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March 9, 2013 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Female porn stars, with and without their makeup It's a large bandwidth-intensive imgur gallery. (Via)
posted by zarq (236 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think you've just found a new feature for People magazine - "Porn Stars - they're just like us!"
posted by arcticseal at 3:06 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


The day will come when we have full equality, women will man a dollar for ever dollar men make and I will never be photographed, or maybe even leave the house, without makeup ever again. I'm going to look great on all my IDs, not like I just crawled out of a ditch. I can't wait.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:10 PM on March 9, 2013


Eyeliner!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:10 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Veruca James?

Hmm, not the most sexy of names...
posted by MartinWisse at 3:11 PM on March 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Similar, previously: Model-Morphosis.
posted by zarq at 3:14 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see how I can comment on this without being incredibly shallow and objectifying. So I won't and will just continue to stare in horror. At the with-makeup photos.
posted by Jimbob at 3:16 PM on March 9, 2013 [35 favorites]


I suddenly feel very attractive.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:18 PM on March 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


Things I never ever want to see: the average internet comments on this gallery.
posted by kavasa at 3:20 PM on March 9, 2013 [47 favorites]


It's interesting that some of them are still clearly wearing eyeliner in the "without makeup" photos. Like, NO NO TOO NAKED TO GO WITHOUT. It's like the "Celebs Without Makeup" features where they're all clearly wearing tinted moisturizer, tinted lip balm, and light mascara.
posted by availablelight at 3:23 PM on March 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Unsurprisingly, some look better without makeup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:24 PM on March 9, 2013 [17 favorites]


What is the deal with bottom half of the upper left hand photo of Yasmine Deleon?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:24 PM on March 9, 2013


This is kind of weird because a lot of the women have facial skin issues consistent which wearing lots of makeup. So in a way, the makeup is always there.
posted by selfnoise at 3:26 PM on March 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


Unsurprisingly, some look better without makeup.

Some? What surprised me was that they *all* look better without makeup.

Also, I bet you could charge a serious premium if you were a porn star without tattoos. Just for the scarcity value.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:28 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


My goodness, how weird make-up is. Also, those giant doll-eyes that seem to be a tumblr make-up standard - I had no idea that you can have fairly small eyes and still do them, I'd just assumed that all those girls had large eyes to begin with.

I don't know - I think there's a fundamental philosophical issue here, on which I don't claim to be on the right side. Things-on-top-of-things disturb me - I used to live in a place where the living room floor had ingrained filth problems and my housemate had put down layers of rugs. Perfectly nice rugs, and we vacuumed them and everything, but the knowledge of the true state of the floor made me really restless. Similarly, I can't stand the feeling of layers of make-up on my skin and the anxiety about the state of the skin underneath, and even when I admire the artistry of make-up I rarely find it actually attractive and am generally attracted to people who don't wear it; I dislike foundation garments and hair product and heels and things that do a lot to distort the shape or texture of the body. It's easy to label this an issue of authenticity. And yet! Where does the authentic really lie? Should everyone go around without clothes, since clothes distort and conceal? I wouldn't care for that! Should no one cut their hair? And why is the skin authentic? Why stop there? Shouldn't we all carry images of our interiors?

I recognize that a distaste for make-up and heels and so on is also part of a Rousseau-ian misogynist discourse, so I'm not totally at ease with that, either.

And yet, make-up makes me nervous, both to wear and to touch.

A friend who has been working as a dancer (she says "stripper" but I'm not sure what is the most polite term for people to use who are not in that line of work) says it's amazing how much men want them to "look like strippers" - that is, she's a very pretty girl naturally and always gets lots of attention in regular life, but at work she does much better if she gobs on the make-up and wears wigs and so on.

She says it's amusing to pick out and wear the wigs, actually, which is nice.

I think there's a way in which very sexualized femme presentation is pretty separable from both body and gender. In theory one could live in a society where the aesthetic spectrum was something like "from plain to sparkly" without a lot of gender or moral value being placed on whether one was "plain", "sparkly" or any of the variety of terms-of-art which would develop to express the differences. I would totally be the stone butch equivalent on the "plain" end of the spectrum.
posted by Frowner at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2013 [52 favorites]


I mean, everyone will look different with make-up on. Sure. But some of these, I recognized them with make-up on, but totally didn't recognize them without. Like could not recognize them. How many porn stars am I passing every day, but just not recognizing them?
posted by 23skidoo at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is fascinating how much of that look we consider conventionally sexy and beautiful is just... paint.
posted by Andrhia at 3:31 PM on March 9, 2013 [47 favorites]



I mean, everyone will look different with make-up on. Sure. But some of these, I recognized them with make-up on, but totally didn't recognize them without. Like could not recognize them. How many porn stars am I passing every day, but just not recognizing them?


Which probably provides a measure of safety for them, right? I mean, if you want to go out in your star persona, you can wear the make-up - or you can just run down to the bodega in a hoodie and jeans or whatever.

That does seem like an advantage of having make-up skills, too - I pretty much look the same every day of the year.

I would be interested to learn how people learn that stuff - it can't just be the internet, since people have been really good at make-up since before then. I wore make-up as a teen (and I suppose if I'd known how powerful it could be I would have worn a lot more) but didn't know anyone who was really skilled at it, not that they'd have showed me anyway.
posted by Frowner at 3:34 PM on March 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


Heh. Comment on this one at your own peril, mefites!
posted by hellslinger at 3:34 PM on March 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I was shocked at how much better virtually all of them looked without makeup (prettier, fresher, younger)--but I'm not in the target demographic for their performative look, so what do I know.
posted by availablelight at 3:34 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm fascinated by how all the makeup makes everyone look either exactly ten years older or ten years younger.
posted by mochapickle at 3:35 PM on March 9, 2013 [25 favorites]


All in a day's work...
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is fascinating how much of that look we consider conventionally sexy and beautiful is just... paint.

Which is kind of neat, actually. I bet you could put a ton of make-up on me and squeeze me into some sort of sequin corset and I'd look....well, startlingly different from my lived gender presentation and likely to get a very different sort of attention. I'd always assumed - back when I thought/cared about it - that my problem was that I was ugly, but perhaps not.
posted by Frowner at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [25 favorites]


There is so much creepiness in mainstream erotic sensibilities. . . most porn just makes me cringe and despair of gender politics. It's so detumescent.
posted by DrMew at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


at work she does much better if she gobs on the make-up and wears wigs and so on.

I suppose if you're working an audience that's had their desire shaped by watching porn movies, that probably shouldn't be surprising.

I dunno -- I always felt my sense of what I found aesthetically pleasing had been shaped before I was old enough to see porn, but I recognize that it's somewhat plastic and not totally fixed. Perhaps if one watched a lot of porn, it would get reshaped, Clockwork Orange style?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Things I never ever want to see: the average internet comments on this gallery.

The via link goes to the original reddit thread, and the comments there were abominable. I didn't read that page until after I posted this, and wish I hadn't included it.
posted by zarq at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013


What occurred to me was how many porn stars are in their late-teens or early-twenties, and thus have ... zits. I mean fucking of course they do, but still ... "Right. Yeah. People that age have zits. Right."
posted by Myca at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


Asphyxia Noir

Okay, I don't want to know.
posted by goethean at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't see how I can comment on this without being incredibly shallow and objectifying.

But haven't these women chosen a line of work where they emphasize their looks and sexuality? I wouldn't call it being shallow. I'd say that commenting on their looks is exactly what we as an audience are meant to do here.
posted by reenum at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fascinating, and the pictures of Tatiyana Foxx were interesting because she looked so much, well, whiter in the after shots. Which is really unsettling to me.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:40 PM on March 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


I find this really heartwarming for some reason!
posted by zscore at 3:40 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


What sucks is that by claiming they look better without is to detract from the amount of work and skill that goes into applying make-up. By saying they look better without is to tell them that they failed in what they were attempting to do. And I dare you to tell your wife or girlfriend yes or no if she asked you this question.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:41 PM on March 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rejected titles included: Paint me like one of your French girls.
posted by furtive at 3:41 PM on March 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


By saying they look better without is to tell them that they failed in what they were attempting to do.

Do you think the stars do their own makeup on porn sets?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:44 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a really dumb thing, because the porn aspect of it is entirely superfluous, but guarantees it'll be all over reddit.

I mean, we can take any number of people and give them a professional makeup job and take some stunning before/after photos that will be interesting and maybe give us something to discuss, but that they did this with women from porn seems entirely unnecessary and pointless.
posted by mathowie at 3:45 PM on March 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


Vis-a-vis reddit: well, the whole point of the social economy of sex work is to have a class of women it's safe to hate and mock in the "daylight" of regular life who are then also sexually available at "night". I'm not sure whether it's because a lot of guys can't actually handle both loving a woman and being sexual with her because that is too much like equality or even vulnerability, so maybe there has to be some contempt and control in the mix for them to be able to feel sexual. I mean, if all those reddit dudes are actually hippie anti-porn activists whose comments result from genuine distaste for porn....I will be very surprised.

I mean, what if you could actually admire people - not just women! - with fancy sparkly make-up erotic skillz? What if that were about power and love instead of contempt, envy and fear? It's not the science fiction utopia that I would choose (I'm more on the LeGuin repressed prudery in a cold climate end of the spectrum) but it wouldn't be that bad.
posted by Frowner at 3:45 PM on March 9, 2013 [23 favorites]


MoonOrb: "Fascinating, and the pictures of Tatiyana Foxx were interesting because she looked so much, well, whiter in the after shots. Which is really unsettling to me"

I was wondering about that too. Does she apply makeup to her breasts and shoulders too? Because her whole skin color seems to change. Or is it lighting? (I also think she looked pretty much the same with and without makeup otherwise, the main thing it seems to do is make her lighter skinned looking).
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2013


According to a comment int reddit thread, the photos were taken by a makeup artist and not all the women are in porn.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]



What sucks is that by claiming they look better without is to detract from the amount of work and skill that goes into applying make-up. By saying they look better without is to tell them that they failed in what they were attempting to do. And I dare you to tell your wife or girlfriend yes or no if she asked you this question.

