Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Does Makeup Really Matter To Men?

September 26, 2012  |  

By Damon Young

We’ve all seen the story before.

Paparazzi catches some actress or entertainer known for her physical attractiveness — Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Rihanna, etc — on vacation or buying pickles in bulk at Costco. Since hundreds of thousands of professional and candid pictures of these women can be found on the internet at anytime, this doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal. What makes this time different, though, is that these pics happen to catch this beautiful woman “looking her worst.” She’s not wearing any makeup, her hair looks like she just finished working a shift at Trader Joe’s, and, if these are beach pics, you may even be able to catch some blemishes on her thought-to-be-perfect body.

Inevitably, these pics will be the subject of some woman’s tweet, blog post, Facebook status message, or message board thread, under the title “See!!! I told you that without her team of stylists, trainers, and midgets working 24/7 to make sure she’s beautiful, she’s basically a SAAB — “Slightly Above-Average Beyotch.” — a statement that will be co-signed by many of the women who see it. Eventually, though, some guy will also comment on the pics, but with a much different take.

“Hmmm. Don’t see what the big deal is. She still looks fine as hell to me.”

This statement sparks a back and forth, as the women try to convince the man that he can’t possibly still think she’s hot, and the man says something like “She looks the exact same to me in those pics as she did last week at the VMA’s,” further upsetting the women, who now think the guy isn’t being honest and is just pandering for panties.

Anyone who’s spent anytime on the internet has seen this scenario play out dozens of times, a phenomenon that has led me to draw the following conclusions

1. (Generally speaking) Women really have no idea about what men find attractive. (There’s a reason why guys never trust a woman’s opinion on another woman’s looks. If it’s any consolation, men really have no idea about what women find attractive in men, either.)

2. (Generally speaking) Women assume men are stupid.

Now, I realize that second point isn’t exactly ground-breaking. You can watch any sitcom family and see how men are usually portrayed as lovable lugs who wouldn’t even be able to tie their shoes if not for their unrealistically smart and attractive wives. But, in this sense, I’m specifically referring to the fact that (many) women assume that men allow weave, fake eyelashes, and foobs and footies (fake boobs and fake booties) to “trick” us into finding women more attractive than we would otherwise. While it is true that some men do go gaga for cartoonishly (and impossibly) dimensioned Rapunzels, the majority of us are turned off by things so obviously fake. In fact, if we do happen to find a women with a few store-bought parts attractive, it’s in spite of them, not because of them. Yes, Beyonce is both the current Queen of R&B and the current Queen of Yaki B, but she’s just as physically attractive with the weave as she would be if her name was Feyonce Bowles and she rocked a scrunchie to work everyday at Rent-A-Center. And that guy who saw the pic of Bey on the beach “looking a hot mess” was telling the truth when he said he still thought she was gorgeous.

With this being said, I don’t want to say that men abhor all “extras” and that women can’t do some moderate things to enhance their looks. Like how condiments can make an already great meal even better, tastefully done makeup, hair, and other accessories can do the same for women. But, there’s a reason why many women say that they tend to get approached more often (and by better quality men) when they’re dressed down at Target or running weekend errands than when they’re all fancy at the club with their freakum dresses on. If we like you, we like YOU — not the you who looks like she just came from an open audition for “Basketball Wives: Detroit.”

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com. Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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