A backstage peek with the beautician of the (porn) stars

porn star before and after make up

You might not remember her name, but there is a very high probability you have often admired her work. Melissa Murphy is a specialized make-up artist who mostly works in the field of adult video, contributing to the characteristic look of American porn. As a matter of fact, you know her even if you don’t watch that particular sort of smut. Murphy is the person behind the ‘porn stars without makeup’ viral phenomenon that shook the Web just a couple of months ago – one example of which you can see in the above photo. Beside the sudden global appreciation, something as simple as showing the natural looks of adult performers had many unexpected effects. While a small percentage of porn addicts were horrified and got back at their former idols with insults and violent threats, many others were pleasantly surprised by the realization that porn stars are, after all, just regular people.

Women in particular showered Murphy with messages expressing their gratitude for the rare undeniable evidence that gaining a “perfect”, desirable appearance is just a matter of sitting a couple of hours in the right make-up chair, and their ugly duckling syndrome was clearly uncalled for. As the make-up artist had a sudden increase of non-porn clients wanting her for weddings, model books and more, she understood how most people just don’t realize that porn is just another form of fiction, as far from reality as a science fiction movie. Couple that with the blind worship of media ideals we talked about just yesterday, and their frustration and self-loathing for not conforming to movie standards – including in their bedrooms – becomes easily explainable.

What happened next is a wonderful act of kindness – and self-promotion, but don’t be a nitpick – as Murphy created a short documentary to show these people even more of the mundane reality of porn. While the make-up process obviously holds center stage, we are shown what the sets look like, the easy attitude of the girls about their “before” photos and their humbling opinion of aggressive “fans”… and more. Did you know, in example, that there is zombie porn out there? Of course, someone has to transform rather alive people into sex-crazed undeads, and you are shown glimpses of the tricks of the trade. But most of all, the documentary will drive home the concept that it is really absurd to worship movie stars – of the porn variety or otherwise –  because everyone can be just as glamorous as them.

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