the looks I did were simply “this person’s face, but ‘better.’” That is to say, make the actor look like him or herself, but remove or even out any discoloration, blemishes, unevenness, oiliness and/or dryness. Even in the most hippie of photoshoots with celebrities, the subject almost always goes through makeup (I saw “almost” because there are so brands that simply can’t afford makeup and hairstyling, but the ones who can, do).
This is not to say that all photos of celebrities supposedly without makeup are inherently false. For example, Beyonce posted an unreasonably attractive selfie the other day that, while reminding us all that she’s part goddess, could certainly have been sans makeup. But then there are ones like Demi Lovato‘s last year, wherein the star insisted she wasn’t wearing makeup and encouraged others to do so, calling the act “brave,” which is ironic considering it was so obvious that she was wearing multiple products.
I think makeup is awesome. It is one of my favorite genre of things in the world, in fact, and I want to roll around on it like Huell Babineaux did with Walt’s money pile on Breaking Bad. I don’t care who wears makeup and I won’t criticize people for not doing so, either, but pretending you’re not when you are is like a Victoria’s Secret model claiming her image isn’t regularly photoshopped to oblivion. It simply sets even more unrealistic ideals for women and tells them they are achievable.