Men’s Guide To Women’s Beauty InsecuritiesNovember 1, 2011 No Comments
It was almost two years ago when my co-worker, Laura and I were breaking out. We were not breaking out of prison, or the underground club scene, nor were we breaking out like MC Hammer doing the running man in front of a harem of spandex-clad dancers. We were breaking out in acne, presumably a result of chronic sleep deprivation, insane amounts of coffee intake, bad genetics, and in my case, an unfortunate reaction to oral contraceptives. It seemed that God had decided it was time for me to breed plentifully, and since I was purposefully interfering with his master plan, he was like, “Fine, here’s some unmanageable cystic acne to enjoy during the last week of every month. Lets see how sexy you feel now, bitch.”
On that particular night our boss had met us at the front door as we hobbled in looking like arthritic, elderly women due to the 45 minute kick boxing class we attempted earlier in the week that had owned us like a 200lbs gang member in a prison shower. Our boss looked frightened as he was approached by two profanity spitting, zombified women, faces riddled with some sort of small pox variant, mine iced with a layer of makeup like a home-made cake decorated by a blind four-year-old. He applied some advice he had picked up from a program on the Women’s Network, and he smiled at us sweetly, remembering to avoid eye contact. Despite fearing for his life, he understood that we resided in a complex, alter reality, and our fight for survival, a fight that is sometimes crippled by a monthly, physical bi-product called “PMS,” is noble, and worthy of respect.
It is true that as women there are elements of the female experience that irk our psyches. We reside in a world skewed by swim suit competitions, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Megan Fox, and while some us have a higher immunity to this beauty-ideal hell than others, few escape unscathed, and most of us carry ridiculous, self-deprecating insecurities about our size, shape, colour, and shockingly humanistic imperfections. This may be a bit dumbfounding to the average, heterosexual man, and sometimes irritating — “GOD! You don’t look fat, OKAY!” – and most of the men I have been with since my teens have been generous with criticism in response to how much time I spend in the bathroom, or the fact that I wear makeup. “(SCOFF!) Make up is gross. I don’t know why you even wear it.” And then they turn around to gawk at the pretty girl in the mall who spent two hours applying her face before she left the house.
Although they do exist, it is rare to meet a man who truly understands the reference points in which females are raised, or the psychological brainwash that we endure, or who fully recognize the extra curricular time (and money) we spend withholding the Western Illusion of what a woman it supposed to look like. Sure, as women we participate in the perpetration of this illusion via our conformity, but the cost of rebellion seems high when we witness beauty freedom fighters get pegged with not-so-attractive assumptions about their worth and sense of character. I’m not saying that there are no chiquitas out there who require minimal effort to be socially embraced as attractive, valuable women, it’s just that they belong to a special minority group that a we refer to as “models.”
I’d almost feel guilty about my vane insecurities if it wasn’t for the fact that I grew up getting mind fucked by Seventeen magazine and superficial ex-boyfriends fawning over models and that plastic surgerized porn star who takes direction from some greasy adult film director with a comb over and a botched circumcision job that left him with a three inch penis. And that’s the thing, while some men roll their eyes at our preoccupation with beauty ideals, so many of them perpetuate this superficial, systemic psychosis with their consumer choices, and their the world revolves around my cock agendas and behaviour. As women, we want to feel pretty, and sexually desired by the person we are with, but we’re caught in this mid-level, beauty-neurotic purgatory, where we’re constantly told that we’re not good enough, and even though we are reminded again and again that our feminine power is rooted in how beautiful we are, we’re also degraded for adhering to this pressure: we’re high maintenence, we’re sluts, we’re divas, we’re superficial, we’re too into ourselves, and sometimes we’re even airheads — ’cause lord knows that we can’t be pretty and smart. This hypocrisy does nothing to elevate us from within our beauty-ideal hell, all it does is feed our insecurities more.
That night Laura and I brainstormed desperate home remedies in hopes to heal the gestation of hotness that sprouted across our complexions. Eventually our complexions did clear up and we had the luxury to revert back to worrying about things like love handles, ass dimples and stretch marks — you know, the things that really matter.
Hopefully the day will come when this beauty-ideal hell will cool off a bit so women, and girls, can breathe again, but in order for that to happen, men have to get on board, too. Any time, guys, any time.
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