I can admire the skill and even look of full Kabuki stage makeup, and still believe someone looks much more sexually appealing without it. These women are transforming themselves to "porn hot", like a businessman wears a suit to work even though it might not be the most flattering option for him.
posted by availablelight at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Welp, I'm leaving with a renewed dedication to wearing sunscreen / continuing to avoid tanning beds.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:48 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, those girls have mad makeup skills. There is a discussion to be had about beauty perception and commodification/homogenization of looks here, but I'm basically just floored by the skillz on display here. Eyebrows always changes how a person looks - such a small thing, yet you can tell here just what a difference a stronger eyebrow or a slightly shaped eyebrow makes. Some contouring around the nose and fake eyelashes - and a different persona emerges. Fascinating stuff.

Now continue with your rants/discussions/highbrow stuff.
posted by kariebookish at 3:49 PM on March 9, 2013 [45 favorites]


What's more surprising to me than the make-up (which we all know makes a difference), is the effect a hairstyle can have on the perception do the face. If you look at Dani Daniels, for example. With her hair up, her face seems more chunky, but with the hair done long, it appears move oval.

I shouldn't be surprised, since clothing can have a similar effect, e.g. solids vs. stripes, but you don't often see side-by-side hairstyle photos. Or I don't, anyway.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:51 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Honestly, in...vigorous pornography most of the colored cosmetics come off during a scene. There's too much sweat and smearing and physical movement for it to stay on at all. Sometimes the woman on the front of the box looks vastly different in an action shot on the back.
posted by juniper at 3:51 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, there is a porn star called Sally Sparrow?!?

I'm never going to look at that 6 inch TARDIS in my living room the same way again.
posted by kariebookish at 3:53 PM on March 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Things I never ever want to see: the average internet comments on this gallery.

The via link goes to the original reddit thread, and the comments there were abominable. I didn't read that page until after I posted this, and wish I hadn't included it.


The women of reddit react a bit differently. Here's the same link posted to the "MakeupAddiction" group.
posted by availablelight at 3:54 PM on March 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


I noticed that a number of the women had deep blue eyes in the "after" shots whose eyes didn't really seem that blue in the "before." Different lighting or tinted lenses all around?

Also, I wonder if it's weird to walk around with porn star breasts when you're just going to the corner store or dropping off your dry cleaning.
posted by the sobsister at 4:00 PM on March 9, 2013


I mean, we can take any number of people and give them a professional makeup job and take some stunning before/after photos that will be interesting and maybe give us something to discuss, but that they did this with women from porn seems entirely unnecessary and pointless.

I think it's interesting that these are women whose job is to be physically attractive. That adds a dimension that you wouldn't get with just random people off the street. Also, for me, seeing them without makeup humanizes these women who are often objectified and dehumanized.
posted by mokin at 4:00 PM on March 9, 2013 [42 favorites]


I think they all look great with and without makeup. And a lot of the makeup is very skillful and beautiful. But I have a hard time seeing any self-presentation at all as anything other than drag.

Yeah, when I was younger I thought my problem was that I was ugly and had terrible skin. Then I discovered makeup, and the fact that 95% of the girls around me were already wearing it.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


where are the guys?
posted by halekon at 4:05 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's interesting that some of them are still clearly wearing eyeliner in the "without makeup" photos. Like, NO NO TOO NAKED TO GO WITHOUT. It's like the "Celebs Without Makeup" features where they're all clearly wearing tinted moisturizer, tinted lip balm, and light mascara.
posted by availablelight


Some people have eyeliner they cannot remove.
posted by w0mbat at 4:07 PM on March 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I mean, we can take any number of people and give them a professional makeup job and take some stunning before/after photos that will be interesting and maybe give us something to discuss, but that they did this with women from porn seems entirely unnecessary and pointless.

Well, no. These are people who specifically achieve a certain look with the use of make up, wigs, false eyelashes etc. for their profession--a profession which is largely about how they "look" and where that "look" both feeds off and feeds into broader cultural norms about heterosexual "attractiveness." It's not just "OMG, look what make up can do" (although it gives you plenty of that, too). It's about the specific choices they are making with that make up in relationship to the specific starting points provided by the raw material of these people's faces, hair, eyelashes etc. There's plenty here to be interested by without being either moralistic, prurient or judgmental.
posted by yoink at 4:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Holly Michaels looks like Toby Maguire's twin sister in her before picture.
posted by skewed at 4:08 PM on March 9, 2013


I recognize that a distaste for make-up and heels and so on is also part of a Rousseau-ian misogynist discourse, so I'm not totally at ease with that, either.

But what do you do when someone whom you like goes the extra distance and puts on make-up for a special occasion? I don't need to enforce my prejudices but it's hard to feign excitement when you are thinking to yourself "Well, I'm GGG but I'm not all that into making out with a clown."

But, then it's semiotics either way... the problem with Rousseauian natural beauty becomes that, after a certain age, it's hard to look naturally good, like you've been spending your time running down gazelle, without a personal trainer. Maybe there's something better about being able to signal to all sundry that "I LOOK GOOD" just by putting on your face. (not that it's that simple but...)
posted by ennui.bz at 4:09 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, for me, seeing them without makeup humanizes these women who are often objectified and dehumanized.

I find this very true. I think a lot of people look at porn stars and assume they are in a constant state of eyeliner and push-up bra, that they were born that way as the "lucky women" and that they couldn't possibly look like-- or be-- someone's sister or mom. Also, a lot of guys seem to go around thinking there's this big difference between "average" women and the Super Hot, which in a lot of cases is more about dedication than genes (makeup, clothing, breast enhancements, &c.). I think it's always better when we realize that Hot People are actually dimensional people with identities and relationships, which to me is the difference between finding someone attractive/sexy and truly objectifying them.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:10 PM on March 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


What I find most interesting is the idea that much of the physical presentation in porn is not about looking "better", but about looking more like a porn star. The look is its own thing, which is as much a part of their profession as how a lawyer will seek to dress like a lawyer.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:13 PM on March 9, 2013 [48 favorites]


Wow these pictures are really cool. I don't know about which is more attractive- do I look more attractive in a business outfit or in jeans and a T-Shirt? I don't think either one- just different.

By which I think I mean to say, I like the porn star look more than a feminist is supposed to, I guess, but then I love getting all sexied up- it's fun!
posted by small_ruminant at 4:15 PM on March 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


But what do you do when someone whom you like goes the extra distance and puts on make-up for a special occasion? I don't need to enforce my prejudices but it's hard to feign excitement when you are thinking to yourself "Well, I'm GGG but I'm not all that into making out with a clown."

Me personally? By the time I'm into someone enough to want to make out with them, their actions and appearance are invested with an allure of their own. Heavy make-up on someone I'm not into? Eh, it's their face, hooray make-up skills. Heavy make-up on someone I am into? Interesting, touching, individual, attractive because it's them wearing it.

I suppose there'd be exceptions, like if I dated someone who never, ever wore make-up and then appeared one day with tons and tons of it in a very generic mainstream style...but that's unlikely.

I do think that make-up can be about signaling compliance - like all those studies about women being rated professionally competent if they wore make-up, or like that godawful thread here where someone in hiring was talking about not wanting to hire the very butch but talented woman and it emerged that looking very butch got you read as a discipline problem
posted by Frowner at 4:15 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, I seem to have missed an entire generation of porn stars because I didn't recognize most of those women. Who have I become?!
posted by small_ruminant at 4:17 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


...aaaand that was how I found out one of my former classmates is now a porn star. I'm only surprised in the sense that it's kind of surprising to learn that I know a porn star. Wow!
posted by limeonaire at 4:18 PM on March 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


It's fascinating how much of a transformation happens. Without make-up, they look like... well, like everyday folk. But that's the point, isn't it? Do people really want to masturbate to people? Porn is an industry rooted in fantasy – I don't entirely believe that that's an unhealthy thing. When I watch something with pornographic intent, I'm looking for something that plays to my particular kinks and turn-ons. I want something exaggerated, because the visual stimulation is pretty much all I'm getting. So it makes sense that people turn into caricatures for the camera, in the same way that it makes sense that plenty of people jerk off to hentai and cartoons. The symbolism is literally all that matters here.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:19 PM on March 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I always enjoy these sorts of galleries. Thanks for posting.
posted by josher71 at 4:19 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]




Wow these pictures are really cool. I don't know about which is more attractive- do I look more attractive in a business outfit or in jeans and a T-Shirt? I don't think either one- just different.

I'd like to see a sister project, in which you didn't split the look between no makeup and porn star makeup, but rather between several complete "looks."
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:21 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Heh. Comment on this one at your own peril, mefites!

I almost repeated my comment from the original Reddit thread here. Almost.
posted by MikeMc at 4:22 PM on March 9, 2013


Wow, those girls have mad makeup skills. There is a discussion to be had about beauty perception and commodification/homogenization of looks here, but I'm basically just floored by the skillz on display here.

I got the impression that these were before/after shots on set, and the women had been styled by professional make-up and hair artists.
posted by girih knot at 4:23 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]




This probably says more about me than it does about them, but dear god, some of them look SO SO (TOO TOO) young without makeup.

Someone is checking ID at the porn door, right?
posted by MoxieProxy at 4:25 PM on March 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, I wonder if it's weird to walk around with porn star breasts when you're just going to the corner store or dropping off your dry cleaning.

Uh... really?

I have 34 F breasts- a size some may consider "porno" due to my small frame, but are in fact 100% natural (thanks, Mom). I visit the corner store, drop off my dry cleaning, and complete a litany of other errands, all with my boobs in tow. The size of my breasts neither impedes nor enhances my ability to do these things... and I'm not really clear on why you think it would be any different for me than it is for a smaller-breasted woman.
posted by MiaWallace at 4:26 PM on March 9, 2013 [81 favorites]


availablelight, thank you, that image perfectly describes how I feel when I hear some men claim that women look so much better without makeup.
posted by girih knot at 4:27 PM on March 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, when I was younger I thought my problem was that I was ugly and had terrible skin. Then I discovered makeup, and the fact that 95% of the girls around me were already wearing it.

Ha! This happened to me with drinking coffee! I thought I lacked energy and was lazy, and then realized that my coworkers were all hopped up on caffeine!

