With her classic red lips and artfully winged cat-eyes, Taylor Swift has one of the most recognizable looks around — making it all but impossible for beauty bloggers to resist copying. That's why Pony, a YouTube makeup artist known for her intense contouring tutorials, set about re-creating the look. The result? See for yourself:
So, how did Pony, a South Korean beauty blogger, manage such a distinct (and believable) transformation? A few elements are key: tinted eyebrows (Pony used at least four different products to nail those light-brown arches), winged-out eyes (she employed a tightlining technique and more than four liners to emphasize the creases), false lashes, striking red lips, and, finally, a blond wig.
On the surface, Pony's goal was to simply mimic Taylor Swift's style, and in this regard, she certainly succeeded. Just compare the final product with Swift's look in "Shake It Off," below.
This experiment emphasizes the transformative power of makeup, which can be a good thing. But it's also, in some ways, an uncomfortable one. Many commenters were impressed with Pony's ability to create Taylor-esque features — a chiseled nose, a deep Cupid's bow. One even wrote, "u did a fantastic job! especially since [you are] asian, it's hard to create the western people's [sic] distinct face structure." And therein lies the problem. As we've written about before, mainstream beauty standards have taught plenty of minority women to idealize and copy Westernized visions of beauty. The rising trend in plastic surgery to look more like white celebrities has become a major talking point. Yes, at the most basic level, this story is about an incredibly talented makeup artist (who just so happens to be Korean) copying the look of an incredibly talented singer (who just so happens to be white). There is nothing inherently or objectively wrong with wanting to look like Swift (her hair and makeup are always on point). Unless, perhaps, you consider the video in a broader context, and see it as a reflection of a world in which the vast majority of magazine-cover models look a little bit more like Taylor Swift, and a little less like Pony's unadorned face.
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