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Was Angelina Jolie's makeup blunder hilarious or just human?

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Actress attacked for makeup mishap

Angelina Jolie was recently attacked for having visible powder on her face and chest, but I think how we talk about her slip-up says a lot more about us than it does about her.

Angelina Jolie's makeup blunder

Photo credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

People everywhere were astounded when the Angelina Jolie showed up to the Normal Heart screening seemingly unaware of how strangely her makeup was photographing and soon all the attention was on her "problem" rather than her world-famous beauty. Gossip sites called it a "disaster" and cackled with glee that even the queen of Hollywood could fall victim to such a rookie mistake as showing up with visible high-definition makeup powder all over her face and chest.

But what's with all the mean-girl behavior? The translucent powder is designed to look invisible to the naked eye but make skin look smooth and pore-less under intense lighting and cameras. Unfortunately, if you're in a hurry or if your makeup artist is having a bad day and it doesn't get blended properly, the reflective particles can catch the camera's flash and show up looking like you've had flour thrown in your face.

Angelina Jolie's makeup blunder

Photo credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

Seeing as Jolie is a busy mother of six, wife, humanitarian, ambassador, director — oh and she does a few little films here are there — it's completely understandable that she might end up rushed. I think it's great she was out to support husband Brad Pitt's new film even as she is in the midst of her own publicity tour for Maleficent. Not to mention she looked stunning in her black dress.

The incident highlights a big problem with the way women sometimes talk about other women. We want to see our sisters succeed — but only so far. I've had plenty of my own makeup disasters. (In middle school I thought if I wore blue eyeliner and blue mascara that would magically make my brown eyes look blue. It didn't.) And I can understand why it feels good to see someone who is normally so perfectly put together end up in the same boat as the rest of us. Being a celebrity doesn't make her less human, even if she seems supernatural sometimes.

But in the end it doesn't do women any good to pull down those above us in an effort to make ourselves feel better by comparison. Rather we should be looking around to see who we can lift up because if we all did so, there'd be no limit to how high we can rise. And we'd all see we're doing a lot better than we think.

Angelina Jolie's makeup blunder

Photo credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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