A Personal Perspective
I was about to go out for groceries when it occurred to me that I needed at least 15 minutes to get ready. My husband, however, could have just changed his pants (if at all) to reach the shape presentable to the people outside.
If you think I wear a lot of make-up or don’t go out without my high heels you can’t be more wrong. If you are a man and you were to meet me you won’t even notice I’m wearing make-up. Why do I wear it then? Because you would notice if I didn’t, and depending on the day either asked whether I’m feeling alright or called an ambulance straight away.
One actress of the former Soviet Union, famous for her blunt up to the point remarks, once said that a man should be slightly more handsome than a monkey.
Chances are she might have meant it as her personal preference, but the common interpretation of this saying is that passing that margin is enough for a man to be considered good looking.
And this is a kind of sarcasm that is unfortunately not a joke, at least for some countries.
When I was living in one of the former Soviet Republics in Eastern Europe my stream on a local social network was full of pictures of couples with the captures like “my sweetheart and myself“, “my cutie pie and I”, etc.
In most cases, the cutie pie in question looked at least 5 years older his age and more like a former convict, recently released from a prison where he used to get 5 course meals 5 times a day.
The corresponding Mrs. Cutiepie though looked like a model: skinny, tanned, “high heeled” and “mini-skirted”, wearing the amount of make-up that would make every native American warrior jealous.
I wonder whether this peculiarity of the local genetic pool was one of the reasons I left the country. I simply couldn’t imagine myself procreating under these circumstances.
Before you call me shallow, let me assure you that I don’t judge people by their looks. It is well possible that the respective cutie pie is the kindest soul you would meet. But this post is about looks, which makes the inner values of all the cutie pies there irrelevant for the discussion.
But some Eastern European country aside (maybe you thought I’m exaggerating anyways), you might say:
“Dear women! Why do you care so much what other people think about your looks? You are putting too much pressure on your shoulders, and it is you and only you who are making it hard for yourself!”
You might even add that you personally don’t give a damn what other people think of your looks, especially if you are just going out for groceries.
Are you a man? I think there is a 99% chance you are a man.
So, dear man (allow me to ignore the 1% women on this, otherwise this post will never come to an end), imagine you are right. Imagine, one day you woke up and discovered that all women of the world took your advice and stopped giving a damn what other people thought of their looks.
You know what else you discovered?
That the cute weather moderator on TV is actually 10 years older than you originally thought, and that she has facial hair. As well as your wife and your mother-in-law (it seems to be hereditary).
Also, your female colleagues are all wearing trousers now, sweatpants to be exact.
Miniskirts? High heels? Do you have any idea how uncomfortable they are?
You live in a country with hot summers? Prepare to see some cellulite, framed in mini-shorts, resting on top of two (very) hairy legs.
Are you sure you are ready for a world where women “don’t to give a damn”?
Dear women who proudly state that they go through all the trouble of color matching nail polish and lipstick, uncomfortable shoes and clothing, etc. “just for themselves and no one else”!
I have an imagination exercise for you as well.
Imagine you are the last person on Earth.
All other people tragically died (I don’t know why. Brain dead from watching Fox News or something). And by “all other people” I mean not only men who used to compliment your looks to then secretly stare at your behind in that tight skirt (animals, really), but also women who used to be jealous of the size of your bosom, and your new shoes.
You are alone. Like, totally. There is no one there looking.
So let’s fast forward a week, ok, a month, maybe you are really serious about it.
Still all dressed up and stuff?
To be fair, let’s imagine one day all men of the world stopped caring about their looks.
I wonder if we’d ever notice. It’s not like body hair in different places grabbing some fresh air will be something new to us.
You won’t shave today? Well, the 3-days-beard is more “in” than a clean shave anyways. Sweatpants, socks with sandals, potbellies: we’ve seen it all and we are ok with that.
But even all the imaginary pictures aside, have you seen the ads on TV lately?
As far as I understand it, the only three things men have to worry about are facial hair, sweaty armpits, and virility.
Women, apparently, have much more problems to deal with.
Hair in the wrong places. Hair in the right places not shiny enough. Uneven skin. Pale skin (or dark skin depending on where you live). Pale nails. Unpainted nails. Half a kilo overweight.
And a recent problem discovered by scientists: too dry skin under the armpits.
At this point, I can’t help but to salute all our mothers, grandmothers and grand-grandmothers, who were able to survive in times where no remedy for this terrible condition existed.
I wonder what other awful problems with a woman’s body still remained undiscovered.
Too round nostrils? Wrinkles behind the ears?
Thank God we have all these responsible people from the beauty and pharmaceutical industry who will make a great advertisement spot to give us a heads up as soon as they invent, oh, sorry, discover what else in a woman’s body needs tuning.
Chances are, soon I won’t be able to get ready to go out in 15 minutes anymore. These wrinkles behind the ears won’t even themselves, you know.
Life’s tough, fellow women. Life’s tough. And I don’t see it’s getting better any time soon. The Man-Universe is plotting against us, what can we do.