Why Morticia Addams Was The Beauty Trendsetter The Industry Needed
Morticia Addams. When saying the name aloud, my little inner witch stirs a little. She has been hiding in the deepest corners of my psyche since I was a child and first saw the elegant lady being wooed by Gomez on my parents’ television screen. I actually wanted to look like her for a short phase of my life, but alas I had to realize my skin would never be as flawless and my hair would never fall as straight as hers. Morticia is one of the most feminine and eccentric beauty icons of her time, and yet we do not typically acknowledge her dark aesthetic and its importance to the beauty evolution of the Americas.
Yes, some may point out that we never directly took to the trends in honor of Morticia, but we really might as well have. There are enough trends Morticia displayed well before their time, and honestly they are some of our favorites.
Morticia Addams was the beloved wife and partner of the fantastically weird Gomez Addams, and mother of Pugsley and Wednesday, two children who lived to play torture with each other. She loved the color black and enjoyed the creepy and crawly things in life.
She was the mother in the Addams’ Family television show, which aired back from 1964 to 1966 and was rebooted during the 1990s. I grew up watching the Addams’ family movies, but was always a little afraid of Morticia in the way only intimidated children are of beautiful and interesting people.
Now, I look up to her in a way. Not only was she as much of herself as one person possibly could be, but she was a loving mother and a total sap to her husband. She was stylish without trying too hard and walked the fine line between insane and just plain odd.
The way she glided about her humble abode, which I say humble in the lightest sense of the word because they essentially lived in a haunted mansion, left me speechless time and again. The act allowed little Mari to dream of becoming as cat-like and strange as she was. What a woman, that Morticia, not to mention how inspiring her makeup and beauty regimen was.
What makeup, Morticia?
Morticia Addams favored looks that rarely changed, but were classically accepted as gothic-inspired. If you ask me, every single one of her made up features is as sharp as knives; it was the point, if you catch my drift. It went swimmingly with the darkness of her aesthetic, as well as with the darkness of her favorite color: black.
She frequently modeled dark-colored or deep red lips drawn with an accentuated and sharp cupid’s bow, gorgeous and sharply contoured cheeks, perfectly blended black and nude eyeshadow, precisely drawn cat eyeliner and flawless, porcelain skin. Her long red nails rivaled those of pretty much every single mother-figure since her time. Her aesthetic drew you in and spit you out in a pool of venom and slime, just how she wanted you.
Who wouldn’t want to be her? Morticia was, and still is, an inspiration for all of us in the day and age where cat eyes and dark lips reign supreme. She gave us life with her perfectly blended eyeshadows delicately splayed across her deep-set lids. Her contoured cheeks made us want to slide our palms gingerly across them, as though they could cut us.
Let’s find some inspo, a la Morticia!
Let’s get Catty!
The cat eye trend has a long and respected history, beginning in Ancient Mesopotamia. They were worn for practical reasons at the time, such as protecting one’s eyes from the heat and winds of the desert, but now we love it because of the sexy aesthetic it gives us. Feline femininity gives women today a sense of power and allure, just like that which Morticia Addams possessed.
In nearly every single episode, Morticia Addams wore a cat eye. It was one of her favorite makeup styles and honestly, it is one of the reasons I look up to her. To have a cat eye that perfect every time… it is still a dream for me.
Whereas most women my age learned how to do a flawless cat eye by the time they were out of middle school, I did not. My hands shake like nobody’s business and I am always just barely lucky to get my eyeliner wings to look like sisters instead of like strangers. A funny expression, I know, but that is how it was explained to me when I was younger.
Very few of us -- Morticia being one of them-- can make our wings identical twins. I constantly put just barely too much on one and not the other and I tend to give up over making it worse. You just know when Morticia applies her wings, they are done in one fell swoop.
Her eyeshadow was always a perfectly blended mixture of gray, black and white. The deep set of her eyes and expanse of her eyelids allowed her to extend the shadow up close to her brow ridge, and while it looked impeccable on her, on most people it would not.
Don’t Nail the Coffin Shut
Morticia loved wearing her nails long and coffin-shaped. They were painted a lusty deep red, resembling droplets of blood on her pale fingers. Following her introduction of the claws, coffin nails did not come into style with a name for at least 50 years. She was trend-setting long before anyone knew she was.
Coffin nails came back to the beauty scene in 2012. They were immediately iconic when they became current, even though Morticia had already displayed the trend decades earlier. Coffin nails are so-named because of their resemblance to the shape of an actual coffin. They elongated Morticia’s already long fingers, as well as the rest of ours when they were reintroduced to the beauty scene.
Contour like a Skull
Known for her sharp cheekbones and deep set facial features, Morticia used them to her absolute advantage. She loved to woo her love and husband, Gomez to their room with a slight smirk and sucking in of her cheeks. Her actual cheeks were just as pronounced as the beautifully darkened hollows below them. They were perfectly contoured prior to the realization of the contour trend.
Morticia also took preference to smooth, porcelain skin. While many of us tried our best to bronze and tone as much as possible, Morticia never would have. She never once showed a blemish, a feat almost completely obscure to this very day. Sure, we have makeup, but nothing quite compares to her look.
Dark as Night
Speaking of her look, one of Morticia’s favorite things stands at the top of the list of her trending fashion opportunities: the dark wardrobe! In her own words, Morticia felt that “Black is a happy color!” She expressed this exact sentiment to Wednesday and Gomez time and again. Her entire closet consisted of different shades of black, similar to those of a brooding teenage girl in today’s world, but much more elegant and worthy of mention.
Frequently, we saw Morticia in a certain and particularly witchy style of dress. Her most favored gown was as black as her hair, draped delicately over her figure and came to an end with long butterfly-style sleeves. It was as long as the floor, and created an illusion of a ghostly mist towards her feet that made her appear to glide seamlessly without taking steps. Her neckline dipped low in a sultry manner that drew the eye down the length of the dress itself. Talk about eye-catching!
Morticia Addams has the look for everything the modern beauty and fashion industries aspire to achieve. She encapsulates everything a woman who enjoys the color black should, and then some. From her sultry cat eyeliner to her captivating attire, her look is everything to us!
With her dark eyes and red claw-like nails, Morticia made us beg for more. Her deeply contoured cheeks and carved red lips satisfied our cravings; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I would say she would love it if she saw my own attempt at recreating her look!
If there were any character I would want to imitate from the past or even one I would enjoy looking like in general, Morticia would be my timeless favorite. She was current and on trend well before her time, and that makes her number one in my book. We love the peculiarity she brings to the table, and how her weirdness influences her style.
To quote the beloved icon, “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” Essentially, what she sees as normal is not what everyone else sees as normal, and that is totally okay! Our response? Touche, Morticia. Touche.