some must put it on with a trowel.
August 29, 2003 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I think that the before pics are not just without makeup - they're without airbrushing.

It's not like posed celeb pics are a good representation of what somebody actually looks like, after all.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:46 AM on August 29, 2003

Apparently, Elle Macpherson is Jon Bon Jovi.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2003

AAK! Is Oprah even a woman in this picture?

A lot of these they still have makeup, just not as much or they are just grainy picture.

Interesting though. Apparently Debrah Messing and Courtney Cox have a lot of foundation on when they go out!
posted by aacheson at 11:49 AM on August 29, 2003

uh, they all look like they have make-up to me. just less obvious make-up.
posted by jann at 11:49 AM on August 29, 2003

Some of them actually look better without it. But the rest of the photos have sent my self-esteem up about twenty points or so.
posted by konolia at 11:52 AM on August 29, 2003

Well, they're not the same pictures, either. The Theron pic, for example, is a posed smile against a twisted frown, which helps the disparity a lot.

Still, it's like a weird If They Mated, only without the punchline.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:56 AM on August 29, 2003

y mixed bag... some of them are just shots from movies where they played "plain" girls, others are paparazzi shots, still others are mug shots. Still, a fun browse whether you take it as memento ugli or just plain schadenfreude.
posted by condour75 at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2003

Okay, see, this is what I'm talking about: the Yasmine Bleeth photo is a studio shot versus her mug shot from when she was busted for coke posession.

I'm not saying the makeup doesn't obviously make her look better, but come on. This isn't just "without makeup," it's "worst they've ever looked in their life."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2003

These are really pretty piss-poor examples they are using in before shots. Some are several years older than the after photos, some are shots from movies, some are grainy jpegs expanded to fill the space, and a lot feature bad expressions as the before.

About the only one that works is the Winona Ryder one, she looks somewhat similar in both, except for makeup.
posted by mathowie at 12:00 PM on August 29, 2003

A little makeup does wonders for Iggy Pop.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2003

The problem is that the "without" images show poor quality pics of stars at their worst (caught unaware, grimaces etc), while the "with make-up" choices basically show carefully posed/staged studio pics, so it's a bit tilted, as in "see? They're ugly!" which is untrue for most of the actresses.
Also please read female celebrities, which is unfair to women because male actors/singers use make-up as well. Remember the Nick Nolte DUI mug shot?
posted by 111 at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2003

posted by Mayor Curley at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2003

Not only do they not have make-up, they are the worst pictures ever taken. Even if the "no make-up" shots were WITH make-up, they'd still look horrible. (that and most of the no make-up shots actually were make-up shots)
posted by tomplus2 at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2003

Jaysus, and I'm self-conscious about my minor blemishes... some of those people are freaking zit-farms. I also feel like he's got some pics when they were extremely sun-burnt and/or had like black eyes or hadn't slept in a few weeks, but whatever... the point is, they're ugly without make-up, and they are.
posted by zekinskia at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2003

Pretty much what everyone else said. The before pictures aren't exactly the best non-makeup comparison.

That said, I'm having trouble swallowing that the before pic on this really is Charlize Theron.
posted by Stauf at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2003

What's the point of this post? Does no one else understand how "make-up" and "air-brushing" in "advertising" works? Or are these new words for you all?

Is it a revelation that most women (and quite a few men) who are held up as stunning examples of beauty only get that appellation through the industry of an army of workers who primp, polish, nip, tuck, lift, separate, and air-brush the hell out of those celebrity photos?

Yeesh, what naivete!
posted by mooncrow at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2003

And actually, I think that Sigourney Weaver page is "with alien" and "without alien."
posted by aine42 at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2003

Goldie Hawn is the new face of terror.
posted by jon_kill at 12:16 PM on August 29, 2003

posted by marvin at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2003

What XQUZYPHYR said. Yasmine's picture is from her mugshot; not her best day and with unflattering direct lighting as well.

And how much did they blow up that without shot of Helen Hunt. It looks like they only had a couple hundred actual pixels. I've seen windows icons that looked better.

And Angelina is a complete hottie even in real life.

I think web sites like this are great. They provide a little reality check on the Online, Cyberspace, Information Super Web. And sure we all know these stars look mostly like you and me and her and him in real life sans augmentation. But the public in general isn't one with the knowledge of how totally unrealistic the body image of the (above)average tv or movie star is.
posted by Mitheral at 12:26 PM on August 29, 2003

I guess "without makeup" means "mostly lousy pictures with or without makeup."
posted by dogwelder at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2003

Like it when the celebs point out, it's not their body parts in a picture, they'll airbrush in another model's hand for example.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2003

Where are the guys, just Violent J, Howard Stern and RuPaul? No guys without ab muscles painted on and thinning hair? And half of these are just two movie stills, one with lipstick and one without (like the Leigh, Dunst, and Kidman pictures).

