Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Cafe Legend and MOTM Jan 2011
Joined
·
15,420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hollywood Homely - Television Tropes & Idioms
tvtropes.org said:
Hollywood Homely

Five minutes into the film, I relaxed, knowing it was set in the real world, and not in the Hollywood alternative universe where Julia Roberts can't get a date.
—Roger Ebert, on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Producer: What were you thinking?
Casting: Well, you said you wanted gritty. In other words, ugly.
Producer: I wanted Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island ugly, not Cornelius on Planet of the Apes ugly. TV-ugly, not ... ugly-ugly.
— The Simpsons, "Pygmoelian"

Dramatic situations sometimes require a character (usually female) who is unappealing, unattractive, and has a hard time finding dates. However, unattractive or even average-looking women are often dissuaded from even trying to get acting jobs in Hollywood, so the person cast in the role ends up being more gorgeous than anybody you'll ever meet in real life. Likewise, producers know that "beauty is money," and so they're disinclined to cast genuinely unattractive people even as villains or extras, but would rather simply infer homeliness to the character via character-reactions — regardless of the irony presented in attributing such to the fairly good-looking person playing the role.
She'll also be much thinner, since women of average build are considered to be lumbering oxen by most Hollywood producers even if they're as fit as an Olympian. They make her "plain" by giving her some or all of: thick glasses, braces, unfashionable clothes, an unflattering hairstyle, and an even-better-looking sibling or friend. A more subtle method involves giving the actress clothes that clash with her natural skin color, making her look pale or blotchy — a method also often used in "before-and-after" shots for diet-pill commercials.
Generic Cuteness is the animated equivalent of this trope, and the result is a very Informed Deformity. Cue the logical outcome, Cookie Cutter Cuties which describe what you have to look like in order to be "physically acceptable".
Compare Beautiful All Along, Loser Guy, Cool Loser, Hollywood Nerd, Hollywood Pudgy. Contrast Informed Attractiveness and Gorgeous Gorgon. Adaptational Attractiveness is when this trope is applied to characters who were plain, unattractive, old, etc. in the source material a show is based on. Beauty Inversion is the use of makeup or prosthetics to successfully avert this trope.
tvtropes.org said:
Beautiful All Along

Like magic! Or maybe not!
"Like in one of those movies. You know. When they take off their glasses and put down their hair. 'Why, Miss Finch, you're beautiful.'"
—Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

A stock plot: an ugly duckling loses the glasses, takes down her hair, maybe gets a little makeup and walks down the stairs as a swan. Pretty much the plot of the movie She's All That.
Another version of this would be "Miss Jones Syndrome", where a dowdy, bespectacled woman switches to contacts, shakes loose her hair and is told by the unrequited object of her affections, "Why, Miss Jones, you are beautiful." (A variant on this can be heard in Thomas Dolby's song "She Blinded Me With Science": "Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you're beautiful!")
This is mainly possible because most of the "ugly" women on TV are beautiful actresses in bad clothes, though it also has something to do with narrow standards of beauty in movies and TV.
Starts as a nice little moral about how looks aren't everything, but saves the hero from actually having to go out with an ugly girl.
P.U.G. Knows | Movies | EW.com
















---------

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
To me the pretty versions of the actresses don't look that much prettier. They just looked like they blow dried their hair. I've noticed this IRL too, that putting a little time into my hair style and make-up make a huge difference in how attractive people think I am. More and more, beauty has nothing to do with your natural features, but is a choice. If you choose to diet, put on make-up, do your hair in a socially acceptable feminine style du jour then you will be beautiful. Some of the most glamorous women you know might not be as 'naturally' pretty as the plain jane who doesn't take a huge interest in her appearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
These days I've given up makeup... I still put on mascara and make sure my eyebrows look nice, likewise I do dot a bit of concealer on my face or around my eyes if I look sorta bad that day, but otherwise, I try to keep it as simple and understated as possible. I don't style my hair in any big, showy way, in fact I let it down and curly. I scrunch it with a bit of gel mixed with conditioner and my hair is naturally soft yet very shiny and defined.

