Girls don’t like boys who “don’t like girls who…”

My office is very casual, so I can get away with wearing pretty much anything. A few days ago I showed up to work wearing a nice high topknot, a full face of makeup including lipstick, and a decent looking outfit. The following day I showed up in a ball cap and a plaid shirt, with a bare face. Still presentable, just less shiny. My co-worker sees me in said ball cap and tells me she thinks that I “dress like a boy and a girl”. She has a tone in her voice that infers she is not impressed. Right, yes. Thanks for that. It reminds me of when my grandmother gives me her rendition of the “boys don’t like girls who…” speech when I’m exhibiting a habit she deems unladylike (ie: wearing a ball cap, swearing, not crossing my legs, etc.)

Lately, it seems as though the topic of women’s “trends” that men hate is all over the Internet. Well, they can choke on their opinions, thank you very much. This also goes for anyone who thinks that women should embody a certain persona in order to be considered an attractive sexual partner. Pro tip: no one wants to date/hang out/have sex with someone who feels their opinion is more important that someone else’s based on what’s between their legs.

The list of complaints is extensive. Boys don’t like girls who… wear baggy clothes, wear revealing clothes, wear too much makeup, don’t wear makeup, are smarter than them, swear, don’t shave, have short hair, etc. I could go on for a while. I have never once heard someone say “Girls don’t like boys who…” and that means something. It means that women and girls have been continuously forced to act, dress, speak, and carry themselves in a certain way for the sole purpose of appeasing any and all potential sexual partners. Our society has been putting pressure on us to fit into a mould of the ideal female, one that suits a very small amount of us. I refuse to change myself to fit someone else’s idea of who I should be.

I have a quick list of what trends men should avoid if they want to be considered a viable sexual option (or a decent human): obsession with ‘natural’ beauty, jokes about periods, lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community overall but maintaining an obsession with lesbian sex, catcalling and other predatory behaviour, unsolicited dick pics (does anyone think these actually work?), and pushing your opinions about women’s aesthetics onto people who simply didn’t ask.

Ladies, however many times you’ve heard that speech, I hope you all continue to act like you. You can’t please anyone but yourself, so do what feels best for you. Don’t change yourselves or settle because for every person who thinks “boys don’t like girls who…”, there are like five people who love you the way you are. You don’t exist to be someone else’s desire.


Of Makeup and Men

Today I saw a meme on Facebook about how International Women’s Day was supposed to be March 6th “but women take too long to get ready so we moved it to the 8th”. I happen to know the poster was a middle-aged male divorcée who will remain unnamed. That in itself is no reason to be twisted up, but paired with a sexist meme about a day that’s important to more than half the population, and you got yourself a fight. Congratulations, you’re part of the problem.

If you’re someone who doesn’t require a routine in the morning, or if your routine is very simple, that’s great. Do you. But why attack someone whose routine is longer or more complex? Some people think that the length of time a woman (any woman) takes to get ready in the morning concerns them. Let me capitalize this for dramatic effect: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Makeup, specifically, seems to be a hot topic. Those memes you see about having “trust issues” when a girl takes off her expertly-crafted makeup? Those are made and shared by assholes. We have all been conditioned to view men as attractive without makeup on because that’s what society thinks is acceptable. I hope we can one day not differentiate, and see someone for the person they are rather than for the products on their face. Makeup is about pride and self-care, whatever kind you rock. Some folks seem to think makeup is about vanity, which is why I think it gets knocked so often. People don’t like to see women appreciating themselves or believing in their attractiveness. But for a lot of people, putting on makeup is about them feeling good about themselves. For some people, it’s art.

Ladies: looking your best, in whatever form that takes, is about what you want and how you feel comfortable stepping out into this world. The Internet is full of people telling women they’d look better with no makeup/natural makeup. Let me just tell you something, the Internet knows nothing about “natural makeup”. You can’t satisfy anyone but yourself. If you wear a full face, you’re wearing too much; if you go bare-faced, you’re labeled as looking sick or tired. So just do whatever you want.

This year I told myself that when someone says I look tired, I’m going to say that I am tired, because smashing the patriarchy takes a lot out of me. I’m tired from taking a full course load in law school. I’m tired from organizing and hosting educational conferences. I’m tired from winning student government elections, so I can eventually effect some change. I’m tired from doing interviews for networks and magazines about my work, in order to spread messages that are important to me.

My point being: we’re all badasses. We work, we study, we create, and we slay. What is or is not on my face does not affect the fact that I’m a leader, and that I have worth. And I feel the same about each and every one of you.

So, again, do you. Express yourself. Feel beautiful. Wear makeup, or don’t.

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– D