A recent Marie Claire cover graced a certain celebrity of diminutive stature, with wide, nearly sunken, doe-eyes. Wearing a backless dress with wind in her hair, one could imagine that wind knocking her down between clicks of the camera. Was she beautiful? Of course she was. I’ve read that symmetry is what attracts us to another. Well, that and pheromones. Considering the aroma coming from the magazine was hardly composed of natures perfume (sweat), I would say this was one symmetrical gal. So who was this dark-eyed beauty heralding Spring and its backless gowns? Mary Kate and/or Ashley, I thought as I flipped through the first few pages. And really, which one it was is irrelevant. Only to find…..Miley Cyrus? Huh? Flipping back I then thought, wait — is that Keira Knightly? No….checking again….it was, in fact, Hannah Montana herself.
Ok, whatever. As I went through the magazine, I found the usual celebrity endorsed ads for perfume, makeup, & hair color. And there they were — was that Cristina Aguilera? No, it was Paris Hilton (Sherlock Holmes that I am, the ad was for Ms. Hilton’s namesake perfume). Ok, what the heck is Leighton Meester doing with blonde hair in a Cover Girl ad? Oh, wait. That’s Drew Barrymore. Ashley Greene for Avon looks like Minka Kelly. Naomi Watts for Ann Taylor looks like Kate Beckinsale. And on and on. It struck me. There’s essentially one (ok, maybe two) ideal(s) for beauty.
Blonde, check. Wide-eyed, check. Cleavage, check. Full lips, check. Now, I’m not going to prosthelytize about the use of ideal beauty in the Fashion industry in general, because it is something I accept as part of the aesthetic. Clothing looks better (or so I’ve been taught) on a lean figure, which is what is used on the runway to sell said clothing. Symmetry and bone structure sell makeup. This isn’t my concern. It’s just that there seems to be ONE face over and over again in the magazines. To the point where one can literally not tell them apart. And remember when there were models? Nameless, face-ful models whose job it was to be perfect and present the ideal presentation of the lipstick, dress, shoe, what-have-you. In our celebrity obsessed culture, 90% of the ads and covers are chock full of celebrities, rather than models. But why bother when you can’t distinguish one from the other? I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.