You should bring your natural beauty out, not become someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
maybe a little side-rant, but it always pissed me off, what they did in the Breakfast Club with that lass. not simply because it was such a tired thing to do, as you pointed out snail, but because i honestly thought the lass was *way* more attractive how she looked before that make-over. i HATE how they made her look, i really really do. :angry:

(not to mention the just general bullshit message, i mean, everyone else comes to be accepted just by opening up and talking, but SHE needs a cheesy makeover too for some reason? ugh)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
All of those women look better with out makeup to me!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Greenbee123

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,790 Posts
Let's not forget the Princess Diaries...



Yeah, not a fan of the "beautifying." To me, people are prettier without make-up or fancy dress or any of the Hollywood crap. I never understood why people like George Clooney or, uh... Angelia Jolie are hailed as being the "hottest people evar." In fact, the most casually-dressed person (who isn't showing off 90% of their skin/underwear :dry:) gets my attention far more than someone decked out in the traditional sexy-wear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,347 Posts
Generally, just need reasonably styled hair. I've met a lot of natural beauties without the make up, I prefer it that way. However, frizzy or poorly managed hair is a bit of a turn off.

In all the pics you mentioned, I preferred the makeover look, but only for the hair fix.
 

·
MOTM Dec 2011
Joined
·
8,651 Posts
I thought this was going to be about a similar occurrence, when a pretty, thin actress gains weight for a part and/or wears some heavy makeup & dental gear to alter her facial features, maybe dons an ugly wig, & voila - now she's "ugly", or at least ugly enough to play a lead role where the character is meant to be unattractive or "average". Why not hire real ugly or average looking people? The reason is they want "stars" in the lead roles, and these people are either attractive to begin with or have made themselves more attractive through various means due to fame/fortune.

Even with the ugly duckling roles listed above (where they later are revealed to be "swans" who just needed some polishing), the actress's beauty is downplayed for the role, until its time for the "makeover". In reality, they just strip the actress of goofy distractions to her real beauty (ie. glasses - the oldest & lamest trick , bad wigs, baggy clothes etc).

I'm not anti-beauty at all, but I do believe it's unfair to those with talent who may suit the role physically "naturally". You see a lot more legitimately "ugly" men in Hollywood also, so maybe, being a woman, that is why it irks me. The ugly man + beautiful woman pairing is a lot more common in movies than the opposite also...





 

·
Cafe Legend and MOTM Jan 2011
Joined
·
15,420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This isn't so much about whether you think girls are prettier with or without a makeover. What I am getting at is that instead of using actual ugly girls, and sending the message that ugly girls are okay as they are without deserving to be picked on, they make it look like being popular is just a matter of choice, that ugly girls deserve how they are treated because they could easily just "pretty themselves up" and be treated like human beings, win the love of everyone who is shallow enough to care, and be okay. It is offensive.

Another thing using makeup (or a lack of it) to make pretty girls symbolically ugly reminds me of is how, in Shakespearian days, women were played by men, because for some reason it was seen as improper to use real women. Today it is seen as improper in most cases to show real ugly girls, or to acknowledge that they have any value until they have been "reformed" into pretty girls. After all, we all supposedly have an inner pretty girl who can be revealed with a little effort, perhaps something as simple as makeover, so being mistreated for being ugly isn't a serious problem. After all, ugly is supposedly a choice. *rolls eyes*

I suppose the same applies to guys, in a less noticeable way. Consider the fairy tale about a hideous beast who is loved by a beautiful girl. In the end, her reward for accepting him is that he transforms into a handsome prince. After all, who wants to be with someone ugly? Right? Well, I think it's time for a new message. I know Shrek was a step in the right direction, but it is still all too common to see pretty girls playing the parts of ugly girls.

