Before I begin, let’s get one thing straight. Ol’ Maarten here is all boy. Don’t you forget it …
That being said … I wear makeup. Just once a year, mind you, and it is for professional purposes only, for a couple hours only, and with the lightest application only. A makeup artist takes about ten minutes with me and each of my co-workers, laying on just enough foundation and powder to undo the effects of bright spotlights.
Over the years, I have consistently noticed three things about my experiences:
1. People at home who know me personally, when seeing see me on camera, do not realize that I am wearing makeup. They just say that I look healthy and a little tanned.
2. People who see me exclusively in those few hours when I am made up don’t recognize me otherwise when they pass me in the halls of the conference center or stand next to me in an elevator.
3. Every year some person or another mistakes me for a certain co-worker who is of similar age and height (but who looks quite different from me).
Curiously, makeup makes me look more like my own self and less like my own self at one and the same time.
These observations put me in mind of the old Victorian-era doggerel against the rising fad of lipstick and rouge:
Little grains of powder,
Little dabs of paint
Make a girl’s complexion
Look like what it ain’t.
We have become inured to the artificiality of cosmetics. If you can reset your aesthetic sensibilities for the human face, you quickly realize just how clownish the average American woman is expected to look in order to be considered presentable in society. Instead, we have trained ourselves not to notice makeup—to expect it—even to be revulsed if a woman goes into public without having “her face on.”
One indicator of our skewed sensibilities: a popular theme for clickbait is “Celebrities Who Are Unrecognizable Without Makeup.” I have clicked through a few of these listicles to the end. The photos are selected, of course, for maximum contrast between the celebrity’s bare face and her made-up look. The difference can be striking.
For example, look at this photo of Sofia Vergara without makeup, from http://www.ranker.com/list/sofia-vergara-without-makeup/celeb-stalker.
Here is a side-by-side from the same website:
Curiously, in the purported “without” photos, Sofia is quite clearly wearing some makeup. I’m no expert, but I would say she has on a light base of foundation with a touch of blush and maybe a little eye liner. But we have been trained not to notice that low level of cosmetological intervention. To our eyes, it is a bare face.
I think she looks nicer without the clownface goop, though many other celebs come off pretty bad au naturel. Here’s a purported with/without look at supermodel Tyra Banks:
Apparently, a skilled cosmetologist can turn a Nosferatu into a Nefertiti.
So … just how effective can little grains of powder and little dabs of paint be in making a girl’s complexion look like what it ain’t?
Take a look at this video on YouTube:
Can makeup make one person look like several completely different people? Have a gander:
Can makeup make lots of different people look the same? Here are twenty contestants for the Miss Korea pageant (with a nod to Daddie for posting this link in a comment some time back: http://www.wengie.com/blog-posts/korean-beauty-makeup-standards/):
Can makeup work to make one person look like one particular famous person? Judging by the number of Britney Spears makeup tutorials on YouTube, the answer seems to be yes. Here’s one to consider:
You can find step-by-step routines to transform plain Janes into famous cover girls like Kate Moss and Pamela Anderson. Mind you, these transformations are achieved simply with powders and paints. Think of how much greater a resemblance could be achieved with tinted contact lenses, hair dye, boob jobs, and other judicious plastic surgery. Anyone could be made to look like anyone else (with limits, of course, set by large discrepancies in height, weight, or facial hair … but not gender).
* * *
What’s my point????
Miles Mathis has made a slam-dunk case for the covert use of twins in the field of entertainment, and in particular Elvis Aron Presley and Paul/Mike McCartney. Mark Tokarski and the working group here at Piece of Mindful have made similar discoveries about Janis Joplin, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lawrence, among others.
Beyond that, Mark and company have noted the uncanny facial similarities among current Hollywood A-listers. Straight demonstrated that Matt Damon’s kisser matches up with a score of other big-name actors.
My own very limited experience with makeup got me thinking … Do they actually need twins to swap in and out of a celebrity persona?
Twins have got to be hard to manage. You would have two big personalities to massage and motivate at the same time, all the time. One slip-up and the cover is blown. The 2006 film The Prestige does a good job of documenting just how tricky managing a set of interchanging twins would be. The unevenness in the careers of Presley, McCartney, and Joplin suggest to me that at some point one or both twins proved uncooperative, and events had to be ginned up to cover up the crisis.
Plus, twins are genetically quite rare. We have hypothesized the existence of some hidden medical technology that allows the elite family lines to spawn twins easily for their little feats of jiggery-pokery. But maybe the modern Hollywood Bokanovsky doesn’t need bottles full of fetuses; maybe all he needs is jars of powder and paint … and a gullible public that can’t tell when a whole lot of makeup has been applied to a face.
In that case, you don’t need twins to share a superstar persona like Jennifer Aniston. Sisters would do. Maybe even cousins. Maybe even unrelated people with similar facial structure.
Look again at Mark’s lineups for Aniston Twin One:
Are those all one and the same woman? Or maybe non-twin sisters who have undergone the same makeup routine?
Here’s Mark’s lineup of Aniston Twin Two:
While the eye-to-chin height may be the same across the lineup, the gestalt of the faces varies considerably. The fourth Twin Two looks like a different woman from the fifth and sixth Twin Two. I don’t think they are sisters or even cousins. I think they are women with similar basic facial structures who have been made up to look like *Jennifer Aniston. (I use the asterisk to denote a stage persona who can be played by different performers. Like the clown in the opera Pagliacci.)
If *Jennifer Aniston and *Jennifer Lawrence are not actual people, but elaborate makeup routines, then you wouldn’t need twins at all. Standing in the Burbank unemployment line is an endless supply of A-list wannabes, and it would be no trick to find twenty ingénues who are a close match for facial structure. The rest could be filled in with cosmetics and some voice coaching. If need be, a plastic surgeon could be called in for a little nip and tuck. Maybe, just maybe, this is why so many starlets with perfectly lovely figures go out and get breast implants: that way they set an artificial standard for their replacements to match easily with their own boob jobs, instead of allowing for the normal variations that are found with natural feminine endowments.
It would work for male actors and entertainers, too. Since we don’t notice makeup anymore, not even on men, the fellas could just as well be switched in and out as need be.
You don’t need to worry about *Jennifer Aniston dying in an accident or wanting to leave showbiz to be a mommy … or even aging at a normal pace. (Scroll through this: http://www.worldlifestyle.com/celebs/25-youthful-celebs-twice-age-think.)
Lots of gals—and guys—can get dolled up for the role in question, for as long as that persona’s makeup routine is still making profits at the box office. AND still distracting the populace from noticing their mental and emotional imprisonment.
Occam’s Razor is often misused, but it just might apply here. When it comes to the welter of celebrity twinning … Why suspect genetics when it could be just cosmetics? Why posit clones when it might be just clowns?