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Amy Sedaris' Makeup

The NPR show This American Life did an episode titled "I Enjoy Being a Girl, Sort Of". David Sedaris contributed a piece on his sister, the actress Amy Sedaris. He closed with a story of Amy's photo shoot for a magazine article. The end of the story is one of the funniest, most awful things I've heard in a long, long time.

My father called me late one recent Sunday evening, excited with the news that my sister Amy was scheduled to appear in a magazine article on young New York women.

"Can you imagine?" he asked. "My God, put a camera in front of that girl and she'll shine like a diamond! Between the single men and the job opportunities, her phone is gonna be ringin' right off the hook!" ...

When my father called asking about the photo shoot, I feigned ignorance. I didn't tell him that at the scheduled time, my sister arrived at the studio with unwashed hair and took her place beside a half-dozen women carefully dressed in flattering outfits. She waited while the others had their hair styled into the current fashion. One by one, their brows were trained while makeup artists made the most of their lips and cheekbones. When called forth to the styling table, Amy said only, "I want to look like someone has beaten me up really, really bad."

The makeup artist did a fine job. The black eyes and purple jaw were accentuated by a series of scratch marks on her forehead. Pus-yellow pools surrounded her blistered nose, and her swollen lips were fenced with mean rows of brackish stitches. Amy was enchanted with her new look.

Following the shoot, she wore her bruises to the dry cleaner and grocery store. Most people nervously looked away, but on the rare occasion someone asked what had happened, my sister smiled as brightly as possible, saying, "I'm in love, can you believe it? I'm finally, totally in love, and you know what? It feels great."

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