Instead of dressing one thing up to represent another existing thing, why not just use the real thing and deal with the real issues that surround it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts

These pictures offend me. I'm a natural brown-eyed brunette. Because of that, I'm average? Not only do the makeup artists try to make them "ugly" with costumes and unflattering hair, but they made sure to include brown eye contacts and brown hair dye.

Whatever. I'm not gonna listen to a bunch of crazy appearance-obsessed freaks out there that will tell me I'm average. I'm not. I'm naturally beautiful and they should stick it where the sun don't shine! :angry:
 

·
MOTM Dec 2011
Joined
·
8,651 Posts
^ Interesting observation. As a brown-eyed, brunette, I failed to note that. It does seem the ugly duckling character in moves is often brunette also.... On a side note, as a child I noticed all of the models in eye makeup ads always had blue or green eyes. That has changed in more recent years (notably, after the late 90s "Latin invasion"), but it did send the message to me that brown eyes were not as pretty. I suppose it's cliche to call for diversity in the portrayal in beauty, but diversity in ugly would be good also :tongue: .
 
  • Like
Reactions: GoldenDawn

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
^ Interesting observation. As a brown-eyed, brunette, I failed to note that. It does seem the ugly duckling character in moves is often brunette also.... On a side note, as a child I noticed all of the models in eye makeup ads always had blue or green eyes. That has changed in more recent years (notably, after the late 90s "Latin invasion"), but it did send the message to me that brown eyes were not as pretty. I suppose it's cliche to call for diversity in the portrayal in beauty, but diversity in ugly would be good also :tongue: .
Yes, in fact, if you watched all the movies where the ugly duckling turns into a swan... She is almost always brunette with brown eyes. And the "mean bitch" who bullies her is the skinny blonde girl with brilliant blue eyes. In the end, the movies attack both of them; The blondes are known to be bullies, and brunettes as homely girls. It's not fair either way.

Color, whether it's skin, hair, or eye color are irrelevant when it comes to someone being beautiful or not. Here is a brown-eyed, brunette beauty:



She has dyed her hair blonde before but it just washes her skin out and doesn't look good on her overall. So she stuck with darker shades, and she's back to being beautiful again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Yeah, I never got the movies that were supposed to teach you 'Looks don't matter", but in the end the guy gets to date a pretty girl. It just reinforced the idea that I had to achieve a certain level of beauty in order to deserve a guy's attention.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,865 Posts
This all reminded me of an article I saw a while back on "hollywood ugly" - which I have pasted here.



" A GUIDE TO “HOLLYWOOD UGLY”

In February 2002 during their 11th season, The Simpsons skillfully summarized the idea of „ugly” people in major motion pictures: What is considered homely in Hollywood is “Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island (…) TV ugly. Not ugly-ugly.”



No one is holding it against movies for being escapist; God knows we have more than enough stuff to escape from (jobs, families, neighborhood drug dealers who still haven’t been paid). So, it’s not that surprising that “normal people” are portrayed on screen by folks who in real life could be acquitted of murder based on nothing more than their looks. But occasionally you come across a production where an intensely attractive person gets stuck with the role of the movie’s Susan Boyle for reasons which are never made clear but probably include copious amounts of drugs on the producer’s part.

Due to many technical and legal limitations I cannot outright support the ingestion of powerful narcotics to get you into the mind of the people behind the idea of Hollywood Ugly, but I can do the next best thing and analyze just what idiotic tricks are used to achieve this effect.


Imperfect = Monstrously Ugly



Let’s talk about the opera… It’s boring. Unless you have homicidal maniacs living in the sewers beneath, ready to strike at any given moment with a catchy organ tune in the background. “The Phantom of the Opera” is a classic story which has been filmed more than a dozen times now, but interestingly enough with each new incarnation of the story, the main character has been getting less ugly and less ugly.



