Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Men Telling Me How to Groom Myself

One of the many, many things I am no longer tolerating from the men in my life is this thing where they start telling me how to wear my hair, what parts of my body to shave or wax and how often to do it, or whether I should wear makeup and, if so, how often and how much. It is bewildering how often men weigh in on these things, just casually, like it’s totally the most natural thing in the world for them to tell you how to handle your own freakin’ hygiene and appearance.

I don’t think there’s a man in the world who doesn’t walk around with his nose stuck way up in the air, telling anyone who will listen about how his wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend/neighbor lady whose name he doesn’t even know just does not need to wear any makeup, ever, and how sad it is that these ladies hate themselves so much that they just need to slap all this colored powder on their faces to feel beautiful. “Oh,” the man exclaims, voice full of woe, “why can’t these women just see their own natural beauty and accept themselves for who they are?”

I don’t know – why can’t you just shut the f*ck up, you controlling prick?

All this, despite the fact that many men don’t know a damn thing about makeup and wouldn’t recognize a “natural look” if it walked up and slapped the f&cking stupid right out of their faces. More than once I’ve begun my morning grooming routine after having a new guy stay the night for the first time, only to have said new guy have a f&cking panic attack or something when he sees me put on makeup. “I didn’t know you wore makeup!!!!!” he says, in a strangled voice, with a stricken look on his bloodless face, because I’m just not the same woman now that he knows I wear face powder and mascara every day.

Or maybe he just says it as an observation, because dudes seem to have this obsession with the Low Maintenance Woman Who Doesn’t Need Makeup, but also I think that when men think of “makeup,” they picture this:

Image credit: Darwin Bell

But I digress. Every time a guy tells me I should wax my vagina, I tell him, “Adult women have pubic hair, get over it.”

One dude tried to get me to stop plucking my eyebrows, which, to this day, remains the weirdest reason that I have ever laughed right in someone’s face. The same guy once gave me a lecture on which menstrual products I should be using, because apparently regular old tampons just weren’t good enough in his opinion. In case you were wondering, yes, he had been born a male and had zero hands-on experience with menstruation, but he did have another girlfriend before so he knew all about it. This was, as you can imagine, a very short-lived relationship.