I drink coffee now.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:35 PM on March 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


Also, I wonder if it's weird to walk around with porn star breasts when you're just going to the corner store or dropping off your dry cleaning.

Uh what? What does this even mean? MiaWallace beat me to what I was going to say. I have since had breast reduction surgery, but the only thing that would impede my errands is when men would treat me like a walking pair of boobs and wouldn't leave me alone.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:35 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


but the only thing that would impede my errands is when men would treat me like a walking pair of boobs and wouldn't leave me alone.

It was clumsily worded but that was my assumption for what he meant by "weird".
posted by josher71 at 4:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Some of these girls' skin ... look like they're just starting the real downward spiral into a meth addiction.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I realize the political implications here, but on a very basic level, this site is just fascinating. Really, porn is just a fantasy - and I think most people who enjoy porn understand that - so this look behind the scenes is interesting in the same way that seeing those untreated VFX shots from movies reveals the the trick behind the magic show.

Maybe you're not into over-made-up girls, sure, neither am I, but you've gotta admit, that's some amazing transformations.
posted by fungible at 4:40 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someone is checking ID at the porn door, right?

Yeah. They are in business. Most people don't give up their lucrative business by taking a chance on child pornography.
posted by josher71 at 4:40 PM on March 9, 2013


80-90% look much better before they put on their uncanny valley masks.
posted by K'an at 4:41 PM on March 9, 2013


Also, I wonder if it's weird to walk around with porn star breasts when you're just going to the corner store or dropping off your dry cleaning.

I feel like this might be referring to those basketball-like gravity-defying orbs some porn stars sport, rather than naturally large breasts. Because some of those things are weeiird.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some of these girls' skin ... look like they're just starting the real downward spiral into a meth addiction.

That was kind of my thinking. It's almost like a "Faces of Meth" PSA. In reverse.
posted by MikeMc at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the term "star" is handed out to even the lowliest fringe participants in that industry.
posted by davebush at 4:44 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frowner said a friend observed: "... it's amazing how much men want them to "look like strippers" ..."

I have often wondered if "the porn star look" is a fetish that people are unable to get for in real life, and so pay for.

I've paid for a little bit of porn in my life, but all of it has been for access to amateur porn because that made-up thing does nothing for me. And several friends of mine who've tried to make a go of "real life" porn have been unable to make it pay.

But there's a huge market for the made-up stuff, and that all the big commercial porn providers go for this made-up look that makes me think that the people who are willing to pay for porn, are the market for commercial porn, are deliberately looking for that look.

So my poorly fleshed out theory is that this weird fetish space that combines that look and paying to watch sex with that look that comes together in porn.
posted by straw at 4:45 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I seem to have missed an entire generation of porn stars because I didn't recognize most of those women.

Nowadays, a "generation" is all of three months. It's an industry that really does like to chew people up and spit them out.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:46 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is the deal with bottom half of the upper left hand photo of Yasmine Deleon?

Bust makeup.
posted by carsonb at 4:47 PM on March 9, 2013


(Or the lack thereof.)
posted by carsonb at 4:47 PM on March 9, 2013


"Interesting how the term "star" is handed out to even the lowliest fringe participants in that industry."

My impression is that "star" has long been someone who has higher billing than the title of the film/product in question. By that measure, yes, most of these actresses have a brief career in which they are more important than whatever name is given the film they're in.
posted by straw at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2013


I think the quality of the camera, the quality of the light, the time of the month (just before or during period), amount of sleep, diet (too much salt = water retention) etc etc can all affect the "before" shot.

The botox shots, nose jobs, lip jobs, and (unseen) boob jobs are pretty disturbing, frankly, and I feel for these women. There are some that are definitely in control of their lives and their careers but others that are really just a few years away from oblivion.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like this might be referring to those basketball-like gravity-defying orbs some porn stars sport, rather than naturally large breasts.

Most porn stars don't have basketball sized breasts. Also a properly fitted bra on natural breasts will be gravity defying and you wouldn't be able to tell if they were real or fake unless they were topless. I was routinely asked if my breasts were real or not by men and women.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Since i've got into more model photography, i've seen first hand how much makeup can change a look. I can't find the link right now, but there was a Japanese guy who looked very stereotypical Japanese older guy, and putting it all on became a very pretty woman. Only with makeup, too. Pretty neat.

I forget the comedian who made the joke, but he said that if a stripper came out in sweatpants and a boyfriend type shirt, she would make bank on that, because more guys really fantasize about the girl next door type, and feeding that fantasy is underserved.

Someone is checking ID at the porn door, right?

Very much so. There is a law called 2257, it's not even just checking IDs, but severe record keeping. It's vague enough that "I'll know it when i see it" that it's best to just get it if there is even a hint of nudity, no matter how tame. I've had people call my body painted shots (that i photoshopped out nipples) porn, when it was far from it.

Nowadays, a "generation" is all of three months. It's an industry that really does like to chew people up and spit them out.

Besides the fact that the average films done is 3 or more, hasn't the site with the guy who did the numbers on porn stars make it here? Maybe they weren't chewed up, but just decided it wasn't for them, or made enough money and decided to save it? It's quite interesting to see how people here are looking through their own perspective and haven't known anyone in the industry or much about the industry at all.
posted by usagizero at 4:51 PM on March 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm fascinated by how all the makeup makes everyone look either exactly ten years older or ten years younger.

(TOO TOO) young...


Exactly--I swear some of them look like the 14 an 15 year olds my granddaughter pals around with.

As far as the older ones, it makes me sort of sad to think their career is probably soon to be over. Hope they've made enough bucks to squirrel away for later, since there's no retirement plan in porn.

I've never worn makeup, and most likely never will. My aunt teased me I would understand the value of it when I was thiry. Guess not. I do wonder sometimes what I'd look like made up by someone that really knows what they're doing. The one time I did get talked into Mary Kay makeover, I thought I looked like a clown (felt like that much makeup, too.) It made me look older and hard looking, as well.

Most of these women seem like they could be the girl next door, or the mom in the grocery store*--just folks that work as receptionists or as tellers in my local credit union. I'd think someone was woofin' me if they said some of these gals are porn stars. Frankly, some of the younger gals I see at their workplce use about that much makeup (fewer boobies, though.) The older gals tend to be a bit more discreet and actually more natural looking.

*not that they still couldn't be the GND or a mom
posted by BlueHorse at 4:53 PM on March 9, 2013


MoonOrb: "Fascinating, and the pictures of Tatiyana Foxx were interesting because she looked so much, well, whiter in the after shots. Which is really unsettling to me"

I was wondering about that too. Does she apply makeup to her breasts and shoulders too? Because her whole skin color seems to change. Or is it lighting? (I also think she looked pretty much the same with and without makeup otherwise, the main thing it seems to do is make her lighter skinned looking).


For many Black women, the areas of their bodies not usually exposed to direct sunlight are often distinctly several shades lighter than their faces and necks. In the case of Ms. Foxx, maybe the lighter makeup above her shoulders was to make everything look more uniform when she was unclothed for the filming.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:57 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, this goes a long way in reinforcing my very negative gut feeling about makeup.
And explains why I far prefer amateur porn.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was wondering about that too. Does she apply makeup to her breasts and shoulders too? Because her whole skin color seems to change. Or is it lighting? (I also think she looked pretty much the same with and without makeup otherwise, the main thing it seems to do is make her lighter skinned looking)

Also keep in mind that a lot of makeup will reflect light. There is makeup that won't do that but she is clearly not wearing that kind. Some lotions and moisturizers have a pearl like finish to them which is intended to reflect light and make the skin appear more youthful, she could also be wearing that.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, I bet a lot of us know women (or guys) who have done a little porn. I know I know a reasonable number of people who have done sex work, ranging from a fairly trivial "I did a little go-go dancing at a club when I was 20" to more intense stuff. When I look at some of these girls, they could easily be, like, girls I used to know from going to punk shows. It could be that we've all got friends who've done this work and who are too ashamed or nervous of the social consequences to talk about it to us, which is pretty sad. Maybe it would be useful to think of these girls as someone's friends in that way.

As far as the youth thing goes - now that I am An Old, everyone under 25 looks fifteen to me - I assume that a lot of these girls look "really young" because they are in their late teens or early twenties and I Am An Old. I read a book about the high and palmy days of the porn industry a few years ago (I was a house guest at a house where someone was really into annoying hipster 90s-ish culture) that talked about how careful everyone was about age and ID, and how it was a Huge Disaster when one young woman had been working on a fake ID when underage - it was a disaster for her personally and for everyone around her.

I mean, yes, I think mainstream porn is...well, it replicates various disastrous ideas about sex and gender, and to survive in that world and make a living, you have to participate in the reinscription of those ideas. And I'm troubled by the way that "sex-positive" and "make-up positive" discourses seem happy not to question received notions of what is erotic and what is beautiful. And certainly, my life has been full of misery caused by my inability to conform to patriarchal ideas about gender, bodies and sexuality. So yeah, to me it's a complex question.

On the other hand, I would not want to apply more stringent social and sexual standards to the behavior of some young girl who for one reason or another has only erotic capital than I would to, say, a person who went to business school and became a hedge fund manager.
posted by Frowner at 5:18 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm surprised no one has deconstructed this site and its presence on Mefi. This is basically an advert for porn actresses, right? They're all shot the same way, the site is presumably an effort in viral marketing - and I'm guessing a pretty successful one.
posted by iotic at 5:21 PM on March 9, 2013


In my photo career, I've photographed several (that I know of) relatively "popular" people in this industry prior to their careers taking off... the years in the business have rarely treated them well - makeup or not.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has deconstructed this site and its presence on Mefi. This is basically an advert for porn actresses, right? They're all shot the same way, the site is presumably an effort in viral marketing - and I'm guessing a pretty successful one.

No. It's not a "site", it's pics linked at reddit--without proper attribution (there or here)--from a professional makeup artist's instagram feed, who is posting these as before and afters of her own work. So it's a viral ad for porny makeup work, if you want to look at it like that. A case of where it pays to flesh out, as it were, the FPP a bit before reposting a link from elsewhere.
posted by availablelight at 5:25 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


all this post made me want to do is go buy some fucking eyeliner. i apologize, eyeliner, i had no idea of your powers.
posted by kerning at 5:26 PM on March 9, 2013 [33 favorites]


Wow, when makeup becomes warpaint. It's extraordinary how unapproachable it makes them seem to me.

