Saturday, June 11, 2005

Before and after

A good friend of mine mentioned realizing as a teen that she looked more like the "before" picture in a teen magazine's "before and after" feature. Which raises an interesting question for all of us: Do you consider yourself a "before" picture, an "after," or a "before" who must be transformed into an "after" prior to leaving the house? Please share your answer in the comments.

I am relatively unconcerned with the standards of beauty as put forth by fashion magazines. Objectively, one would call me a "before," as I wear precious little makeup. My hairstyling regimen consists of blow-drying my bangs and waving the blow dryer around the rest of my hair (no mousse, no gel, no Transforming Paste—though Mr. Tangerine loves his Transforming Paste). I often don't brush my hair again for most of the day. I see myself in the mirror, but I don't often really look with any degree of critical attention. (Is that enlightened self-acceptance or slovenliness?) But since I'm content with the results of my minimal efforts, I rather feel like an "after." It's telling: before a photo shoot for a major newspaper, the only extra grooming I did was trying to cover up some zits, using the lightly tinted moisturizer with sunscreen instead of the plain, and topping the moisturizer with some green powder to counteract my standard redness. I dampened my hair and did another round of blow-drying, and I added a touch of lipstick. (My poor mother-in-law: ever hopeful, she asked, "Did you fix your hair for the picture?" Yep, same blow-drying as ever! No products, no hairspray, no nothing.)

So, ladies and gentlemen, are you "befores" or "afters"?

8 comments:

Ellen said...

"Before" most of the time, except possibly right after the once-a-year haircut (see today's blog entry).

When I was on "Good Morning America" in 2001, that was the most "after" I've ever been. Unbelievable! I wrote to them asking what makeup and hair products they used, but they never replied.

My apartment is definitely a "before." The only way it's an "after" is "after the cyclone hit it."

Since I won't be working full-time, this would be a good time to move self and surroundings into the "after" zone. My mantra will be: "What would the Fab Five do with this?" (I applied for the female "Queer Eye" before it even existed - but I'm not holding my breath.)

stella said...

Have you ever seen Jane magazine's Makeunder column? They take a girl who's been wearing too MUCH makeup and make her prettier by taking away half of her products.

I wear nothing on my face but lip gloss. After reading Amber Pawlik's site, I've thought a bit about experimenting more with makeup, but really I am too lazy to fuss with it, or to fuss with my hair. Luckily I have good skin and good hair to start with, so I would consider myself neither as glam as an "after" nor as train-wreck as a "before."

In high school, though, I was definitely a "before." Bad haircut, very bad. I'm never wearing bangs again.

Alex said...

When I was about nine, I remember looking through those magazines and thinking, they looked so much happier before with their (5 extra pounds, less makeup, unstreaked hair, pre-facelift face).

Needless to say, this affected my look later in life.

Psycho Kitty said...

Sigh. I'm more of a DON'T than a "Before". Cause really, there ain't no After with me, baby.

Sass said...

I'd definitely have to say that I'm a before/don't(lol kitty) or whatever you want to call it. Unless I'm a member of a wedding party, where they force you into being an "after" with all the curlers and the drag queen makeup. I'm allergic to almost every single kind of makeup, so since the start of high school I haven't used it, other than mascara when I'm fancy.
There was a time in middle school where I could have qualified for a "makeunder"--we're talking heavy heavy eyeliner, shadow, mascara(about 5 coats), foundation, powder, blush or bronzer, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss, and if I remember correctly, something called lip "primer" which went underneath all that lip shit. Oh, and then about 5 hair products, and don't forget the glitter! face glitter, body glitter. All of this on the face of a 13 or 14 year old. I don't keep pictures of these makeup years, for good reason. It was horrifying.

I tend to agree with Bitch magazine's take on Jane's Makeunders that they are pretty much the same thing as other magazine's makeovers, because each one is really just an advertorial for about $80 worth of makeup. It's about Less, not None.

I grew up and realized that all that makeup does is set a false standard and really just force yourself to continued deception. If I meet someone and they're interested in me, I want them to see my flaws now, lest they come to think I don't have many.

Lisa said...

Yeah, I'm a low-maintenance kinda gal, too. and I would love to have a ton of nice clothes, but so far, no.

Orange said...

I suspected that I didn't know anyone, even in the Internets, who was technically an "after." I did recently meet a bona fide "after" recently, complete with hairspray and cleavage—the wife of an ex-Cub. Outside of that, I travel in a world of mostly content "befores."

Vanes63 said...

I'd call myself a "before", but that mostly has to do with the fact that I have way too many things to do to spend the time it would take for me to be an "after".

Also, my "after" consists of wearing a small amount of eyeshadow and some lipstick, so that's not very much of an after. I only do that when I'm being fancy and wearing a dress, which I also do only rarely.

Have you ever noticed that some magazines, and friends, say you should make yourself pretty "for yourself" and not worry about what everyone else's perception of "beauty" is???

Do you ever make yourself pretty for yourself? Is this considered part of making yourself an "after"?