11/07/2013 02:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Half Pretty, Half Me

We've all seen the videos of celebrities and models being Photoshopped. This is the latest one to go viral:

If we, as women, know better than to see the cover of Vogue as reality, why are we still trying to achieve the impossible?

It's certainly not for the fun of it.

My mom walked into a photo shoot I did in high school. She glanced at me, then asked the photographer, "Where's Cat?"

My own mother. I don't blame her. Sometimes, I barely recognize myself:


In the above photo, my recently "olived" skin is flawless. There are no edge-of-her-twenties wrinkles. The pockmark that resides above my left eyebrow has been removed. Those brows, by the way, have a beautiful shape and fullness that I have never been able to achieve. Apparently, there was also a gentle breeze flowing through the studio that day.

Men are attracted to the peacocks with prettier feathers. If you think I'm being sexist, take off all your makeup, throw on a sweatshirt and see how many men offer to buy you a drink.

We're trying to achieve the impossible because we're not the only ones that see those images of perfect women. We've got to compete; and not just for free cocktails. War paint allows you fight off other females to win the best mate.

Some may call it catfishing or false advertising. I call it rebranding. It's modern-day survival of the fittest: Social Darwinism with a makeup bag.

Example: Here's yours truly. Half-makeup, half me. No Photoshop.


Which one do you find more attractive? I know which face I would prefer to show.

Since my dogs were reluctant to comment on my new look, I had to take it for a test run. I've been in public with some crazy war paint after photo shoots, but never with only half the battle being fought.

Starbucks seemed like a good first step. Corey the barista offers the initial comment, "Um, you know you..."

"Yeah, it's an experiment," I say with a laugh. "The difference makeup can make."

"Wow, that's incredible."

He leans forward to examine the two sides of my face. While his reaction was expected, I'm surprised that I'm a bit offended. Fifty percent offended, to be exact.

Unable to scowl with only half my face, I smile and say, "Thanks, I know."

"You're two totally different people."

Even though the outside can be model or mainstream, I'm still just me. If makeup is rebranding, I need to figure out exactly what it is I'm trying to sell.