(But yeah, incredible skill with it nonetheless.)
posted by taff at 5:27 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Veruca James?
Hmm, not the most sexy of names...


If you can't look beyond the name and see the Black Flag t-shirt .....

/is joke
posted by benito.strauss at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


My impression is that "star" has long been someone who has higher billing than the title of the film/product in question.

Really? My impression is that simply appearing in a porn film earns you the title "porn star".
posted by davebush at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2013


Wow, when makeup becomes warpaint. It's extraordinary how unapproachable it makes them seem to me.

To be fair, porn star makeup has much more in common with makeup for stage or film than it does with anything that anyone would wear on the street. It's performative.

Likewise, it would be weird if you saw someone walking around wearing the same exact kind of makeup that a news anchor wears. What looks "normal" for the viewer at home is quite weird when you see it up close, and you're not used to it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


great, it's the thread where men get to tell us which women are acceptably attractive to them.

Evidently not.

I took this like I take makeup for any sort of photography in that the lens and film/chip sees things fairly differently then the naked eye. I know people (male and female) that look great in real life but just awful in a photograph so it's not surprise that when you're under the lights professionally you're going to have to have some work done. I don't trust the look of either the before or after of any of these because neither give us how they appear in person.

I'm surprised no one has deconstructed this site and its presence on Mefi. This is basically an advert for porn actresses, right? They're all shot the same way, the site is presumably an effort in viral marketing - and I'm guessing a pretty successful one.

I don't see it as advert whatsoever, but then as we all know, people see things very differently, sometimes extremely so. The thought that this post will inspire anyone to go out and watch more or less porn then they regularly do didn't occur to me and frankly, I don't think it will have that effect whatsoever. I'd guess it would be a pretty awful and unsuccessful viral marketing page.

My impression is that simply appearing in a porn film earns you the title "porn star".

The use of the term actor would probably be awkward given the genre.
posted by juiceCake at 5:33 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The before and afters made me decide I really ought to get some makeup lessons.
posted by orange swan at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Likewise, it would be weird if you saw someone walking around wearing the same exact kind of makeup that a news anchor wears. What looks "normal" for the viewer at home is quite weird when you see it up close, and you're not used to it.

Indeed. Though I have to say I find the typical news anchorman hairstyle to be weird on television as well. I mean even years later this SCTV skit is right on.
posted by juiceCake at 5:36 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you think modern TV make-up is crazy, early TV cameras had very strange sensitivity to contrast and different colors, leading to make-up like this.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:42 PM on March 9, 2013 [21 favorites]


The thing that is really noticeable to me is how a lot of the ladies are smiling in the before pic but have turned on the sultry open-mouthed stare for the after. I feel like the cheerful smiles go so so so far in making the before pics adorable.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter discovers that beneath make-up, people look like people! ;)

These comments really resonated:

I find this really heartwarming for some reason!

80-90% look much better before

To be fair, porn star makeup has much more in common with makeup for stage or film than it does with anything that anyone would wear on the street. It's performative.

It's great to see the person behind the performance. Whist it's not great that their careers are very objectifying, it's comforting to see that they are people with jobs, just like the rest of us.

Also, many may prefer such heavy levels of transformation, as 1) it becomes theatre, and 2) they're less likely to be recognised at the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon.
posted by nickrussell at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Many decades ago I was a tour guide at Universal Studios is Hollywood. We were only allowed to pont out Lucille Ball on Thursdays when she was in full makeup. On any other day no one would have believed us...
posted by jim in austin at 5:52 PM on March 9, 2013 [23 favorites]


It's sad, to me.

They just want to be pretty, to be looked at and admired, while the machinery that turns lost girls into profit for unscrupulous men churns and grinds away their lives.
posted by four panels at 6:06 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which is kind of neat, actually. I bet you could put a ton of make-up on me and squeeze me into some sort of sequin corset and I'd look....well, startlingly different from my lived gender presentation and likely to get a very different sort of attention. I'd always assumed - back when I thought/cared about it - that my problem was that I was ugly, but perhaps not.

I recently had a pin-up shoot--I have a friend whose amazingly awesome daughter does this for a living. It was the first time in my life I'd had my hair and makeup professionally done. The photos look amazing, and it's not photoshop--all the photographer did with that was brighten up some colors. It's this makeup that makes my blotchy middle-aged skin look flawless and my eyes look big and sultry and my lips--ooh la la my lips. The experience really made me appreciate make-up as artistry--in much the same way that the recent front page post on making someone up to look like a pregnant Bella Swan did.

Last year, at the TransHealth conference, there was a person who did a workshop for teens on exploring self-presentation. They were a professional makeup artist and costumer, and they had brought makeup, wigs, binders, costume materials, and were prepared to help the kids explore any aspect of self-presentation through clothes and makeup. I was volunteering in the teen space, and for the first 15, 20 minutes of the workshop time, nobody had shown up. The person doing the workshop said, "Well, if no teens come, I'll do you!" I was happy for the teens but sad for me when a group of them rolled in a few minutes later. I wasn't sure which way to go--at that point, I'd never done myself up in either a high femme way, or in a masculine way, and found that I was intrigued to see what I'd look like either way. I've done the high femme now. And I looked good.
posted by not that girl at 6:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


Assuming before and after shots are taken with the same camera and not post-processed differently, the lighting is really different in many of them. Maybe a lot of the before shots were taken while people were still setting up the lights for the shoot or whatever. I think this contributes quite a bit to the differences between some of the photos. You can see, for example, stuff in the background of some of the before shots that is really yellow from incandescent lights, etc.
posted by snofoam at 6:10 PM on March 9, 2013


. A case of where it pays to flesh out, as it were, the FPP a bit before reposting a link from elsewhere.

I appreciate the detective work you've done in this thread, but no. The link is interesting enough on its own that I do not see an overriding need for me to have added additional links.
posted by zarq at 6:11 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re: Tatiyana Foxx, the change in color is not just her skin tone, it's everything in the photo, so I bet that is mostly lighting or post processing. The walls and all the stuff in the background is also a different color in the before vs after photos.
posted by snofoam at 6:15 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I appreciate the detective work you've done in this thread, but no. The link is interesting enough on its own that I do not see an overriding need for me to have added additional links.

I'll have to disagree that it's not important to credit the woman who's instagram feed these photos came from, and whose signature "work" this is. Crediting anyone's work on the internet matters, even though it's not the norm. (And without it, we've gone down rabbit holes about how great these women are or are not at doing their own makeup....when it was an actual pro job+ shoot; whether or not this is viral advertising for porn, etc.)
posted by availablelight at 6:18 PM on March 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


the machinery that turns lost girls into profit for unscrupulous men churns and grinds away their lives.

That is not exclusive to either pornography nor women
posted by nickrussell at 6:20 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


They just want to be pretty, to be looked at and admired, while the machinery that turns lost girls into profit for unscrupulous men churns and grinds away their lives.

See, I'm really uneasy about this logic - certainly it's a better approach than, like, "look at all the meth-heads who are dumb enough to get into this business, now let's go watch some porn", which is where a lot of people go with this type of thing IME.

And I mean certainly, naive women get used up and spit out by this business, but also by the wife-and-mother business and the secretary business, to name but two.

And it's true that sexual commodification is very intimate commodification, different even from the emotional labor expected from, say, secretaries or the bodily commodification of a physically demanding profession like being a soldier or a cop, or a medical test subject. But not that different from plenty of regular romantic relationships - consider some of the creepy and depressing questions that turn up on AskMeFi.

I think it's more politically productive to see sex work as a subset of feminized labor rather than its own Especially Awful thing.

Also, the actual people I have personally known who were doing sex work were really intentional and focused about it, not lost girls being churned up at all - some of the work hasn't sounded like much fun, but it sounded not-fun in a work-drudgery-disempowerment way, much like most jobs.

I also think a lot of people do sex work because it's easy work to get, and a lot of people need to put bread on the table - it's not that they are lost or misguided, it's just that choices are limited and edges are sharp, and it's better to be making some cash than sitting around being miserable, barely housed and scared.

No worker should be used up and discarded for the convenience of capitalism; no woman should be exploited by misogynist demands. I think actually that capitalist patriarchy is way, way more dangerous, bigger and scarier than just "men are unscrupulous, women are naive" - if that were all, we'd be in great shape because we could beat that, no problem.
posted by Frowner at 6:27 PM on March 9, 2013 [51 favorites]


That is not exclusive to either pornography* nor women †

* sweatshop
forced labour

Nothing personal, insanely long google search URLs that make it difficult to see where they lead are a bit of a pet peeve of mine.
posted by Lorin at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Most of them look the same in both pictures, unless they have a skin condition or they're really playing up a 'burlesque' look. I wonder how many go without makeup in fake 'amateur' shoots.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2013


When I see a face without makeup, I see a history. With makeup, that history is obscured.

People are their histories.
posted by JHarris at 6:46 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Most of them look the same in both pictures

I dunno, I think some of them look quite different. Some look better before, some look better after, some just look different. Which isn't unexpected, I guess. I do like the comparisons in the same way I like to see those before/after photoshop examples for magazine covers.
posted by Justinian at 6:51 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll confess I'm kind of baffled by the people who say most of these women look better without makeup. Even the women who looked good without makeup usually looked better with it. It's all subjective of course, and I am a drag queen so I'm bound to be biased... But makeup exists for a reason. It makes people look better.

"With makeup, that history is obscured."

No. With makeup, that history is chosen. It's the difference between leaving your face to the elements, and making it your own work of art. (And I mean it is literally a work of art. You are painting it, to create the self you want to show the world.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:05 PM on March 9, 2013 [52 favorites]


I have 34 F breasts- a size some may consider "porno" due to my small frame, but are in fact 100% natural (thanks, Mom).

Just FYI, your father could also have been the source. Breast size is sex limited inheritance. Pop might have the genes but they are not expressed because he is male. Women don't necessarily get their mother's breast size genes. You would think they are sex linked (I did!) but nope. Just sex limited.
posted by srboisvert at 7:06 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


Looking at the photo gallery I found myself trying to measure the damage. Trying to separate the prudish myths from the realities of the industry.

