It’s hard to imagine that the people you find in stock photos are part of our actual material world, rather than a different, separate, stranger world, where the lighting is always a little off and everyone is just fucking smiling all the time, like the perfect town of Spectre in Big Fish. (Which is such an underrated movie, by the way.)
When you start to think about the inner lives of the people who appear in these photos, you might start to feel a little… weird. Sad, even. Was Woman Laughing Alone with Salad orphaned at birth? Does Baby with a Tomato even like tomatoes? And why — why? — is Woman Sleeping always wearing a full face of makeup? Who goes to bed with that much lip gloss on? Forget doing the right thing for your skin — what about your sheets? Your crisp white pillowcases?
To understand what’s going on here, one must go deeper — deeper inside the lives of the women in the stock photos, including Woman Sleeping and Woman Who Was Probably Laughing Alone with Salad Earlier But Is Now Sleeping. You might be surprised by what you’ll learn about life, about love, and about the factors that might bring a woman to commit a beauty act so depraved.
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Everyone knows Nina is the best hostess. Her monthly dinner parties are so much fun, and she does it all by herself — the cooking, the cleaning, the arranging the charcuterie just so. Tonight, she greets each guest with a kiss on both cheeks, and once they’ve all arrived, she excuses herself to her bedroom with the intention of taking a “power nap.” She wakes up eight hours later. The sun has come up. She is alone.
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Right before her partner gets home from the gym, Amelia quickly applies her go-to soft, silvery eye makeup and a touch of tinted balm. Okay, so maybe she went a little heavy on the eyeshadow this time around — but regardless, she hops under the covers and focuses hard on pretending she’s asleep so they think she just wakes up this naturally gorgeous.
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It’s Saturday afternoon, and Vanessa just got back from SoulCycle. She’s finished getting ready to meet some friends for brunch when she starts to think about how nice it would be to just cancel her plans and stay in and rest. “Running about 15 minutes late,” she says in the group text, before lying down and closing her eyes. For two hours.
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