Pop Quiz: What do all four photos have in common? They’re all L’Oreal models. Hugh Laurie, the guy who plays the pill-popping curmudgeonly doctor on the hit series “House”, the one who looks like he’s got permanent coffee breath and sand under his nails from digging out half-smoken cigarettes from a hotel ashtray, just landed a contract with the cosmetics giant. “Because he’s (also) worth it.” As the new L’Oreal “ambassador,” he joins the elite group of humans who were gazelles and fawns in past lives: Eva Longroria, Beyonce, Letitia Casta. Enter Laurie, a sexy man, but not in the metro way. He’s grizzly, priming in his later years, and possibly in need of a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that reads “Don’t forget to shower!” He hardly the cookie-cutter model of the make-up spokesperson. Even Laurie was surprised by his initiation into the beautiful lady pool: “At first I thought it was a mistake,” he tells the Belfast Telegraph. “But then I realized that L’Oréal wasn’t looking for models, but real people with strong personalities, who are worth it … and who aren’t afraid to proclaim that using cosmetics can be a very masculine decision after all.” Article by Yahoo! Shine
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I promise I didn’t just post this because I love “HOUSE” (and Hugh Laurie, whoa whoa)! I think this is really interesting and marks a sign of the times. Over the past few years, there’s been a lot more pressure on men to clean up their image and maintain their physical appearance. Large cosmetic companies attempting to reach a male demographic is a big step, as years before you wouldn’t ever hear of a man wearing cosmetics. Or getting manicures. Or using any sort of specialized products.
I think there are two sides to this. I’m glad that L’Oreal has chosen Laurie, because I think the everyday male can identify with him – he doesn’t look perfectly styled or like he’s had any sort of enhancement done to him. But what L’Oreal does with him will matter a lot. Is their goal to transform him into an impeccable representation of what a man “should be?”
It might also bring to light a double standard: Are they going to photoshop Laurie as heavily as they would their female representatives? Hugh Laurie is also 52 years old – quite a bit older than the female L’Oreal models. I think it would be great if the company started to get some older female models as well because there is a stigma in the modeling/acting world that is not favorable to women as they age. I’m interested to see how L’Oreal uses Laurie and what their ads and commercials will look like. More on this to come!