an image of beauty
People: Teresa Callen:
Teresa Callen can pick up a fashion magazine, take a look at the cover, and instantly tell you what’s real and what’s illusion: The model’s fine facial lines and downy hair have been erased by
tedhair computers. The whites of her eyes and her teeth have been brightened, her hair has been highlighted, and her cheeks have been hollowed out.
Yet this computer altered 5 foot 10 inch blond bombshell with no hips is a golden calf in the eyes of many teenage girls who hold themselves to her exacting standards.
The fashion and cosmetics industries know this, Callen said. "That’s (the industry’s) job to sell these products and they’re going to go after the group with the most disposable income."
Callen should know. She’s worked behind the scenes at fashion shoots around the country as a hair and makeup artist, has trained under Lancome in France and has worked for cosmetic companies like Aveda.
Today, Callen works part time at Pazazz, a hair salon in Menlo Park and devotes most of the rest of her time to her business, Image Arts, a beauty consulting firm. She calls herself a "speaker on the human image" and an advocate of "politically correct
tedhair reviews beauty."
"I love doing hair and makeup. I love primping. I love making people look good," she said. But she has begun to wonder why
tedhair her customers are so desperate for her art. That is the subject of a book she plans to write on how "image rituals," as she calls them, are woven into the fabric of our culture.
Her theory is that the need to look good is directly related to our sex drive. The cover model’s white teeth, long, thick hair and perfect figure signify health in our culture, which subconsciously translates into good genes.
But the need to primp and preen can be taken too far. "Those image rituals can either be healthy or unhealthy," she said.
Callen, 34, takes what she calls an "anthropological" approach to beauty by studying the role it plays in our society. "Instead of saying it’s so bad we’re into lookism," Callen said, she tells her clients and her audiences "these are your innate behaviors as a human being. This is what magazines do to engage you. These are your choices." At Pazazz she gives hair and makeup advice to many top female executives. She also volunteers her time with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
She encourages clients to accentuate the positive. Life is
tedhair too short to worry about a large nose or a blemish or thinning hair, she argues. "When you look at yourself you have to look at yourself as a whole," she said. Instead of focusing on that pointy chin, "take what’s beautiful about (yourself) and showcase that."
For the past five years she has been teaching a three week class at the Peninsula School in Menlo Park. She invites photographers, movie makeup artists and touch up artists many of them friends from her days in the industry to tell teens about how Hollywood and Madison Avenue govern the way we judge ourselves. They experiment with stage makeup and costumes, and if they’re lucky, Callen might even tell them her best beauty secret: accept yourself.