Posted at 2:08 PM Aug 06, 2009
By Andrea Grimes
Why people--and by "people" I mean "people who write things and produce things for media outlets"--continue to be surprised when average folks become beloved and popular, I don't know. I mean, my best friends are average folks, and I'm guessing yours are, too. And of course, I mean "average" as in they're not rock stars or supermodels or Nobel Prize winners. I love them dearly all the same. As Jezebel notes today, this is shocking, according to the New York Times. The paper can barely believe that "average" girl Lauren Luke is so beloved by YouTube watchers the world over who adore her easy makeup tutorials:
Not all the viewers tuning in to YouTube to watch Ms. Luke cheerily layer rainbow-tinted shadow on her eyes or paint a pneumatic pout on her lips view her as an alter-Angelina. But in their eyes she is an icon -- a self-made celebrity they have embraced as their own. A 27-year-old single mother from South Shields near Newcastle in England, Ms. Luke is nothing if not approachable. She is the kind of open-faced, plain-spoken Englishwoman you might expect to encounter at the butcher shop or corner pub. With her plump proportions and pretty if nondescript features, she seems an unlikely candidate to shake up the beauty world.So, let me get this straight: she's an approachable, likable, honest woman who knows what she's talking about when it comes to makeup, and she's an "unlikely candidate" to shake up the beauty world? Because she's not Scarlett Johansson or Agyness Deyn? Sounds to me like Luke is a downright fantastic businesswoman--an ideal candidate to "shake up" the beauty world.
And let's talk about "shaking up" for a sec. A real beauty world shake-up would mean including non-models, non-rock stars, non-actors in advertising and an overall expansion of the limited beauty standards currently available. (Not white, not thin, not blessed with mountainous cheekbones? Well, you can be "quirky," I guess.) What Luke is doing is not shaking up much of anything, which is not to say that what she's doing isn't awesome and fun. But a shake-up, it ain't.
I'm sorry that I've only just now discovered Luke, her fantastic YouTube channel and her personal line of makeup available at Sephora, but I guess that means I'm going to have to play a lot of dress-up to catch up. Here's Luke's guide to Dita Von Teese-ing yourself, which I always screw up and have to re-do the eyeliner like 10 times.