That ‘natural’ look men love so much ain’t so natural

05-21-12 mannequin

Dear Men of the World,

It’s time for me to reveal a certain truth about you that you’ve ignored for some time now. I apologize in advance for the fact that I’m about to blow your mind.

Here it is: you don’t like the “natural” makeup look on women quite as much as you think you do.

I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true.

I hear men say repeatedly that they prefer a “natural” look when it comes to women’s makeup. And even when I don’t have real men telling me this, I can just read the surveys in women’s magazines when “100 dudes on the street were asked which look of Angelina’s/Mila’s/Zooey’s they like better.” I see the red lips and dramatic eyes juxtaposed next to the apparently bare lips and fresh face. And I see that most men preferred the “natural” look.

Except that natural look? Really isn’t natural at all.

I can’t tell you how many guys have told me that they don’t like it when girls wear too much makeup (what does that even mean?) and, in the next breath, tell me that they are glad that I don’t wear “very much makeup.” While I appreciate the compliment, I’m thinking, That’s exactly what I want you to think, homeslice. Now just don’t look at my used makeup remover wipe at the end of the night and we’ll be fine.

Because the fact is, I, like a lot of women, still wear a good amount of makeup. I know you don’t think you like makeup, so I don’t make a big deal out of it, but the truth is, I put nearly as much paint on my face when I’m going dramatic as I do when I’m rocking a more natural look. That you think I’m “naturally pretty” means I’m achieving my goal.

When men are asked which look they prefer, they are almost always being asked to choose between a heavily made-up woman with dramatic lips and eyes and a heavily made-up woman with not-so-dramatic lips and eyes. Calling the second look “natural” is a joke. It’s natural like Whole Foods is natural; we want to believe that the “haphazard” fruit crates stacked at the store’s entrance actually carried the fruit we’re about to buy, but the reality is it’s just one large unit with a facade painted to look like rustic fruit crates that just came from the local farm. The only thing authentic about it is how inauthentic it is.

And it’s not just the men’s fault; I’ll place some of the blame on the women’s mags and blogs that describe certain looks as “natural.” Not only is it just BS, but it gives both men and women an unrealistic idea of what a woman looks like when she’s barefaced. It’s hard enough to feel competent in a world of beautiful celebrities, but when we start saying that these women are naturally that beautiful — that there is no professional makeup team airbrushing their faces on, no plastic surgery, no retouching, no plastic surgery — it makes the average woman feel even more inadequate in comparison.

(And don’t even get me started on the men and women who claim women are “supposed to have curves” and then name the most fit, conventionally beautiful, stick-thin celeb — who also has breast implants — as proof that women who “aren’t stick thin” are still beautiful.)
Even though many men claim they find the “just rolled out of bed” look “totally hot,” the fact remains that what they actually find attractive is so often the “made up to look like I just rolled out of bed” look. And there is a difference. Come spend the night some time and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.

So, men, if I’m going to keep your wishes in mind when I do my makeup (some days I am; other days I honestly don’t give a f*ck), I’m definitely not going to give you what you’re asking for; I’m going to give you what you want. And what you want is a beautiful woman who you think is all natural. I’m not going to tell you how much time and money it takes to maintain such a low-maintenance look.

Except I just did. Oops!

 

Love,
Rachel

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Rachel Wilkerson
By: Rachel Wilkerson

Rachel Wilkerson writes the blog The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, where she covers those "getting it" moments when a light bulb goes off and suddenly everything makes sense. Whether it's a new way to get motivated to work out or the new gadget she never knew she always wanted, she loves sharing her lessons with other people in a straight-up, no-BS kinda way. Her work has been featured on Shape.com and she is a panelist for U by Kotex's Real Answers. When she's not writing, downward dogging, drinking tequila, or writing about downward dogging and drinking tequila, she works full-time as a community manager for a hip little online entertainment company in Houston. She and her boyfriend recently bought a juicer and are officially addicted.