I can't say that a product spokesperson has ever really swayed me to buy from a particular company, but that may change in light of the fact that Ellen DeGeneres is going to be the new face of Covergirl.
I really applaud the company for picking someone who isn't your typical 18-year-old Hollywood "it" girl or another maturing-but-still-glamorous actress. Don't get me wrong, Ellen is very pretty -- I can't believe she's 50! She's aged so well and her skin looks great. But she's not the classic beauty you'd think a cosmetics company would seek. She's got her own style and vibe and personally I adore her for that. I think it's fantastic that she's being rewarded for being her awesome self, and I hope it sends a message to young women who look up to her that they too can be successful while being true to themselves.
Ellen is simultaneously a safe choice yet a not-so-safe one: she's very upbeat and likable and her humor isn't very offensive, but she is also an openly gay, middle-aged woman with a clean but slightly quirky look....not exactly one who screams makeup poster girl.
But maybe she should. Or more importantly, why shouldn't she? Come to think of it, Covergirl has picked quite a few slightly unexpected spokeswomen lately. Like Queen Latifah, who doesn't fit into all the traditional paradigms of beauty. Even Rihanna and Drew Barrymore are slightly edgy gals. Sure, for each of them there have probably been half a dozen gorgeous models with perfect cheek bones promoting Covergirl. And there's nothing wrong with that either. We don't have to throw all our conceptions of beauty out the window, we could just expand them a little bit.
My hope is that in some even tiny way, Ellen as a cosmetics spokeswoman helps to broaden our interpretation of beauty. That we can appreciate genetic outliers like Halle Berry and Heidi Klum (I think she's absolutely radiant), popular actresses, supermodels, and the seemingly nameless slew of girls who grace each season's makeup ads...but also realize that beautiful doesn't have to be 18 years old, 5-foot-11, 105 pounds with blond beachy waves.
Again, Ellen is no ugly duckling. She has really nice features and a cute personal style. She may not be Portia de Rossi (though being married to Portia is probably the next best thing), but she's a far cry from Dr. Phil, if you know what I mean. (By that, I mean that Dr. Phil is really ugly.) But even a decade ago, the public wasn't ready for Ellen as the person she is. Her sitcom rapidly declined after she came out in prime time.
Now, the tabloids cheered when she and Portia tied the knot. Ellen is a beautiful, smart and talented woman who's come such a long way, and I'm glad to support a company that recognizes that she's a deserving spokeswoman.
Now, if only they'd stop testing on animals, or I definitely knew that they did....then I'd be really extra happy.
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