The Phantom living under the opera house is supposed to be hideous, a real monster (think the bastard love child of John C. Reilly and Rhea Perlman). When Lon Chaney played the character in the 1925 movie, they couldn’t have gotten it more right. Chaney’s character was so deformed he basically was one of the great horror monsters of his time, a less hairy, more musically gifted King Kong really, given their tastes in kidnapping young women.



But in 2004 when Gerard Butler took the role in Joel Schumacher’s version, you knew something was about to go spectacularly tits up, only without any actual breasts, given Schumacher’s opinion about such things. Butler is one of the few males in recorded human history whose stare has been scientifically proven to dissolve women’s undergarments. Millions of folks out there are in love with his face. There wasn’t a chance they would hide that money maker beneath a ton of disfiguring make up:



This was Schumacher’s “monster”: Gerald Butler with a skin rash. How horrible, let’s throw rotten tomatoes at the creature! Some might try to excuse this by claiming the obsession with the tiny scar simply proves the Phantom was a vain character, but in this movie it is actually revealed that the character of the Phantom spent his childhood years as a circus freak show attraction, due to his “deformed” face. Circuses were really boring back then, apparently.

A world where Gerard Butler would be considered a revolting sideshow attraction is a strange and confusing place, existing only in the minds of Hollywood executives, who furthermore believe that:

Brunette + Glasses = Hideous



Take a look at the above picture of Anna Faris and Emma Stone – two drop dead gorgeous women, so attractive most men would hold caged death matches to see who gets to stutter a pathetic date invitation in front of any of them. It doesn’t matter which one is more attractive (Emma obviously) – they are both very enchanting.

Will that change so much if we flatten Stone’s hair and give her a pair of glasses? The producers of “House Bunny” apparently believed so, when they cast Stone as the leader of the plain/ugly girls (almost exclusively brunettes), whose “honor” it was to be taught by Faris’ character about being pretty and slutty and shallow.



Didn’t anyone tell them that by putting Stone in that getup they have just transformed her into a shy librarian, one of the most universal male fantasies on the planet? Do they really expect to fool our libidos with such cheap parlor tricks? Please. This is the sort of play you would expect from more primitive times, like 1999 when the beautiful Rachael Leigh Cook played “one of the ugliest girls in school” in the movie “She’s All That”.



But the “House Bunny” came out in 2008, when they should have known better that geekifying a traditionally sexy actress won’t make her less attractive. If anything, it will double your potential demographic, but with the added “bonus” of insulting their intelligence by claiming anything not blonde simply cannot be a certified head turner.

The glasses are also a big part of this Hollywood Ugly image. They seem to work just like Clark Kent’s magical specs – no matter how the character looks like, stick a set of frames on him/her and they transform into a totally new person. Hell, stick a pair of glasses on Miss freaking Universe and she can play the “ugly” girl in most Hollywood flicks. It happened with Stone in “House Bunny”, but bafflingly enough was also applied to Sandra Bullock in “Love Potion Number 9”.



Bullock has long been more than eager to play the “regular” characters in a few movies but with “Love Potion (…)” the implication seems to be she is an unapproachable hag who has to resort to a magical aphrodisiac to get men to fall in love with her. That is just… really stupid.



Unconventional Beauty = Conventional Homeliness



Now beauty is a strictly subjective thing, the ideas of which change from place to place, person to person, drink to drink etc. Right now in the deepest corners of Africa there might be thousands of people whose idea of beauty involves roughly 100 pounds of surplus weight while American women stop very short of having their intestines removed just to see smaller digits on their bathroom scale. Different strokes and all of that, so it should be obvious that some people might be beautiful in less conventional, though still quite apparent, ways.



Hollywood executives do not understand that and if you try to explain it to them (with slides and sock puppets no less) it will trigger a massive Confusion Rage on their part which will end with broken furniture and at least one dead hobo.