The Lisa Kudrow is funny though.
posted by bobo123 at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2003

dogwelder, i would amend your defenition to:

"mostly lousy pictures with or without makeup, either from real life or while playing characters that would not be be expected to wear make up (although the actress would obviously be wearing makeup)."
posted by o2b at 12:34 PM on August 29, 2003

The Lisa Kudrow one is the only one that works for me. It's because they're roughly the same angle. The rest of them are too different to make any point whatever, even the schadenfreude one. Whoever put this page together needs to go back to Separated at Birth 101.
posted by soyjoy at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2003

Wow, I don't care !
posted by XiBe at 12:45 PM on August 29, 2003

the winona ones are shot at the same angle - and she looks better without makeup.
posted by ruelle at 12:45 PM on August 29, 2003

In his passion to find extremes I think in some cases (the celebs who've been around a while) he may be using photos taken a couple of decades apart. See Stevie Nicks, for example, or Goldie Hawn (which he spells Hahn).

One interesting thing I read recently is that one thing that makes big stars grumpy during public appearences is that they're ravenously hungry -- they don't dare eat anything because their worst nightmare is to be photographed putting something in their face. It's just too easy to take an ugly picture of someone eating.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:52 PM on August 29, 2003

Where are the guys, just Violent J, Howard Stern and RuPaul?

Well, there's Elvira.

Whaddya mean, she's not a man?
posted by deadcowdan at 12:55 PM on August 29, 2003

erm, Winona's wearing makeup in both shots. Seriously. Just different degrees, and different styles.
posted by synapse at 12:56 PM on August 29, 2003

sorry kids, winona's wearing makeup in her "no makeup" picture. the ugly!/not ugly! game is still funny, though.
posted by armacy at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2003

I don' t think that's Lisa Kudrow without makeup. I think it's Teri Garr without makeup.
posted by macadamiaranch at 1:10 PM on August 29, 2003

:: previews, erases witticisms :: What synapse and armacy said. That "makeupless" Winona has got the makeup.

Lara Flynn Boyle gets the prize for looking more frightening in the makeup shot than in the "real" shot. Eeep.
posted by furiousthought at 1:11 PM on August 29, 2003

I think Kate Beckinsale is much cuter in her "no makeup" photo than in the full makeup one. Often the full-makeup look (as shown in Kate Beckinsale and Winona Ryder's photos) is a generic overly stylized glamour look that covers up the women's individual character and charm.

You can see the same thing in the recent New York Times Magazine Britney Spears feature. I think she looks hot in these pictures, even though I'm not a big Britney fan. But part of why I think she's hot in the pictures is because they're generic, iconographic shots that don't say anything unique about her. Many women would look just as sexy in those costumes and poses.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on August 29, 2003

furiousthought: the 'real' shot of LFB is from the movie "Road To Wellville" in which she was done up to look like she had some incurable disease.
posted by perplexed at 1:29 PM on August 29, 2003

Sigourney Weaver


Lou Reed
posted by Satapher at 1:33 PM on August 29, 2003

I think the point of this post is to show that celebrities are total fakes that deserve nothing but our utmost contempt. After all, a bad photograph is CLEARLY what they always look like "in real life," while makeup and lighting are nothing but fakery.

it's a good thing hollywood's most closely guarded secret was finally revealed!
posted by chrisege at 2:12 PM on August 29, 2003

So Lara Flynn Boyle is less terrifying with leprosy, then. You understand this comes as a surprise to no one.

That smelled like a movie still. It's not often you get candid celebrity shots with such convenient mood lighting.
posted by furiousthought at 2:12 PM on August 29, 2003

Three quarters of these look like movie stills. It's just different movies, with totally different situations.

Personally, I found that Lisa Kudrow in Analyze This was someone else. I refused to believe it until I saw the credits. Just proof that some people's heads really shouldn't be blown up so goddam big...
posted by Busithoth at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2003

Goldie Hawn is the new face of terror.

Bomb Goldie Hawn!
posted by fishbulb at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2003

That said, I'm having trouble swallowing that the before pic on this really is Charlize Theron.

the site's a bit specious. that pic of ms. theron is in fact from the set of a motion picture for which she gained weight and generally frumped herself down. it's not a candid.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:18 PM on August 29, 2003

in fact, a lot of those "without makeup" pics are just the celebs from different movies. like sigourney weaver? her supposedly "naturel" pic is clearly from alien 4. what a crock of shit.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:21 PM on August 29, 2003

Wow, a non-political subject to talk about. Does that mean there are no trolls on this thread? In all fairness, it's possible to make everyone look ugly (and almost everyone look cute). I do find it fascinating, though, that some people who have aged quite noticeably have to wear tons of make-up to be still suitable for the Hollywood circus. Goldie Hawn looks her age in the no make-up shot, Cameron Diaz, even though she'll just turn 31 this weekend, already looks somewhat scary. If you've seen the godawful Charlie's Angels II, you know what I mean-- in the no make-up shot on the site, she actually looks rather cute. As for Gillian Anderson, that poor woman is an example of really overdoing the whole makeup thing.
posted by Eloquence at 3:24 PM on August 29, 2003

Jamie Lee Curtis did a great feature on this in More magazine a while ago. At her request, she had the magazine's photographers take some photos of her in street makeup and gym clothes, as well as the traditional glamour shots. She wanted to remind readers that neither she nor any other movie star goes around looking "ready for their closeup" all the time.

