The totally unrealistic (but hilarious) beauty standards in disaster movies
If you’ve watched a horror or disaster movie in the past, say, few decades, you’ve probably noticed that, underneath the grime and grit of apocalypse living, everybody actually looks pretty good. In particular, many of the women in these often male-written and -directed films have shaved armpits, groomed eyebrows, and mascara on, even as they’re hacking apart zombies and fleeing for their lives. And of course, we can’t even give superheroines a beauty break: Wonder Woman’s formal costume for Batman v Superman gives her wedge heels, because as anyone who’s ever worn wedges can attest to, you’re actually better at balancing and running after bad guys with blocks attached to your feet. (Spoiler alert: That’s not true, and your ankles will never forgive you.)
Okay, so Wonder Woman’s costuming can be attributed to how wondrous her powers are, but how do regular women step into the apocalypse out of the pages of a fashion editorial? Luckily, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls are on the case: Filmmaker Dara Laine “found” several deleted scenes from male-written disaster movies, and they hilariously show exactly how women are keeping up appearances in the dystopian future, and in doing so, answer some of our biggest apocalypse beauty questions. It’s a great gentle ribbing of all those films, with a serious questions about beauty standards underneath it: like, even when the aliens arrive women have to keep our eyebrows tweezed? Huh?
For instance: Those smooth armpits? The result of a looted razor… from three months ago. That impeccably made face? The result of grabbing the essentials before fleeing — you know, foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, eyelash curler, etc. Those sexy fighting heels? They ain’t no thing; besides, hobbling away from zombies is still getting away from them, right?
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using makeup — but there’s something refreshing about laying bare the details of your daily face and acknowledging that yeah, it takes work, even to get the “no-makeup makeup” look. In a world where Daryl on The Walking Dead has oil spill hair but Beth has perfectly shaped brows, we’re all about peeling back the myth of “effortless” beauty. Of course, there are elements of fantasy within the disaster movie genre, but if films and shows are really going to commit to the “I woke up like this” idea, then it only makes sense to apply it to everybody.