As I read the New York Times Headlines email this morning, there was an article that was trying to make one of my pet peeves popular. Every once in awhile its specter pops up in culture and it continues to fail miserably, but it drives me nuts every time I see it. The article was called “Manlashes, Manscara and Mantyhose”. In fact, the article’s title drove me sooo nuts, I didn’t even read the article. Let me explain why.
The women’s cosmetic industry is already a scam and violates enough of my principles. It seems dumb to me to buy into the same scam under the guise of “open-mindedness”.
Let me be clear on my biases. First off, I’m married, so my wife doesn’t have to “catch” me, and I don’t have to “catch” her. I guess that the cosmetics industry is designed for that whole process – attraction, sex, ongoing relationship, marriage. Even before that, when I was still single, though, I was also aware that I could lust after a woman who is without makeup, without perfume, without a push-up bra or fake nipples (for reasons unknown to me, we had Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogs delivered when I was a kid. Eeeew) or hair dye.
Nature makes some fine looking women all on its own. I can also enjoy a woman’s company if she makes me laugh or is politically astute or is a nice person or chops her own wood (I kid you not. In college, one of my favorite women lived in a bus, didn’t shave her legs, and chopped her own wood). When I was single, I remember that I liked to know what I was getting before I (hopefully) got there. I didn’t like being lied to. If I was attracted to a red-head or a blonde, in 6 months, I would have liked her to still be a red-head or a blonde.
Long and short of it – if I was attracted to you because of what you looked like and I later found out that that’s not what you actually looked like, our relationship was built on a lie. If I was attracted to you because you were funny or smart or strong out of bed, no matter what you looked like in bed, I was probably going to be OK.
Generally, I find that we suffer from enough craziness because our society is built on lies. I don’t need any more of them. Breast augmentation, collagen lips and a butt that was padded with jeans just seemed weird to me. They still do. Pretending you are 25 when you are 55 or 65 seems like you are lying to the world and yourself. Why? You’re either likeable or you are not. If you can’t handle your getting older, who is to say you could handle mine? Since I plan on getting older, it only seems fair to expect my wife (or future wife when I was dating) to do the same.
I have since come to understand that women sometimes put on make-up or nice clothes because they like it, and not necessarily to attract/entice/seduce a mate or potential mate. I still don’t get it, but I accept that it’s true.
I understand that that is true for some men out there as well. There are guys out there who like earrings or thick cologne (or in the old days, the Don Johnson look and fake disco chest hair). At the hospital today, I heard that men are shaving their body hair (all of it!) off, even if they aren’t having surgery. It takes me enough time to get out of the house now. If I had to “primp” before I left, I’d get to work by noon. So, I get that men are becoming more interested in such things, but I’ll never understand why. The time, the money, the lies and the chemicals are too much for me on women. The idea that this could be a new norm means somebody wants it to be. I’m betting that it’s the cosmetics industry and the designer who wants to charge me thirty dollars more to put his name on my jeans. It’s certainly not me.
Why would I want to lie to you? If you like my dark hair, what would you say if you discovered I was wearing a toupee? Is it ok that one of us has a hairy chest? If you’ll let me be me, I’ll let you be you. Frankly, even if you don’t let me be me, I’ll let you be you. I just won’t hang around. As I sit here with my little pony-tail, it’s not because I don’t want to get in touch with my feminine side. It’s that I don’t want to get in touch with my objectified side.
So, given all of that, I can’t get into mantyhose, or manscaping or any of that stuff and I don’t want to. And I hope we never do.