We’ve already heard a lot about how porn is really just a fantasy world, one created for us to get off to. The sex shown in porn is polished - the bodies carefully curated, reels carefully cut and edited - and nothing like people’s actual sexual experiences. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course - who wants a fantasy that’s a lot like reality? - but here’s another aspect to consider.

Makeup artist Melissa Murphy has been doing makeup on porn shoots for awhile now. In fact, in 2013 she was blacklisted in the industry after her “before and after” images - always with the consent of the performers - went viral. She has since made her way back into the industry - and back to showing the world before and after pictures on her Instagram.

Although before it was about her artwork, Murphy said in a recent interview with Tech Insider that "It isn't about showing my work anymore...It's about sending a message that we are all the same. We're all human, we're all beautifully flawed."

Showing before and after photos helps reveal that porn performers also have flaws, and they take a little bit of polishing in order to embody that fantasy porn tries to give us. After all, in our fantasies, not only is sex not awkward but the people usually don’t have pimples. Porn, like most media, is airbrushed and carefully packaged reality.

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This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or fake about makeup. As popular beauty blogger Nikki illustrated in her viral video, The Power of Makeup, she’s not any less herself when she wears a heavy coverage foundation and some skilled contouring - she’s just playing with how she looks. It can be about having fun, it can be about confidence, or it can be about embodying a character.

I think that’s what’s at the heart of what Megan is showing us - that although we all have flaws, makeup can transform us into bombshells worthy of someone’s fantasy.

This also goes to show that that kind of perfection that we see in porn and all media isn’t there naturally - it’s created. Just in the same way that the sex in porn isn’t realistic or representative of a lot of people’s experiences, almost no one looks that airbrushed in real life…. because before those scenes were set, they actually were airbrushed.

Caitlin is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more. You can learn more, or ask any questions, at their website- www.sex-ational.com.


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