Check it out here. Yet another reason to love Ms. Curtis.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:39 PM on August 29, 2003

reason to love Ms. Curtis.
Her parents weren't bad looking either.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:42 PM on August 29, 2003

In the second Nicole Kidman comparison, the "without makeup" photo is from The Hours -- the movie in which she wears heaps of makeup and a prosthetic nose.

Er, all this shows is that makeup can make people look bad, as well as good.
posted by Badmichelle at 5:16 PM on August 29, 2003

The disingenuousness of this website is tailored to appeal to the Marxist side of people. That side that wants to think we're all the same, and chalk up any apparent advantage to cheating. I realize that this is a silly website, and I admit I was slightly amused (not a bad FPP), but I also think it's speaking to a very immature instinct. One that can even be dangerous.

As a case in point has anybody read Amy Chau's World on Fire? Virtually without failure, every time an ethnic minority demonstrates greater economic success than the host majority, there is wild, often violent backlash. It's often said to be through "unfair" business practices, such "inflated prices" and somehow (paradoxically) "undercutting the competition" as well.

Sure celebrities have hair-dressers and fitness trainers, but let's be realistic, Ok; beauty is not all in the eye of the beholder and many people are born much better looking than many others. Some substantially so. It's not all plastic surgery and "hollywood magic". Most of these people were hand-picked for their exceptional genetic appeal. There's nothing wrong with that. Let's celebrate differences rather than rationalize them away.

posted by dgaicun at 5:43 PM on August 29, 2003

The disingenuousness of this website is tailored to appeal to the Marxist side of people. That side that wants to think we're all the same, and chalk up any apparent advantage to cheating.

Except that it is true. There are few truly beautiful people. It is exceedingly rare. Cameron Diaz suffers from adult acne. Courtney Cox-Arquette's face shows the ravages of middle age. (and i don't mean the blemishes from the website)

For celebrities, their entire job revolves around spending the better part of the day at the gym. Of course they are going to look great-- it's their full time job. But having the "above-average person who works out all the time" beauty and truly genetically blessed beauty are two different things.

This site is a great showcase of the magic of airbrushing.
posted by deanc at 6:48 PM on August 29, 2003

Marxism? Nativist resentment against ethnic minority business owners? This is all getting a bit far afield.

I don't see why it's somehow immature to point out that Rachel Weisz might be above-average-attractive but nothing special if you saw her walking down a city street in normal or no makeup. What if Venus Williams walked onto a tennis court in a public park and lost to half the local recreational players? Or if Garry Kasparov sat down at one of those chess tables in Harvard Square and couldn't beat a good proportion of the random people who happened by? The cavils that a lot of these pictures simply show the celebrities at their worst also miss the mark - the photos are as accurate a representation as the stylized shots we normally see. Sure, we all "know" that celebrities get airbrushing, makeup and stylists to make them look pretty, but that doesn't stop us from expecting women to look like them.
posted by transona5 at 6:53 PM on August 29, 2003

kirkaracha: You're right, Britney is totally hot in those pics. I'd Madonna'd hit it.
posted by dhartung at 9:24 PM on August 29, 2003

So, then, give us some examples of celebrities who are truly good looking with or without make-up?
posted by wackybrit at 10:20 PM on August 29, 2003

I told the bartender at my local bar that she looked better (sans makeup) than the Hollywood actors on the site. She told me I was cut off. [g]

But seriously, this whole make-up thing should be no surprise. How many of us have had a significant other that, when he/she bothers to dress up/wear the right colors, goes from someone you only give a second glance to because you cherish more than their looks, to *the* person in the bar/restaurant that everyone's checking out?

On pure, carnal looks, I've dated a few women that (well, in my mind) would kick most screen actresses genetically-modified asses. I think that at some career point, the looks of a Hollywood personality are second to the brand that dictates how we perceive the looks.
posted by notsnot at 10:51 PM on August 29, 2003

Damn! When can an overpaid talentless starlette ever get a break?
posted by HTuttle at 10:57 PM on August 29, 2003

Am I supposed to believe this Madonna shot is really HER in the 'before' photo? Looks like a guy to me! Is that an Adams Apple?
posted by Goofyy at 2:12 AM on August 30, 2003

I SO did not need to see Liza Minelli with no face.

Thank you.
posted by spirit72 at 1:34 PM on August 30, 2003

posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on August 30, 2003

Thank god for women who look just fine without makeup or airbrushing (like my wife).
posted by mrbill at 8:10 PM on August 30, 2003

er, let me rephrase that, "women who dont feel the need to slather stuff on their face to be someone they're not".
posted by mrbill at 8:22 PM on August 30, 2003

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