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Men in Makeup

Men in Makeup
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
Men in Makeup
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

I had to look

twice. The guy on television wore reddish lipstick. I wondered what the makeup person was thinking. I turned on the DVR for a few seconds then ran the recording back. The news reader was wearing eye makeup adding punch to his blue eyes.

This guy has delivered network news for years, and this is the first time I've seen him made up like a fortune teller.

It isn't just that channel but all of them now; all the guys look like they stopped at the makeup counter at Macy's. Someone is trying to girlify the males on TV.

High Definition (HD) Digital television made it impossible to hide anything.

Pancake theatrical makeup looks like what it is. It is thick and collects in wrinkles, then dries and looks crusty. It is fine for theater and worked in the days of analog TV.

An HD image on a large screen is several times larger than a life-sized face. Last night I counted the sesame seeds stuck to the bun in a hamburger commercial.

HD cameras and receivers can show any wrinkle and some cratering skin pores.

HD makeup is invisible while still covering. You can still see the skin through it.

For a time I fell into a part-time job as a television weather man. The hair on my head had not decided whether it would go or stay, and the resulting fuzz looked like a halo when I was in front of a blue screen.

They tried adjusting the studio lights to shadow my head, but the halo remained.

I was told that I should shave it all off or get a hairpiece.

The small patch of hair a guy custom made for me just covered the front of my fading hairline. He said that most toupees were easy to spot because they looked perfect. If a hairpiece looks messed up and windblown, then nobody would suspect it was a “rug.”

For the first few months I only wore the hairpiece on camera. Folks said I looked like the guy on TV except, “He has more hair.” Vanity took over and I wore it all the time.

One sweaty day in a hot gymnasium, I felt the double-sided tape come loose and the hairpiece crept sideways.

The next day I walked under a pecan tree and the hairpiece was snagged by a small limb. I turned around to see it hanging there.

That was the last day I wore the hairpiece, and my life in front of television cameras was dribbling to a close anyway.

My hair reached a decision and said goodbye.

Whether I'd sit still while someone applied girl makeup?

I doubt it.

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