I hit every keystroke with the fear of a cartoonist depicting the Prophet Mohammed as I compose this article. This is because with ‘feminism’ becoming 2015’s buzzword, the male opinion on anything relating to women can easily result in character assassination if one is not careful. So with that being said, ladies, abeg, I no get power. However, if writers avoided every topic that would offend a particular group, then we would never write anything interesting. If at this point you can’t tell some of this might be offensive, then I am being Captain Obvious and letting you know; you might not like what you read here.
Now that we got the attempt at political pacification out the way, let us get to the crux of the matter. In 2015 the illusion of beauty has never been greater. Like make-up isn’t enough to deal with, Instagram had to throw in filters for extra measure. In fact, so strong is the make-up industry that the female equivalent of a guy trying to be a rapper is now a girl trying to be a make-up artist. Am I opposed to the use of make-up?
No, not even a bit. By all means, get out the pancake, eyeliner, eye-shadow and whatever you have in your make-up bag. But are there social consequences for misleading make-up? Yes, most definitely. Stories of men suing their wives for “false advertising” after waking up next to them is often met with a “what the f*ck?” response, but really and truly, aren’t there cases where the men are at least entitled to some degree of discontentment with the woman’s natural beauty? This would be like a man pretending to have been rich with a leased car and rented suits, only to marry a woman and bring her home to a shack to live in.
Now before you get on your high horses and say William Moore is shaming women for their looks, let us understand the psychology around our perception of beauty. All satisfaction really means is the meeting up or exceeding of expectations. When a girl looks like a 9/10 on Instagram or with make-up on, as guys we make a provision of maybe three points for her natural self. So we expect she is probably a 6/10 at worst. When she turns out to be a 4/10, one cannot help but to be disappointed. Unfortunately, as the media continues to push the ideal perception of beauty with characters like the Kardashians, and the rest of the world tries to play catch-up, we fall into a cycle of obsession with perfection that perpetuates itself. We can say we dress and make-up for our self, but to deny that there is no pressure from society as to the effort we put into our appearance would be a waste of time. And to also deny that the perception of the opposite gender has an effect on our appearance is literally denying a subconscious need for procreation. It is only natural to try to put yourself in a position to attract what you consider the most desirable mate for yourself.
For some guys like myself, the Barbie dolled up look is at best only a sexual turn on. On a relationship level, I find it repulsive. I will admit that prejudice. It doesn’t mean I think all dolled up girls are block heads or insecure, it’s just a personal preference. We all have our tastes on these matters. But on the broader scheme of things, I really think it is worth it to mention that the degree of change from make-up to natural poses an inherent risk to how a guy will perceive your looks. And whether we like it or not, we attach ratings of how secure people are based on how they carry themselves. And excessive make-up is often suggestive of insecurity.
These days, with techniques like contouring, the make-up game has moved from making-up to makeover. And the one that inspired this article was a before and after picture of a girl that somehow used make-up to create the illusion of fuller breasts. The only word I could liken to that was ‘surgery’. As this make-up culture continues to expand and evolve into all sorts of artistic illusions, we find ourselves in a society where competition is so stiff among women to look a certain way that it breeds insecurity even more and more. For the men, we run even higher risks of discontentment the morning after. So really, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.
Perhaps when we think about make-up, we might want to consider if it is a band-aid for deep seated insecurity instead of a confidence booster. We might also want to think about how excess use can result to unhealthy competition that can undermine the confidence of the female population. And if I may slyly introduce the male agenda, we might also want to think of how much pancake a hug can leave on a brother’s shirt and how scary it can be for us when we have to completely change our image of your face after a date at the swimming pool.
P.S Abeg make una no kill me, na as I think am I take write am.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Piotr Marcinski