Like when I shared a house with a stripper -- not my girlfriend, just a housemate -- I never could tell what the real damage was with her and her stripper friends. Some got worse, some did fine.

But still I peer and look for the pain.
posted by surplus at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2013


I'll confess I'm kind of baffled by the people who say most of these women look better without makeup.

It's pretty obvious why that is; people who think they look better without makeup are much more likely to post that fact. Just like people who don't have TVs are more likely to bring that up than the reverse. And so on.
posted by Justinian at 7:13 PM on March 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Rory Marinich: "Do people really want to masturbate to people?"

Actual amateur porn is fairly popular to the point that there is a lot of effort put into faking it.
posted by Mitheral at 7:16 PM on March 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Contouring. Man, the key is contouring. Sure, eyeliner and shadow, but it is stunning (value neutral) the way some highly skilled contouring totally changes the shape of a face. Mesmerizing technique.
posted by atomicstone at 7:20 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


related
posted by neroli at 7:22 PM on March 9, 2013


Actual amateur porn is fairly popular to the point that there is a lot of effort put into faking it.

I know! It's crazy; I don't understand it. I feel so awkward when I'm watching porn and the people are acting like people.

David Foster Wallace wrote a whole long essay about how some people find more sincerity in porn than they do in any other kind of cinema, and that they watch it for the moments that seem real. Which makes a lot of sense to me, but that feels desperately sad and lonely to me. I think my relationship with porn is very simple – it's fantasy first and foremost.

(This gets into how there seems to be a new wave of porn starlets that are both very sincere and very exhibitive simultaneously, that kind of straddle the line between fake performance and self-awareness of said fakeness, that seem to have come out in the last half decade or so. I'm not aware of an analogue in earlier kinds of porn, and I'm really curious whether or not this is actually a thing, because if so, it's a fascinating insight into what people want out of pornography – that some people lean towards one or the other, but that there's this ultra-huge market at the intersection of the two. Some of the articles about James Deen get into this, slightly, but that's all I've seen of it. Man, porn criticism fascinates me. I wish there was more of it.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:37 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would kill for someone to teach me some mad makeup skillz now that I'm older and would like to hide a few things I'm not willing to get surgically altered.
posted by dejah420 at 7:41 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd love for somebody to teach me how to hide the bags under my eyes.

David Foster Wallace wrote a whole long essay about how some people find more sincerity in porn than they do in any other kind of cinema, and that they watch it for the moments that seem real. Which makes a lot of sense to me, but that feels desperately sad and lonely to me. I think my relationship with porn is very simple – it's fantasy first and foremost.

Sometimes that fantasy includes the fact that Real People are stripping or performing sex acts for you.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:48 PM on March 9, 2013


I would kill for someone to teach me some mad makeup skillz now that I'm older and would like to hide a few things I'm not willing to get surgically altered.

I am seriously considering hiring the woman who did my makeup for my pinup shoot to go makeup shopping with me and teach me a good casual everyday look and a good bold going- out look.
posted by not that girl at 7:56 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


most porn just makes me cringe and despair of gender politics. It's so detumescent.

detumescent: the $5 word for flaccid.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:00 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I'll confess I'm kind of baffled by the people who say most of these women look better without makeup

Same here, and I say that as a woman who has worn makeup exactly once in her life (also at a pinup shoot, not that girl). I was surprised to find that I thought most of them looked more attractive with makeup, where in daily life I think makeup looks weird.

Maybe it was the very talented makeup artist. Maybe it was the lighting in the "before" photos. For some of them it was because they'd done weird things to their eyebrows.

I wonder what they'd look like if I was in the same room as them, though. That's a whole lotta foundation.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:04 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sex is so fucking weird. It really is. I'm almost glad I don't have to deal with it. Age has its benefits.
posted by Decani at 8:08 PM on March 9, 2013


Just FYI, your father could also have been the source. Breast size is sex limited inheritance. Pop might have the genes but they are not expressed because he is male. Women don't necessarily get their mother's breast size genes. You would think they are sex linked (I did!) but nope. Just sex limited.

All the women on my mom's side (including my mom) have gigantic racks. On my dad's side they're all on the itty bitty titty committee. Sex linked or not, Mom seems to be the likely culprit here, and I will forever curse her and her ancestors for my inability to shop for bras in "normal" stores.
posted by MiaWallace at 8:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]



I think that humans, like many animals, have a drive for, desire of, and attraction to bright— plumage, you could say—which is normal and natural; but like many human endeavors they just have a hard time keeping in mind that it is a reflection of a base drive. Clothing, makeup, whatever, it's the same idea. It's real and shouldn't be ignored, but should be recognized, for the benefit of everyone involved.
posted by Red Loop at 8:13 PM on March 9, 2013


I think the quality of the camera, the quality of the light, the time of the month (just before or during period), amount of sleep, diet (too much salt = water retention) etc etc can all affect the "before" shot.

The botox shots, nose jobs, lip jobs, and (unseen) boob jobs are pretty disturbing, frankly, and I feel for these women. There are some that are definitely in control of their lives and their careers but others that are really just a few years away from oblivion.
posted by KokuRyu


Uhhhh what

okay 1) what are you talking about because the photos are taken at approximately the same time (same clothing and settings in the makeup-less and made up photos), and 2) so you know these women who are on this crazy train to oblivion or you are just saying things?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:18 PM on March 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Mh...as a man, the first thing I noticed is that foundation is the equivalent of making a canvas even, for light to reflect uniformly, whereas all the eyelines and shadows only have a purpose...highlight eyes and make the glance look deeper. That goes back to the ancient egyptians, I believe? Also, I noticed that after seeing a sequence of these pics one really has to stop to look for differences, because facial structure differences notwithstanding, they all start to look the same - but as each girl necessairly is slightly different from the next one, that's possibly either an effect of looking at some kind of idealized mask - which the makeup artists attempt to recreate each time - or that makeup has its limitation in .indeed..making up, that is, covering up the natural to present something that doesn't occour so often in nature..such as uniform surface, straight lines and so on. Would like to see makeup on men.
posted by elpapacito at 8:21 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


How many porn stars am I passing every day, but just not recognizing them?

I suppose that depends on where you live. I did have one of my college professors say that we had an ex-Playmate living in our town, but without the makeup and retouching we'd never recognize her. Not that I didn't try.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:32 PM on March 9, 2013


What I find most striking is not the makeup but the normal, straight-on, smiling everyday face vs. the "seductress" moue of most of the made-up photos. It's a character they're putting on, not just makeup, and an odd one at that.
posted by Miko at 8:36 PM on March 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


LOVE before/afters, thanks for the link! Carefully/knowledgeably applied makeup is magical. After maybe the first dozen pictures, I also became fascinated with the posing--very neat to see them going from your typical straight-on shot with a normal smile to the "sexy" faces.

Edit: Funny that I'm echoing your comment, Miko, I should have previewed! I don't think it's odd though, and I don't agree with what I'm perceiving as an overall negative tone in this thread regards to the makeup and posing in the afters. Ignoring for the moment the evil of the porn industry and concentrating on the makeup, it's just one interpretation of sexiness distilled and exaggerated.
posted by Baethan at 8:40 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Availablelight -- thanks for tracking down xmelissamakeupx's actual website and posting it to this thread. Glad to see her get the credit for her work.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:58 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, I watch a whole lot of the tv show, What Not To Wear, which includes a makeup makeover for each of the participants. The transformations there are often equivalent to these, not in the porn industry look way at all, but it can be pretty startling what a difference skillfully applied makeup can make.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


okay 1) what are you talking about because the photos are taken at approximately the same time (same clothing and settings in the makeup-less and made up photos), and 2) so you know these women who are on this crazy train to oblivion or you are just saying things?

Ah, yeah, I could have been more direct - the lighting is pretty bad. As for the "crazy train", I didn't say that (you did - can you explain yourself?), but are you familiar with any of the actresses, what kind of work they do, and their shelf life? Some of them are definitely on the lower rung of the business. They don't earn much, all they have are their looks and their willingness to do incredibly, incredibly gonzo stuff. Where will they be in a few years with no marketable skills?

Anyway, the body modification is what gets to me. Pretty shocking.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a somewhat visceral reaction to these faces. The unmade face seems trustworthy to me, someone I understand and like. The painted face seems deceptive to me, the person behind the mask untouchable. It's like a beautiful lie. Still, basically a lie.
posted by diode at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


So sad to see what has become of Madison Ivy. She used to be beautiful. Then came the breast implants, the excessive tanning and now it looks like she's had abysmal plastic surgery as well. She's like the Michael Jackson of porn, only with voluntary reverse vitiligo.

So much foundation in these pictures. Just mountains of it.
posted by BishopFistwick at 9:13 PM on March 9, 2013


The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little pray for you
While combing my hair now,
And wondering what dress to wear now,
I say a little prayer for you
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:21 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've heard a lot of ordinary real-life women say they wouldn't be caught dead going out without makeup. So it's a little startling whenever I see women whose professions are established on appearance willing to do this sort of before-and-after. I think it's really cool of them to get THIS kind of naked in front of a camera.
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:30 PM on March 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Check out her special effects makeup work, too. Zombie, another zombie.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:33 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously, how do I learn to do my own makeup that well?
posted by rainbowbullet at 9:41 PM on March 9, 2013


As for the "crazy train", I didn't say that (you did - can you explain yourself?), but are you familiar with any of the actresses, what kind of work they do, and their shelf life? Some of them are definitely on the lower rung of the business. They don't earn much, all they have are their looks and their willingness to do incredibly, incredibly gonzo stuff. Where will they be in a few years with no marketable skills?

I never said you called it a crazy train, but I was surprised by your saying they're on their way to oblivion which is pretty dramatic--and your implication that they have no control over where they're going in life, hence, 'crazy train'.

I don't personally know any of these women, no, which is why I'd hoped to avoid making rather large assumptions about how many of them are not in control of their lives or whether they had any marketable skills beyond what they're doing now. I don't personally know any women in the pornography business, but I've seen and read a decent number of interviews with some of these women who very clearly have their shit together. Admittedly yes these are probably the women on the 'higher rungs'; I guess I see no reason to assume that a higher percentage of women in the porn business don't have control over their lives than the rest of the population, which made me wonder why make such a comment at all. If not being in control of their own life wasn't relevant to their profession I guess I don't know why else it would be notable.

