I’m a girl-power enthusiast, so I often go off about all of the hoops and hurdles ladies have to jump in order to fit this standard of sexiness we’ve been crammed into.
In an hour-long stretch of TV-watching, advertisers pelt us with makeup to even our skin tone, creams to fluff our hair, potions to smooth out wrinkles, contraptions to suck in any part of our bodies that may host an unsightly bulge — and then they hit us with 1,000 ways to shed that weight, just in case said contraptions don’t tuck it in far enough. I love being a woman but sometimes the demands are exhausting.
That being said, despite all of my revolutionary-isms, I still want to look good for my man. I want him to think I’m beautiful, be proud to have me on his arm. Guess my roars against sexism are only but so loud. But I’ve heard of guys flat out expecting their women to look a certain way with that big, unspoken “or else” looming in the air.
How deep could that love really be if he’s basing his affections on how she looks, anyway?
I think most women, at some dark and regretful part of their lives, have been with — probably for too long — a man who rattled their self-esteem. A lot of times dudes say really jerky, inconsiderate things because 1) they can get away with it and 2) they’re given the go-ahead by society to be petty and superficial.
One time, as I was waging a personal battle against the fruit of my tumultuous love affair with Twinkies and Chik-Fil-A (I shake an angry but loving fist at thee, waffle fries!), I managed to find a pair of jeans that actually allowed me to breathe and move at the same time. Success was mine that day, y’all. I was ready to take on the world, so long as it didn’t require me to sit down, bend at the waist, or make any sudden movements that might make my button pop open and fly through the air like a machine gun bullet.
Yes, I had gained some weight. But my boyfriend at the time crossed the line when he pinched a piece of my belly fat, had the nerve to smile, and coo “getting a little thick there, boo.”
Let me stop here and explain for those who don’t know: ‘thick’ in the black community isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Black men generally like women with a little junk in the trunk, a little something draggin’ in the wagon, which alas comes along with extra weight in other areas too. They don’t seem to mind much. But that right there wasn’t a good ‘thick,’ even though he tempered it with a smile. That was a less-dining-more-jogging ‘thick.’
You know what? That sideways little comment didn’t inspire me to lose not a pound. For one, rippled abs were not one of his assets because he didn’t have ‘em. So who was he to be poking and prodding at somebody else’s body flaws? In fact, most of the time I find that the dudes with the snittiest little things to say are often the ones that should be zipping it, keeping a low profile, and quietly praying that some gal doesn’t zero in on their saggy, baggy shortcomings.
I’ve had friends have their boyfriends point out gray hair, flabby skin, flat rumps. One fool even came for his girl only weeks after she had had their baby. “He asked me how long I thought it was going to take me to get back to my old self,” she snorted.
“You shoulda asked him the same thing,” I grumped. In the nine months it took her to push out a new human life, he’d also packed on about 20 pounds that he hadn’t had before he found out he was going to be a father.
“I did!” she cackled. We had ourselves a good laugh at his expense.
Granted, I want to keep myself up for me as much as I do for the viewing pleasure of The Man. But, but if I were to stop with all the plucking, primping, fluffing, and coiffing today, I would still expect him to love me something fierce. Ask me what the heck is going on, sure. But certainly, for the love of good common sense, don’t point that — or anything else — out.
Would you be offended if your man highlighted some flaw or personal issue to you?
Image via karlfrankowski/Flickr