How to build an icon through make-up

This evening I want to introduce you two very famous characters. In both their stories we can see that they have built a character by paying a lot of attention to style, and make-up was one of the most relevant element through which they showed themselves on the stage.

The first one is David Bowie, a very famous singer, even if he has been a character before than a simple rock glam singer. Active in five decades of popular music and frequently reinventing his music and image, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He has been cited as an influence by many musicians and is known for his distinctive voice and the intellectual depth of his work. He used a lot of make-up on his face thanks to the invention of Ziggy Stardust. The Ziggy Stardust character became the basis for Bowie’s first large-scale tour beginning in 1972, where he donned his famous flaming red mullet and wild outfits, designed by Kansai Yamamoto.

The second character is Lady Gaga. She’s is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City’s Lower East Side in 2003. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and got her signed to his own label, Kon Live Distribution. Contrary to her subsequent outré style, the New York Post described her early look as like “a refugee from Jersey Shore” with “big black hair, heavy eye make-up and tight, revealing clothes.

Both David Bowie and Lady Gaga proposed themselves to the public by creating a character of themselves. Thay both used a lot of make-up to create the character. They key-word seems to be exaggeration above all. Through excessive make-up, excessive clothes (Lady Gaga first) they imposed their own image, which you can actually recognized as an icon. David Bowie was the icon of the glam-rock of 70s through the Ziggy Stardust character and Lady Gaga is one of the most influent transforming artists on the actual music playing scene.

Make-up becomes a real obsession through without which you can’t just become the character you imposed yourself to be. None of us could recognize David Bowie or Lady Gaga if we meet them along the street wth no make-up at all. In that case, they’ll seem to be two different character. And make-up can make you blind sometimes: it can riskily become a personal reef, behind which you can entrech yourself and you can obvoiusly become a slave of that condition. On the other side, one more time make-up seems to be one of the most important mediums to define your public image. Lady Gaga and David Bowie’s case is just an extreme one, but the basic assumptions are the very same of us,  putting make-up on our face when getting ready to go out and show ourselves to everyone we can meet. It’s all about building you own image, indipendently from the fact you are Lady Gaga or not. And make-up seems to be a good medium, if well used.

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~ by makeupyourlife on July 3, 2010.

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