I can be naivé. I believe Darcy and Elizabeth lived happily ever after. I believe Johnny Depp is as charismatic in person as he is in Pirates of the Carribean. I believe that Vaseline may be the fountain of youth. I believe that forty is the new thirty (that’s more wishful thinking than belief).
But I don’t believe everything I’m told. I can be a realist. I do not believe that the little black dress is a wardrobe staple. I do not believe he didn’t inhale. I do not believe anyone wins the McDonald’s Monopoly game. I do not believe I will ever look like Jennifer Lopez.
But, there’s wiggle room between naiveté and skepticism. I know when I see a picture of a model or celebrity, I’m seeing her at her airbrushed best– unless it’s the cover of the National Enquirer. But seeing is believing, so it’s easy to forget the stylists, and believe that J.Lo, Beyonce and Keira roll out of bed, hop into the shower, fuss with their makeup and hair a little and grab something out of the closet, before heading out the door for a day of shopping on Rodeo Drive.
I think it’s great when people want to look their best. But everybody’s “best” is different, covering the gamut between dressing to the nines or opting for the beauty of one’s natural complexion. Yet, if photos of celebrities are the standard it can be a heavy (not to mention expensive) burden. These photos can give the impression that all women can easily look like this. It’s easy to believe that’s how I’m supposed to look and to want to imitate it.
Don’t despair; I have a solution. Every magazine cover can be required to print a before picture along side the un-retouched, retouched, airbrushed, finished product. Think of the implications, not to mention expectations. Even celebrities would benefit. They could go out in public looking how they want to look, without worrying that they’ll end up featured in a “Stars Without Their Make-up” exposé.
By the way– I do resemble Jennifer Lopez in the photo below. Especially the hairstyle.
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