Watching America’s Next Top Model* the other day, I was flummoxed by a Cover Girl ad starring the 53-year-old Ellen DeGeneres. Isn’t the primary audience for ANTM bored teenage girls and mean gay men? How would a toothy, middle-aged lesbian now best known for a mom-friendly daytime talk show appeal to either demographic?
But after watching the commercials a couple of more times, I realized that I had once again underestimated DeGeneres’ considerable charm. She’s funny in them (“Inner beauty is important, but not nearly as important as outer beauty”), gently satirizing common (but ridiculous) practices in the fashion industry. And it’s nice to see a comedienne, especially an older one, as a cosmetics spokeswoman, as if to say, “Yes, fashion is ridiculous and really expensive, but we all want to look good.” (And DeGeneres does look pretty great in these spots.) My only complaint about the campaign is that it’s totally unbelievable that any multi-millionairess would use drugstore make-up, especially one who is seen by millions every week.
* Ugh, I know. I forced myself to stop watching this train wreck several years ago, but I couldn’t resist the All Stars season,
even though especially because so many of the “girls” are waaaay too old (e.g., late twenties, even early thirties) to launch successful modeling careers now.