When Did Fakin’ It Become Cool?

You know times have changed when women are openly exposing their fakeness. I don’t mean fakeness as in the catty, backstabbing, gossiping variety; when I say fakeness; I’m talking about the pre-packaged, deliciously decadent, beauty business fare. There was once a time when you would never admit to breast enhancements, four thousand dollar extensions and Hollywood spray tans that made you look as though you’d just gotten back from a stint on South Beach.

Back in the day, faking one’s beauty was not something anyone wanted to admit. Everyone wanted to seem as though their beauty was all-natural and not a product of some new technological advancement or a makeup company’s latest invention. Beauty has always been about smoke and mirrors, which is why it is such a complex business. On one hand, women want to enhance their appearance and look their best, while on the other they never want the outside world to peek in on all that takes place to make that beauty appear so effortless.

So it has been truly mind-boggling to witness women flaunting their beauty tricks and peeling back the layers and revealing the fact that they are not as perfect as they seem. It’s become a badge of honor for women to boast about their costly faux fix-its which take them from ordinary to outright paparazzi-worthy in mere moments.

This trend began to take shape a few years back when weaves, wigs and extensions, which suffered a bad rap were suddenly thrust into the spotlight and revered. With celebrities such as; Jessica Simpson and Raquel Welch debuting wig and extension lines to the masses, the negative stigma of wearing faux pony’s and clip-on pieces quickly disseminated.

Another place where beauty began to shift and expose itself was in the world of lashes. For centuries, lashes have always been a beauty trick used by makeup artists to help frame the eye and add a dash of drama to one’s look. How many times have you seen television commercials for mascara where the model flaunted longer than life lashes as if she was just naturally blessed? It’s no secret that most women don’t have sweeping lashes, so it’s refreshing to see faux lashes taking their place in the beauty spotlight and being recognized as beautiful additions to any woman’s repertoire.

Being a true Angeleno, I’ve had the pleasure and sometimes pain of growing up around some of the most beautiful people in the world. Actresses, models and celebrities can be found all around Los Angeles and so I was bombarded with beauty from an early age. One thing about Southern California is that the sun shines almost all year round and that means everyone just has this natural sun-kissed glow, right? Wrong! While it is true that the sun does shine most of the time, very few women trek down to the beach every week and lay out. Besides the arduous task of schlepping all of your stuff to the overcrowded, tourist enshrouded beaches, there’s the issue of exposing yourself to harmful UV rays.

Many of the gorgeously tanned beauties you see running around Los Angeles were sprayed that way courtesy of several high profile tanning salons. Spray tans were once only thought of as a regular routine for pageant queens, Jersey girls and bodybuilders prepping for a competition. Spray tans are now viewed as an acceptable and often highly recommended way to safely achieve the faux glow look.

With everyone revealing their fakeness on a daily basis, I wonder what the next beauty trend will be going forward. Maybe it will all come full circle and go back to what’s natural, unaffected and real. Or maybe we’ll just delve even further into the world of fakeness. Only time will tell!


Linda Ripoll is a certified beauty addict with an unhealthy obsession for fashion magazines, sushi and shopping. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the University of Miami. As a beauty editor for the past twelve years, she has had the pleasure of writing about the beauty business from all angles. She recently launched a beauty blog Counter Culture Beauty which highlights the latest in beauty for today’s biracial/multiracial woman. She is also the Beauty Editor for Kouture Magazine, a new high fashion and beauty publication for today’s affluent woman of color. Follow her on Twitter here.

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