I suppose I also was also rubbed the wrong way by your characterization of the body modification. I'm not personally interested in nose, lip, or boob jobs, but I don't know how on board I am with your use of the word 'disturbing' and your sympathy--very possibly entirely misplaced--for these women. Basically your whole comment seemed to be packed full of pity and I'm not sure these women would need or want it.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:06 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


That was... incredibly humanizing. Thanks, Zarq.
posted by Orb2069 at 10:08 PM on March 9, 2013


I love these pictures. I've always been fascinated and kind of awestruck by the power of hair and makeup to transform*.

Since you can't really be in porn and follow privacy's prime directive (show your bits or your face, but not both at the same time) it's got to be nice to have the option of taking your game face off and becoming mostly unrecognizable to much of your viewing public.

*I've never been able to get that damn transformation. Even with professional hair and makeup, the most I achieve is a slightly more polished version of myself. What I *want* is that 'remove glasses -> become glamorous' moment that all those movie makeover scenes promised me. Where's the fun in playing dress up if you still look the same?
posted by Space Kitty at 10:38 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


David Foster Wallace wrote a whole long essay about how some people find more sincerity in porn than they do in any other kind of cinema, and that they watch it for the moments that seem real. Which makes a lot of sense to me, but that feels desperately sad and lonely to me.

Some people aren't so lucky as to have the real moments themselves.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:42 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some people aren't so lucky as to have the real moments themselves.

Everything is illusion. Everything.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:57 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


They just want to be pretty, to be looked at and admired, while the machinery that turns lost girls into profit for unscrupulous men churns and grinds away their lives.

Your denial of the intelligent agency of the actors involved in such a little-girl-lost/damsel-in-distress way is quite unsettling to me, and is the flip side the kind of objectification that ignores women's own choices by pushing them into the whore archetype.

They aren't all lost girls who just wanted to look pretty, because life isn't full of cutout villains and damsels and people have their own complex stories rather than merely being grist for a remarkably hackneyed sexist trope.
posted by jaduncan at 11:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


As a girl who has dated several men who demonized makeup... Eh. Some of those women look much better with makeup. A very few look better without. I just want to feel comfortable in my skin; if that's some tinted moisturizer and a natural lipstick shade -- so be it. I'd just rather not be judged for my makeup and/or lack thereof.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:32 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


For all the women wondering how to do make up well buy the Kevin Aucion book: Making Faces. It's very good and will teach you all the contouring techniques. They do work and you can absolutely make them day time appropriate especially with todays light weight foundations. Go to a good make up counter on a sunny day, bring a friend and run outside with the samples on to see how they look in daylight before you buy!

I love make up, although I rarely wear it because I am lazy. But I can really make myself look quite amazingly more eye-catching when I do wear it. My eyes look twice the size they really are.
posted by fshgrl at 11:38 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


btw, I used to make up friends a lot for special events and I have totally made up men for things like wedding photos. You'd never know and they look better in the photo. Not necessarily more ruggedly handsome, but more interesting. More arresting. If you think about it, that's a lot of what make up does for women but we interpret it as "sexier" or "wealthy" or "trashy" depending on how it's applied.
posted by fshgrl at 11:41 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't wear makeup. People always compliment me on how great my skin looks and I always tell them it's because I don't wear makeup. They don't believe me.
posted by Malice at 11:53 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding the books of Kevin Aucoin. About Face and Face Forward are both excellent. They don't just show you how to do great makeup, they make it fun and kind of empowering.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:48 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll second usagizero link : A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars and Their Careers
posted by jeffburdges at 1:30 AM on March 10, 2013


Here's the Metafilter thread about that study.
posted by taz at 1:41 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's kind of remarkable that these porn professionals allowed the "before" photos to be taken and published in the first place. The resulting tumblr provides startlingly intimate access to their "normal" lives outside of porn, but at the same time I wonder what good it does them or their careers to be exposed in yet another way…
posted by LMGM at 5:11 AM on March 10, 2013


I wonder what good it does them or their careers to be exposed in yet another way…

Maybe it's just because they're happy to do another professional a favour. Someone who makes them look good for work. They may get along well, and they're like "Why not? I'm a confident woman and I take pride in my work and that of others". Perhaps these women are simply just not as freaked out about their jobs as others apparently are.
posted by moody cow at 5:49 AM on March 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


The barrage of "they're so pretty sans makeup!" sounds absurd to me. It all too often has weird moral connotations, like some sort of acceptance of a pure state. Or that the makeup is a trick. And there's also a not of wanting to save people from their bad body image, whether they have one or not.

It's like saying "you're so pretty when you don't wear your work uniform". And more to the point we're talking about the objectification of women very, very seriously and still discussing them in terms of appearance and our favourite choice for what they put on their face.
posted by Phalene at 7:20 AM on March 10, 2013 [24 favorites]


Sometimes makeup has annoying results. I wear it now and then to look and feel more professional. But after a long hiatus of not wearing makeup, suddenly putting some on was directly connected to getting propositioned by a coworker on Facebook recently. He even admitted this, saying basically, "the others thought you were trying to show off or flirt with someone, but I thought you looked pretty."
Then he asked when I'd prefer to start sleeping with him.

So, I wonder sometimes what men think we put it on for. With it, I'm apparently looking for sex. Without it, I've heard some thought I was a lesbian. No one wants to accept that I put it on as a mask or war paint or to actually keep people at a professional distance.

A larger breast size doesn't help either. In combo with makeup? Awesome or annoying, depending on your view.
posted by DisreputableDog at 8:21 AM on March 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


My personal preference for makeup on women has always been less-is-more. I much rather see the real person, and not a mask. But, I also understand that we're talking about something that has become ingrained over thousands of years. It's just a world I don't understand.

When my wife and I do our Saturday grocery shopping at the local big-box, we often have to detour through the store's cosmetics aisles, and the barrage of imagery the labels hang all over their displays is, honestly, saddening. The imagery on the retail displays isn't too far removed from the "with makeup" images in that imgur page. It all just seems to be the exact opposite of beauty, and I can't, for the life of me, figure-out whose fantasy of beauty it represents.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:34 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, I wonder sometimes what men think we put it on for.

That's the topic of next week's meeting, so we'll know by then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


it's just one interpretation of sexiness distilled and exaggerated.

I'd be more supportive of it if we saw more varieties of sexiness distilled and exaggerated. The monotony of the porn (/beauty mag) aesthetic becomes exceedingly dull.
posted by Miko at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I hear people say women/people look better without makeup, it reminds me of all the times people have said to me, "girlmightlive, I don't see you as black, I see you as you!" Well-meaning, but ultimately meaningless.
posted by girlmightlive at 9:20 AM on March 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


for the life of me, figure-out whose fantasy of beauty it represents.

Errr... mine? Am I supposed to apologize?

I don't wear makeup every day. I did put quite a bit of effort learning how to do it. Honestly the less-is-more stuff tends to be used more strongly as a tool of gender conformity than pornface. Porn (or to be fair, stageface) level of makeup goes on for an evening and comes off in the post night out shower.

Subtle 'natural' makeup is the day in, day out thing that gives you acne from putting paint on your face, that allows people to police your appearance, and that lets people get weird ideas of what women really look like.

Subtle is when I learned that most of the people who say "no makeup!" still react positively to an expert application of it. Subtle is why it is distressing when people see a bunch of porn stars with clean faces and go "hey, they look like regular women!" as if they would look different. What, you thought people's faces really ever came that way? That sex workers weren't regular people?

I wonder if when say, the old fashioned Japanese white'd out face was standard rather than archaic, is people ever talked about tricks and 'natural beauty' like they thought a mask like that was natural.
posted by Phalene at 9:24 AM on March 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


My train of thought while viewing the photos was something like -
- I am doing makeup wrong
- Actually most of these women are still much prettier than me without makeup
- Actually I don't want to look like a porn star in my everyday life, I just want to look ... better

I do think that make-up can be about signaling compliance - like all those studies about women being rated professionally competent if they wore make-up, or like that godawful thread here where someone in hiring was talking about not wanting to hire the very butch but talented woman and it emerged that looking very butch got you read as a discipline problem

Frowner, I'd love to see that thread. I've gone without makeup and without dressing up much for most of my professional life, I'm starting to wonder if that hurts me.
posted by bunderful at 9:37 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't know if any of this proves what people here will extrapolate from it. For the purposes of being photographed or filmed, some women look better in broad makeup. Some don't. Some seem to lose personality with the makeup, some gain. Makes me want to go look through the oeuvres of a couple of them to see how reflective either image is of how they appear after you see them in performance, but don't know if I feel strong enough (or weak enough) for the world of pornsites at the moment. The only one here that I have any familiarity with is Charmane Star, and I'd say her appeal falls somewhere in between the before and after photos. Like in all forms of entertainment, some viewers respond to formula and some like more diverse and subtle offerings. I know from my days when I was deep in the sad lonely guy routine of weekly or bi-weekly stops at the local nudie joint, there are times when the waitresses or the women who are there in the audience with their boyfriends seem more fascinating than any of the performers.
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:43 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Errr... mine? Am I supposed to apologize?

No. Did I accuse you of anything? Or am I simply never to question these things?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:45 AM on March 10, 2013


What I'm taking away from all this: male gaze is male gaze regardless of whether it comes with approval or disapproval.

