Uncanny Valley Makeup YKTTW Discussion

Uncanny Valley Makeup
(permanent link) added: 2009-07-05 08:03:52 sponsor: Chaotic Dreams (last reply: 2009-07-05 08:03:52)

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It's like she's the female version of Pennywise.

Makeup has been around for quite a while. It has long been known as those substances contained in the pretty little boxes, containers, and tubes, which are arranged on the standard vanity table with an elongated mirror to check your appearance as you apply said makeup. Makeup is mainly used to enhance the countenance of your face, usually to gain a more visually appealing visage.

Sometimes, however, the result goes horribly wrong and pushes the person straight into the Uncanny Valley or perhaps the result was actually intentional. And on occasion, if the result was intentional, the person underneath the Uncanny Valley makeup may be just as creepy as well. Either way, they literally may end up with a clown-like appearance, a comically grotesque appearance, or an appearance similar to a porcelain doll. Bonus points, if the person is wearing a Pimped-Out Dress, a frivolous multicolored outfit, or an all black outfit. Or they may also dress in a skimpy outfit that was intended purely for Fanservice.

Depending on the circumstances this trope can be considered a good source of Nightmare Fuel, Fetish Fuel, or Fan Disservice.


  • An example occurs in Ouran High School Host Club when the host club dresses as women to cheer up Haruhi. They wear makeup that is hilariously overdone, wigs, and gaudy dresses.


  • In the video for Pink's song Please Don't Leave Me, the boyfriend tries to leave and the girl character goes Stephen King on him, starting with Misery and ending with an Axe Crazy bit from The Shining. The more psycho the girl goes, the more her make-up goes Monster Clown, until she looks horribly like Pennywise from It. brrr...
  • Blind Guardian's music video for "Mr. Sandman" includes clowns wearing makeup that is...rather nightmare inducing to say the least.

Live-Action TV
  • The porcelain doll look is used to a fantastic effect in this advert for EastEnders.
  • Pictured above, Mimi Bobeck from The Drew Carey Show frequently wore more makeup than was necessary.
  • In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale Of The Many Faces" a struggling model named Emma visits a strange woman named Madame Visage who gives her some powder that apparently helps her get a modeling job. (The powder didn't really do anything, considering that Emma was pretty to begin with) However, its revealed that Madame Visage is a Vain Sorceress and the face powder has properties that keeps girls faces looking younger and the skin smooth. She wants the faces to be in peak condition so that she can steal them and use them as her own face as a way to keep herself looking younger.
    • Another AYAOTD episode called "The Tale Of The Mystical Mirror" features another Vain Sorceress named Mrs. Valenti who hires only in her words "beauties" to work in her clothing boutique and she is later revealed to regularly kill young girls in a ritual to keep herself eternally young and beautiful while she was actually centuries old. She gives her employees a compact filled with makeup, and she makes sure to keep her "youthful" face covered with so much makeup that her face looks like its made of plastic and she appears rather Stepford Smiler-ish.

Web Comics

  • Count Olaf has a group of henchmen that help do his bidding. In his group, there are two woman, with white powder all over their faces, and they are never depicted without the face powder.

Western Animation
  • Ginger, Dodie, and Macie do this twice in preparation for school picture day in the As Told by Ginger episode ''Kiss and Make-Up".
    • Miranda and Courtney even laugh and wonder if the trio is "auditioning for clown school".
  • At least two episodes in Hey Arnold! feature Helga's older sister Olga break down crying so much tears that her makeup runs down her face and it looks like she's crying black tears.
    • Another episode has Helga give herself a makeover, in order to make herself look more girly for Ronda's party. When her mother opens the bathroom door and sees the finished product she gasps and faints, causing Helga to say "Maybe I should've gone a bit lighter on the eye shadow".
  • Marge looks like this after Homer demonstrates his make-up gun on her in an episode of The Simpsons.
  • In an earlier episode, Mrs. Neutron from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron looks very much like a clown after using an invention of Jimmy's which shoots a majority of makeup at her face.

Real Life
  • Combined with Values Dissonance, this applies to most historically accurate recreations of historical makeup styles, such as the English Renaissance fashion for caking on a pale, lead-based makeup.
  • Pageant photography, especially of kids.
  • I'm surprised no one's mentioned the late great Tammy Faye Messner. The woman's makeup would have scared the Joker.
  • Chris Crocker demonstrates in this video what the Joker would have looked like without his white face powder.

  • While American Ronald Mcdonald's appearance was a little...off...to begin with, Japanese Ronald Mcdonald plays this trope to its hilt.
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