Why Holly’s BETRAYING women by going barefaced: Says Liz Jones, who argues real feminists trowel on the make-up
11:39 GMT, 28 June 2012
Celebrities have always been masters of faux-modesty, from saying they lost four stone of baby weight just by running around after their children, to insisting their suspiciously full bottoms, bosoms and lips are God-given, rather than the work of a surgeon’s knife.
Now a clutch of stars have taken these fibs to a whole new level — posting photos of themselves on Twitter in which they claim to be make-up free.
Holly Willoughby — who appears on TV with eyelashes so long they probably contribute to the El Nino effect and lips so red and plumptious she resembles a drag queen — this week posted a picture online to prove she doesn’t really need all that artifice, so dewy is she, with such teeny, tiny pores.
Natural look The early morning snap Holly Willoughby posted on her Twitter page
Holly Willoughby dressed up for the launch of her new Autumn Winter 2012 collection for Very.co.uk
Julia Roberts and Demi Moore have recently done the same. Both are well over 40, but the no make-up faces are so artfully lit, they resemble teenagers.
I wager these supposedly bare-faced snaps are not what they seem: their lashes have probably been dyed and enhanced with extensions, brows tinted, skin tanned. That luscious, artfully tousled hair has been dyed a fetching shade, kept in perfect condition — and often supplemented with extensions.
Not admitting all the effort that goes into looking so radiant and ‘bare-faced’, not showing us the join, as it were, is tantamount to denying you have had a facelift, wear Spanx, or have a personal trainer.
We all need help, don’t we To deny this is to denounce womanhood itself. It is arrogant, over-confident one-upmanship.
Women spend 100,000 on make-up throughout their lives, on average
I, on the other hand, published in
these pages a picture of my genuine ‘morning face’: what I look like as I
open my sticky, puffy eyes on the world, in a stained old T-shirt.
Botox, a facelift, laser treatment for dark spots and thread veins,
lash extensions and a brow tattoo, I still resembled a blowfish with a
My lips, despite micro dermabrasion to
plump them, were in a downward trajectory, as thin and desiccated as a
vanilla pod. My skin was the colour of unrisen cookie dough.
The reason for posting this photograph was to prove that most of us look like this without make-up, and there is no shame in doing so.
I would never go out looking like this, but I felt it important to show the reality of a woman’s face — even though my face has been much tampered with and covered with expensive unguents over the years — is blotchy, puffy, lined … real, in fact.
What these bare-faced celebrities are doing is peddling a fantasy. I sat, not long ago, opposite one of these over-confident nightmares.
Liz Jones glammed up (left) and without any make-up (right)
The setting was the Woman’s Hour studio at the BBC, the woman who glowed shiny-faced across the microphones was writer Charlotte Raven.
She had written a piece in a broadsheet newspaper, for which she was photographed with not a scrap of make-up, in front of a million framed photos of her brood.
In her article, she argued it is harder to be a feminist now that heavy make-up is the norm — and that those who prefer a natural look will stand out as ‘unpretty’.
In the studio, Charlotte had a
gamine, tousled crop, a Breton sweater, a shiny, earnest face, and
reminded me of an adolescent boy just in from a spell of offshore
And there was
me, with my Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser and hydrating primer,
Chanel Vitalumiere foundation, YSL touch eclat No2, Chantecaille
pow-der, Nars blusher, and on and on.
was dear old Jenni Murray, wearing inches of powder behind those
bifocals. We both raised our pencilled brows at one another.
'Let’s not forget that make-up, as well as being our armour, protecting us as we face the world, can also be fun'
feeling is that not wearing make-up is in fact anti-feminist. Women
like Holly and Charlotte are saying to the rest of us: I am too busy to
wear make-up at home.
I am not vain, or frivolous, I am DEEP. My husband loves me for who I am: naturally gorgeous.
women are the ultimate playground bullies: they know men hate make-up
(my husband used to say I was like a moth, leaving dark smudges on him
in my wake), so they pretend they need no help.I think it’s rude to bare your face to the world, although I’m sure an army of super-busy mummies will post comments saying they never wear even a slick of Vaseline on their lips, so adored are they by their husband and children, so packed their lives, so bright their brains.
Indeed, there was a considerable backlash after my stint on Woman’s Hour.
‘I listened incredulously to Liz Jones making the statement that for a woman not to wear make-up is arrogant,’ one emailed in. ‘I am one of three daughters and none of us wears make-up due to the wonderful gene pool we inherited.’ Well, quite!
Let’s not forget that make-up, as well as being our armour, protecting us as we face the world, can also be fun. Decorating our faces, enhancing the good bits, covering up the less good, has been practised for millennia.
Putting on make-up is a part of being a woman. It’s all about degree, isn’t it Maybe tweezing the chin hairs, but foregoing the Hollywood bikini wax.
And, yes, perhaps instead of trowelling on make-up what I really need is to shore up my ego. I should be a bit braver, and hide less behind a mask.
But unlike the Hollys and the Julias, the rest of us have the humility to admit we need a little bit of help.