See also: "real™ women come in all shapes, even skinny ones."
posted by glhaynes at 9:52 AM on March 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Totally speculating here, but this type of makeup seems more about putting on a character as looking better. Looking better almost seems irrelevant. This seems a bit like the kabuki availablelight refers to. They are not supposed to look like real people - like the strippers Frowner refers to, they're supposed to look like characters. Maybe for men, it helps separate the fantasy world from the real world of girlfriends, wives, co-workers? Could even help justify their sense that indulging in porn/strip clubs doesn't violate their relationships with the real women in their lives, because it's the rough equivalent of enjoying theater?
posted by walla at 9:58 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the most disturbing thing about all this commentary isn't even about makeup or "attractiveness," but the fact that such a significant number of mefites (who I hold in generally higher esteem than random commenters on some other sites) interpret what these women do for a living in a way that grants them no agency whatsoever. Yes the porn industry can, and more often than not probably is, a pretty horrible environment to experience (from many roles not just performers) I'm sure. Yes many women in the porn industry are probably in woefully little control of their lives at some point and have horrible things happen to them before, during, and after those careers. But presuming that about all of them, all the time? How feminist is that? WTF.
posted by trackofalljades at 10:23 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree that it's not feminist to criticize someone's career choices, but I also believe that there remains an important feminist critique of the particular structure of the porn industry and the ways in which it is not really directed by or reflective of female agency, as a phenomenon. Individual agency can exist, and be shaped, within as well as outside of powerful constraint. Both ideas can co-exist. So while I don't presume to know enough about any individual woman here to evaluate her degree of agency, I do know enough about the overall financial and cultural aspects of the market for porn to be critical of that.
posted by Miko at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


male gaze is male gaze

Yeah, I read through my comment after I posted and thought to myself, 'this is like a history of my participation in that male gaze thing, isn't it?'. I'm flawed, and I have a way of making the world a desert, if that's any excuse. I guess the outcome of the particular experiment posted is that everyone, male or female, is going to make assessments about women who are strangers to them, even if it's just in the act of commenting about the effectiveness of makeup in creating roles.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:41 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was trying to come up with a male equivalent of this and the best I could do was Athletes: With and Without Steroids. (Which would be kind of interesting I guess).
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I'm taking away from all this: male gaze is male gaze regardless of whether it comes with approval or disapproval.

Male gaze is how these women are earning their living.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:54 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Since I first saw this post yesterday, I have been thinking about it. It dawned on me that I keep seeing the same type of make-up in non-porn contexts. Katy Perry, Tamara Ecclestone (F1 heiress), Demi Lovato and Lil Kim spring to mind - not to mention ill-applied version of the same makeup style on 15 year-olds in my local supermarked. Heavy eyebrows, fake eye-lashes, heavy use of blank-canvas foundation, exaggerated blusher, and pumped, glossy lips.

We have been talking so much about the makeup being a performative makeup in the porn context - but what does it become when it crosses over to being used by mainstream celebrities and (eventually) young women?
posted by kariebookish at 10:56 AM on March 10, 2013


Well, fads in makeup come and go (cf white lipstick, blue eyeshadow...). And I'm not sure whether we can really say that this makeup style migrated from porn into pop and then daily life, or from pop into daily life and also porn.
posted by Miko at 11:09 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


PeterMcDermott: "I always felt my sense of what I found aesthetically pleasing had been shaped before I was old enough to see porn, but I recognize that it's somewhat plastic and not totally fixed. Perhaps if one watched a lot of porn, it would get reshaped, Clockwork Orange style?"

Porn, or Christian Televangelists (no, not Tammy Faye - she's too classy a lady for this... Jan Crouch... *shudder*)

I was really hoping to see a couple specific individuals (what? I don't watch porn, never!) I only recognized about 6 of the individual actresses there. I'm on board pretty much with the "most of them look better without"... There are some that do have some skin conditions and then made me feel guilty for thinking that they actually looked better with makeup, but then someone pointed out that some of them have conditions that stem from constant makeup use (and if that's true, then I guess I don't feel as guilty for thinking that).

Come on Gianna Michaels, what do you look like under all that makeup!!! Is this like porn for people who get off on normal people... "oh yeah take that makeup off, baby... take it all off!" I've always been one for "plain". I know people say you can do makeup in a way that isn't overdone and presents a nice accentuation to what you think your best features, and I admit, whenever I see those pics, they are pleasing to look at without being garish. But still - for the most part, I like au natural... I've learned to accept, however, everyone has their own "choice" (in so far as they can be said to freely choose in a culture that shoves a specific set of looks at us collectively that is to be considered, at the very minimum, allowed, and at maximum even fetishized...
posted by symbioid at 11:35 AM on March 10, 2013


Phalene: "I wonder if when say, the old fashioned Japanese white'd out face was standard rather than archaic, is people ever talked about tricks and 'natural beauty' like they thought a mask like that was natural."

I recall a couple years ago an Egyptian women talking on our local community radio station and discussing the issue of Hijab, and the overlooked assumption that the West doesn't do it. But, she pointed out, we have makeup and it's almost considered mandatory in the wider culture. Both are attempts to cover the face, just in different ways. I think that was a great point, and there's so much of our society that we are supposed to accept as "natural" or "common sense" but really only exist as a set of assumptions we carry because we live in a specific cultural context that arose as part of a longer process of social relationships.
posted by symbioid at 11:38 AM on March 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


MartinWisse: "Veruca"

Seriously! Who names herself after a plantar wart! Spelled differently or not. (verruca) I couldn't get over that.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:38 AM on March 10, 2013


I was trying to come up with a male equivalent of this and the best I could do was Athletes: With and Without Steroids.

ALPHA MALES WITH AND WITHOUT ALPHA STATUS

(no, it's not the same thing at all, but admit it, it would be funny)
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:46 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This thread is amazing. Makeup is duplicitous and revolting, unless it's used to cover up a skin condition, which may or may not be caused by meth, because porn, but could also be caused by makeup, in which case it's okay to wear makeup, and also some of these porn stars look too young under their makeup-- but of course I watch porn, are you kidding me?


Male gaze is how these women are earning their living.

The male gaze is what drives the porn industry, and the male gaze is what here has decided that makeup is "duplicitous" and repugnant and women are being quite fools by putting it on. Male gaze has decided that women wearing makeup are fuckable sluts and women who aren't wearing makeup are sick or pale, and not interested in men. Male gaze is relevant to the discussion, but that does not mean that it's a static quantity or above critique.

Male gaze also means that men are as free as anyone to critique the porn industry, but doing it in terms of "I don't even find that attractive! It's actually quite disgusting!" is tone-deaf and useless.

Also, I want to say I find it very depressing how many men who rail against heavy makeup as an ugly mask have mistaken light makeup for "natural beauty" on multiple occasions. Men will tell you, "oh, your lashes are so long!" right after you put on mascara, or "you have such healthy glow!" immediately after putting on blush. It's not that they wouldn't perhaps want to see a makeup-free world, but that without knowing something is the application of makeup, they approve of it. As a girl, I couldn't pick out what was makeup and what wasn't until I went through an intensive self-taught course at age 16, when I started wearing it. It was a revelation.

I'm also confused by this being called specifically "porn" makeup, because it's also Oscars makeup, and special occasion makeup in general.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:48 AM on March 10, 2013 [26 favorites]


Basically your whole comment seemed to be packed full of pity and I'm not sure these women would need or want it.

Yeah, I guess I was thinking more as a parent rather than as a porn consumer (your perspective?).
posted by KokuRyu at 12:03 PM on March 10, 2013


> People always compliment me on how great my skin looks and I always tell them it's because I don't wear makeup

I also have nice skin, if I may say so myself, and I also don't wear makeup. But maybe if I had not-so-nice skin (because of genetics, early sun exposure, luck of the draw, dueling scars, etc) I would feel self-conscious about it and wear makeup.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:43 PM on March 10, 2013


rather than as a porn consumer (your perspective?).

Or as someone who knows people in the industry who don't think of themselves as exploited any more than most of us office drones do? Less so, in fact?
posted by small_ruminant at 12:44 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


People compliment me on my nice skin, too, and I always tell them it was genetic dumb luck.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:45 PM on March 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


But after a long hiatus of not wearing makeup, suddenly putting some on was directly connected to getting propositioned by a coworker on Facebook recently.

When you consider what makeup does - imitates the look of arousal in females in a very overt way - is that really so surprising?

Not that it excuses his behavior. It's just that we're animals, and makeup is imitating signals that cause arousal in most men.

Just so happens that that particular man in that particular case was a jerk.
posted by Malice at 1:03 PM on March 10, 2013


By saying they look better without is to tell them that they failed in what they were attempting to do.

PeterMcDermott: Do you think the stars do their own makeup on porn sets?
I know for a fact they don't... Asia Carerra mentioned on her blog that she made extra money in her early days doing her own makeup, so she'd get that pay, too - and hasn't stopped doing so, because she's frugal and picky.

Now, I'm sure the lowest-budget shots don't involve pro makeup artists, but by the time they have budgeted lighting people - it only makes sense to make sure that the final look is professionally controlled.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:36 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there was an AMA thread from a porn makeup artist linked in one of the reddit threads. Some of the comments on treatment of women in the industry aren't the easiest thing to read.
posted by peppermind at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2013


I'll simply suggest, almost as a sidebar, that "male gaze" is one of the confused notions inflicted on us by Jacque Lacan and his epigones, and that every conversation is better--clearer, in particular--without its inclusion. I don't think that the problem is terminological--I think that the very concept is confused. Trying to have this discussion using that terminology is like trying to talk about combustion by using 'phlogiston.' You can kinda sorta do it, but less well than you could if you ditched the term/concept.

I offer this suggestion for consideration only. I'm happy to argue for it when it would not be a derail.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2013


For the people having issue with Veruca as a name I would assume its in reference to Veruca Salt from charlie and the chocolate factory...or the band from Chicago
posted by Divest_Abstraction at 2:08 PM on March 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'll simply suggest, almost as a sidebar, that "male gaze" is one of the confused notions inflicted on us by Jacque Lacan and his epigones[...]

I'll bite. What do you find problematic about the concept?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:11 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'll bit too - I'd also like to hear you explain it in the simplest terms you can.
posted by Miko at 2:34 PM on March 10, 2013


> When you consider what makeup does - imitates the look of arousal in females in a very overt way

I read this a lot, but I don't believe it. Makeup makes people look younger, healthier, and less tired, by covering up dark circles under the eyes and hiding blemishes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Either some of these girls have tattooed eyebrows, or Draven Star is part Vulcan. (which I don't have a problem with, not that anybody asked)

Also I suspect that many of the "before" pictures were taken just after applying an astringent or some kind of super-strength cleanser, which had a knack for making blemishes and any discoloration reeeally noticeable.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


> When you consider what makeup does - imitates the look of arousal in females in a very overt way

I read this a lot, but I don't believe it.