The queen of unconventional beauty who got stuck with the ugly tag is undoubtedly Janeane Garofalo, who for many years played the unattractive girl to the sound of confused head scratching from all sane male audience members. The worst offenders would include “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” where she is reduced to helping Uma Thurman get together with the man SHE has the hots for. No offense to Ms Thurman, you have lovely eyes and I will subscribe to your Twitter page etc, but Garofalo is just… well, she is just so darn cute. Not really runway material, but that’s actually better. I don’t have that much interest in walking anthropomorphic coat hangers.



The very same but more aggregating story happened with Azure Skye whose somewhat unique cuteness and beauty got cast in the titular role in the movie “Confessions of the Ugly Stepsister”. In the movie, her mother calls her “painfully plain” and Iris, Skye’s character, often refers to herself as a hound.



One thing to say about that… they must have some pretty good looking dogs in wherever the movie’s producers hail from."

Source: http://www.uproxx.com/feature/2010/03/a-guide-to-hollywood-ugly/



Similarly I saw an article on 'hollywood overweight' - which was even more enraging, because basically, women who are still thin-ish, and a perfectly healthy weight are considered fat' on screen. What kind of message is this, to the average person paying attention to media, defining cultural standards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Another thing using makeup (or a lack of it) to make pretty girls symbolically ugly reminds me of is how, in Shakespearian days, women were played by men, because for some reason it was seen as improper to use real women. Today it is seen as improper in most cases to show real ugly girls, or to acknowledge that they have any value until they have been "reformed" into pretty girls. After all, we all supposedly have an inner pretty girl who can be revealed with a little effort, perhaps something as simple as makeover, so being mistreated for being ugly isn't a serious problem. After all, ugly is supposedly a choice. *rolls eyes*
I think that the producers know that if the character were truly ugly then [most] viewers would have no sympathy for the characters. INFPs are very different in this regard and wouldn't think this way, but the majority of people just don't care about 'losers'. Most people can only feel sorry for someone they think is cute.
Also, it is very interesting that becoming pretty is seen as a choice when we all know that a truly ugly person can't decide to be pretty just like that. The 'ugly' character might be considered more ugly because of her personality, one that is smart, less conforming, more separate from the crowd. Wow, this sounds a lot like any INXX personality. And then when she chooses to be 'pretty' she turns into a ESFJ. How perfect.

Instead of dressing one thing up to represent another existing thing, why not just use the real thing and deal with the real issues that surround it?
I love INFP idealism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
This sort of thing really bothers me too. I'm sick of being told I have to do a bunch of superficial shit to myself to make myself likable. I might be naturally good-looking but that isn't even enough for society's standards. I've gotta wear a push-up bra, put so much makeup on I almost look desperate, wear trendy clothes (that I think looks incredibly stupid) and walk everywhere waving my ass around like I'm trying to advertise it or something. What a load of crap! I'd rather wear what I want, eat what I want, act how I want (even if it's a little tomboyish, why should anyone care?) and be myself!

What's really important in a person is who they are on the inside. That's more attractive to me than anything else. Unfortunately, Hollywood is an institution completely based on appearances and trivial superficialities, and they couldn't care less about real issues or even good filmmaking. No, I don't think Hollywood is going to change. But I think that it could eventually die out, if there were to be a more meaningful alternative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
To be fair, there is plenty of modern blackface...it's not like it's entirely a relic of the past. Example: the ice dancers who performed as bastardized Aboriginal Australians at the last Winter Olympics.



That said, I definitely agree with the sentiment. I know I used to feel unattractive because of movies in which the heroine "has so much potential" that isn't revealed until she straightens her hair and takes off the glasses. My hair still doesn't straighten, and contacts were out of reach for a long time.

Most people can only feel sorry for someone they think is cute.
So true it hurts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,835 Posts
I personally do not find the women depicted in media to be particularly beautiful. I prefer something more down to earth and natural, I find that kind of beauty irresistible. All women are naturally beautiful though, I don't see any reason for them to change themselves.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top