If you ask a lot of men how they like their women best , they will make all these grand, seemingly progressive claims of wanting some hippy-esque, fresh from the womb female, covered in nothing but a thin layer of olive oil and natural body odor. “I prefer women who don’t do all that extra stuff”, they say, “I hate weaves”. “I like my women to be natural – no make up”. They protest. “I like you just the way you are baby”, they whisper, looking deeply into your eyes, after an evening of canoodling has left your eye makeup smudged all the way off your face. “I don’t know why you feel like you have to wear those extensions,” they frown, “what’s wrong with your natural hair?”. All so sweet and endearing isn’t it?
Don’t believe the sweet nothings, it’s all a farce, because frankly, men are clueless about a significant number of the tricks and maneuvers women pull to make themselves look ‘beautiful’. It’s not that your boyfriend is intentionally lying when he says that he likes you with ‘no make up’, it’s just that he doesn’t know that what he thinks ‘no-makeup’ is actually BB cream, concealer and a thin layer of natural looking mascara. Most men don’t like the idea of you wearing added extras, such as extra hair, a bit of face paint, a push up bra, because to them, it’s almost like a lie (or so they say). The truth is though, that natural makeup goes undetected by about roughly 97.3% of the male population, a good weave goes completely undetected by the majority of non-black men, and undetectable by about 50% of black men, and what they think is a 32 D is actually a 32 B with added support. Case in point, on my first date with a certain young man, he complimented me more than once about my hair, asking me how I did it, saying that he liked the natural look. Except it wasn’t natural. It was Marley Braid hair in 1B purchased from my local Indian shop.
You see, most of the celebrities men say are attractive are plastered, pulled in, sucked out and sculpted within an inch of their apparently effortlessly glamorous lives. Now, some men will exclaim “But we don’t expect the average woman to look like Kelly Rowland!”. Bless them – what a nice gesture, but the reality is that their subconscious perception of beauty is shaped by what they see on their screens and billboards. That means, no matter how much they theoretically want to like natural beauty, it takes a lot of reconditioning for that to actually become their reality. Which is part of the problem with this ridiculous culture we have at the moment surrounding modern women and beauty aesthetics – we’re conditioning everybody to accept a very distorted version of reality as normality.
To be fair to men, there are a minority of women that men prefer ‘just the way they are’. SImply, women who are very pretty. So duh, it’s fine when your stunning girlfriend doesn’t wear makeup and pulls her hair up in a messy topknot, but the rest of the female population don’t fall into that category. In fact, even your stunning girlfriend will probably look vastly better with her eyebrows threaded. This doesn’t mean that when someone is in love with you, and forms an emotional attachment to your face that they won’t find your undecorated body attractive.They will. And I suppose there is something intimate about a woman letting you see her ‘as is’.
It does mean though, that if men are given two pictures, one of a women with absolutely no makeup, and one of a women with well done, natural looking makeup that enhances her features, they’ll pick the second one EVERY time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. How do I know? Because when I wear well done natural looking make up, I get compliments from men about how I have a ‘natural glow’, and the fact that I look ‘particularly nice today’. (Thank you to bare Minerals for that natural glow you’ve managed to so effectively condense into a powder). Ok,maybe that’s not a scientifically adequate research method for backing up a whole hypothesis, but it’ll do for a blog.
In fact, where I see this illustrated the most is with black men and weaves. A lot of black men hate the idea of weaves. “Ugh, weaves”, they grimace, contorting their face like some sort of Animorph, “I hate weaves”…until 3 months later when their long term girlfriend decides to take out the weave, stop relaxing her hair and reveal a nappy to the fourth power afro. They smile wanly, and encourage her in her journey, “you look lovely sweetheart”, while secretly wishing that her natural texture looked something more like Brazilian hair extensions. Now, I’m not saying aaall men think like this, because I know a few men who do genuinely like natural hair, but a lot of men only like it if it’s a particular type- long, curly, “Kelis” type hair. If you have India Arie, Kunta Kinte style hair, you might as well take the first ship back to Africa, cos they ain’t impressed.
And that my friends, is the truth. Men say they like women to be all natural.It’s a lie. But don’t worry, we understand, and we’ll keep smiling and nodding when you tell us our Afro wigs look awesome, or that you love a true blonde. *winks*
What do you guys think? Am I right? Or am I making a massive inaccurate generalisation?