Pouty red lips, flushed cheeks, big dilated eyes? Them's sexytime signals.

Youth and health are desirable makeup goals, too, but the "simulated arousal" works on the same powerful subconscious level.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:46 PM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


All this talk of makeup reminds me of the most beautiful people on this Earth, the Wodaabe.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:15 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I want to say I find it very depressing how many men who rail against heavy makeup as an ugly mask have mistaken light makeup for "natural beauty" on multiple occasions.

This. I have been told how great I look without makeup on when I was wearing makeup. The thing is, a properly done "natural" look can be so subtle you don't notice the makeup. If someone's going for natural and you can see the makeup -- they're doing it wrong. And I have yet to meet a guy who could tell the difference between a no-makeup look and a well-done natural look.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:16 PM on March 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


(sorry, wrong link. Full version of Wodaabe: Herdsmen of the Sun)
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:19 PM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry, but some of these I simply don't believe - Makeup can't change your jaw line. It can't change whether or not you have visible (not "prominent", but "protruding" cheek bones). It can't change jowels into smoothness. It can't change whether your eyes turn upward or downward.

Most of 'em look legit. Yes, makeup can turn a plane-Jane into a porn star. A few, though... Either "makeup" includes plastic surgery, or I have to call "fake" on them.
posted by pla at 6:56 PM on March 10, 2013


Makeup (and proper photographic techniques*)can do ALL of those things.

* And I'm not talking about photoshop
posted by ShutterBun at 7:00 PM on March 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


pla: It's fascinating what you can do simply by using the way the eye perceives light and shadow to change the appearance of the contours of your face. Basically you're creating an optical illusion on your face with makeup. See for yourself:

How to hide jowls. How to disguise drooping or downturned eyes. How to create defined cheekbones.
posted by Andrhia at 7:28 PM on March 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's amazing how much their whole persona changes with make-up.
posted by deborah at 10:09 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth: a clear majority of the "without make-up" photos would still have my eyes drifting over toward them were I in the same room.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:24 PM on March 10, 2013


Heh. This'd fit in perfectly with one of those "What People Think My Job Is Like" memes for working at Barely Legal. More than a few high school buddies were all, "You see porn stars every day!" and yeah, sure, but you don't think they come to the office in full drag, right?

I will say that at least pornography taught me that everyone can photograph gorgeously when in good makeup and lit properly. (Honestly, especially before makeup, what these women look the most like to me is waitresses.)

Oh, and the person up the thread that mentioned a bounty for tattoo-free girls? Barely Legal pays more for shots of girls without tattoos, and, weirdly enough, while I was there it also paid extra for sets of women with pubes or ones that were a little heavier. Readers were always writing in about that.

(That's part of what can make MeFi porn threads strange for me to read: When dudes here describe their porn interests, especially if there's an enlightened tone about "real women," they sound eerily like the dudes who would write that and also mail in photos of themselves in Target panties.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:24 PM on March 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


Youth and health are desirable makeup goals, too, but the "simulated arousal" works on the same powerful subconscious level.

I think the reason why I think they all look better without makeup is because most of them look younger without it. As somebody else said upthread, they seem to age ten years when they put their slap on.

When I was young, I would almost certainly have thought that looking older = less attainable = more desirable.

Now that I'm old, the converse seems true.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:48 AM on March 11, 2013


The thing that surprised me the most was how much more like actual people I've seen in the world they looked without makeup. Perhaps as a man working in a male-dominated industry, I don't see many women in makeup, but it really drove the point home that much of the look is not real — that is much of the look is not something anyone has.

I want to make clear that there's no judgement here. "Not real" is not "bad", just interesting that we often talk of things like beauty as though they are innate, but they are quite fungible!
posted by Xoder at 7:31 AM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's like Greg Land drawing a human face, forever.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Realization: Makeup is like auto-tune. You can look and sound like Cher, or you can use the technology more subtly.
posted by straw at 9:01 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Xoder, what you wrote is what I've been trying to say about makeup forever-- thanks for expressing it. Not that "beautiful women are actually ugly!!! but that very few to no women have certain features that are seen as beautiful & natural & common. What's common is the use of makeup. And if you don't know much about makeup, it's almost unbelievable.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:37 AM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


TIL that when something from reddit gets posted directly to mefi with just as little background or attribution or context, mefi comments quickly descend into mimicking reddit ones. :P
posted by trackofalljades at 9:44 AM on March 11, 2013


mokin: " I think it's interesting that these are women whose job is to be physically attractive. That adds a dimension that you wouldn't get with just random people off the street. Also, for me, seeing them without makeup humanizes these women who are often objectified and dehumanized."

This comment was quoted in a post over at Gawker this morning.
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


That makeup artist is very good at what she does. I wish her great success.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:39 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


These are before and after photos from a makeup artist. All photos have been touched. Nothing to do with porn. A hair stylist was obviously involved. Probably a lighting person, as well. Too bad that simply looking at pictures conjures up bedroom fantasies.
posted by breadbox at 12:01 PM on March 11, 2013


My understanding is that the photos are of women who work in the adult film industry. Is that not correct?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:00 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


most of the women look younger and somehow far more vulnerable before the makeup treatment - war paint, indeed.
posted by helion at 1:02 PM on March 11, 2013


Is that not correct?

It's correct for many of them, if not all.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:10 PM on March 11, 2013


The corpse in the library: "My understanding is that the photos are of women who work in the adult film industry. Is that not correct?"

Yes.

pla: "Sorry, but some of these I simply don't believe - Makeup can't change your jaw line. It can't change whether or not you have visible (not "prominent", but "protruding" cheek bones). It can't change jowels into smoothness. It can't change whether your eyes turn upward or downward."

You'd be surprised. The link I posted earlier to the Model-Morphosis blog is fun to play with. Dextrous use of shading can shift a person's features in interesting ways. So can their hairstyle -- how the face is framed by the hair.
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on March 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wow these pictures are really cool. I don't know about which is more attractive- do I look more attractive in a business outfit or in jeans and a T-Shirt? I don't think either one- just different.

By which I think I mean to say, I like the porn star look more than a feminist is supposed to, I guess, but then I love getting all sexied up- it's fun!


I'll jump into the Bad Feminist boat with you.

I think the women look terrific in most of the shots. Some of the Before shots are clearly deliberately poorly lit, and some of the After shots would be better with different colors (Nikki Benz's lipstick is not my fave), but overall, I rather enjoyed them. None of the makeup shots seem particularly "porn star" to me, so much as "pretty women getting prettier" (or as a friend remarked after a bunch of us got makeovers "artful icing on delicious cake"). The "porn star" distinction is a superfluous distraction, AFAIC.

I love makeup, and always have. It's a difficult process to master, but it's fun to be able to change the way you look with a few well placed brush strokes and some interesting colors. Although it's rare for me to go with the full maquillage, I do adore dramatic eye makeup and generally play with that every day.

I'm...vexed...by the "horror" at the makeup expressed by some upthread. What's wrong with being a glamour-puss?
posted by MissySedai at 3:59 PM on March 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm...vexed...by the "horror" at the makeup expressed by some upthread. What's wrong with being a glamour-puss?

Probably the same people that express horror at women who like to shave their vulvas and say it looks prepubescent. And then accuse men of being pedophiles if they happen to be attracted to it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:42 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, that was the most confusing masturbation session I've had in awhile.
posted by vito90 at 12:10 PM on March 12, 2013


At the end of that I was mostly left with a larger appreciation for a skilled makeup artist.

That's in no way meant to imply they made someone "more" or "less" attractive; more that the level to which they made a person look so different is just fascinating.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:30 PM on March 12, 2013


This? This right here is why I almost never wear makeup. I even on my most made up day, I don't wear this much, but still, when I wear anything more than tinted lip balm and mascara, I feel like I'm in drag. Which isn't a problem. But it's just not me.

Seeing the "with makeup" shots of these women as a form of drag, they look saucy and fierce and decorated in a way I never actually feel inside. I respect the shit out of them for actually feeling up to that.
posted by Sara C. at 6:36 PM on March 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Divest_Abstraction: "For the people having issue with Veruca as a name I would assume its in reference to Veruca Salt from charlie and the chocolate factory...or the band from Chicago"

Yeah, thing is that book was written by a British author so the audience there would get the reference: this is an odious child, as disgusting and annoying as a plantar wart. In the US where the word is not in common usage it just sounds like an odd name.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:11 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do people really want to masturbate to people?

Yes. Or so I've heard.
posted by The pets.com Mascot at 10:00 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do people really want to masturbate to people?

Yes. Or so I've heard.


Well, r/gonewild and r/gwcouples are often suspiciously polished, but the fantasy of jerkin' it to the real thing is there, at least.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:10 PM on March 13, 2013


[Good lord, don't be totally awful here. There's a huge internet where you can be as sexist as you want, but this site has people of many genders and proclivities and make an effort to pretend like you are having a conversation with all of them. Love, your female mod.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:04 PM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm far from a makeup expert, but several years ago I followed an internet video makeup tutorial posted by a porn star, just for laughs, and when I was done I looked like a porn star. It was ridiculous. I remember a ton of lipstick (lipliner starting outside the real lips), eyeshadow all the way up to dark brows, a lot of contouring around the nose, highlighter under the cheekbones, and a lighter shade of lipstick to make a shine at the center of the bottom lip. It was bizarre and terrifying to learn how easy it is to trick the eye into seeing lines and planes that just aren't there.
posted by kostia at 7:05 PM on March 13, 2013


It would appear that maybe this is the makeup artist. The example photo is from this gallery, and she says she's been posting before-and-after shots. I really thought doing your own makeup was the norm in porn, but perhaps not.

How to Makeup Like a Porn Star
posted by kostia at 7:10 PM on March 13, 2013


Divest_Abstraction: "For the people having issue with Veruca as a name I would assume its in reference to Veruca Salt from charlie and the chocolate factory...or the band from Chicago"

That's what I thought, and then I looked up the term on Wikipedia, and saw the following, which, in context, makes it even more disturbing:
-----------

"More than 30 to 40 types of HPV are typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region."

posted by symbioid at 10:59 AM on March 15, 2013




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