Why is it that men and women have such a vast contrast in the things that they find attractive?  But more importantly what we expect the opposite sex to find attractive in us.  Now I know that some women will say that they like them, but I have had a terribly hard time getting women to appreciate my beard.  I can’t understand how they cannot see the masculine triumph and badge of honor that my beard represents.  Do you know how long some guys get called baby face and teased for being facial hair impaired?!  The locker room treatment is horrible.  For guys, growing that first little mustache is like a rite of passage that ranks right up there with that first time you kiss a girl in front of people.    A small piece of manhood.  For the record I want to say that I have a FULL beard.  I’m talking, that weird guy from The Hangover, type of beard.  I mean a Marvin Gaye, Orson Welles, Rick Ross sort of beard.  The kind of beard that would make Ice Cube jealous.  And the great part is that I can do so much with it.  I can wear the Brad Pitt stubble look, the classic 5 o’clock shadow, the really dark beard like the guys on the Just for Men commercials or even the full Barry White beard.  Ladies….think of my beard as a woman having full, thick eyebrows.  When it comes time for grooming, you can just do so much with them!

 Oh well….no matter how much I like my beard it appears to me, women never  seem to be too impressed with it.  They give me comments like, “it’s okay……that’s a different look for you…….why did you decide to grow that?”  All of these middle of the road sort of statements are merely feeler comments so she can assess how attached you are to that monstrosity before she tells you how much better you would look without it.  But the main question that I continue to ask myself is how both sexes can be so far apart on what is appealing on this issue.  So I then asked another question.  What is it that women find appealing for themselves but guys absolutely have mixed opinions on?  And immediately it hit me….BRAIDS!!!  Growing up in California in the late 80’s early 90’s I saw more than my fair share of braids.  Even when I went on the college I continued to see them.  And I saw the time and money that women invested in them as well as the multiple variations of braids that developed.  Micro-braids, Senegalese twists, kinky twists, Box braids, Goddess braids, Yarn braids etc……..I was having visions of every girl looking like Brandy Norwood circa 1994!  And just when the trend started to die out……here come the weaves.  Now I must admit that weaves are a bit different.  A lot of guys do not have the same disdain for weaves that they do braids, but you have to admit that there is a little bit of a frown still embedded in our brain about it.  I feel like we are more accepting the less fake that the style looks.  Because you know about us guys……….we are all about the authenticity.  (This coming from a guy who was out at a sports bar last night with a group of friends with one buddy sporting a fake Rolex, another guy giving out a fake business card and the Lothario of the crew even gave out a fake name to a lady at the bar)  But even though we don’t disapprove of them the same way we do braids, there just seems to be some part of us that looks at women who have fake hair and say, “You really don’t need all that”.  But after talking to a lot of women I have come to view the hair thing a little differently than I did in college.  Little girls grow up playing with dolls and finely combing and brushing its hair.  Watching their mommies go through the all day Saturday ritual of a day at the beauty shop and coming home with an exciting new look.  Young girls can’t wait for the day to be able to express their uniqueness through those extra pieces of hair!

 Sounds sort of like an exact parallel to why guys like facial hair.  Hmmm…Interesting.  Could it be possible that we are more alike than we are led to believe?  Of course we are.  Things push men and women’s buttons just the same.  We are motivated not always by what the opposite sex thinks of us, but sometimes by what we see as a way to make a statement about ourselves as a real grown-up.  Who would have ever envisioned that all this depth was wrapped into some dead skin cells?  Not me!  I suppose the real question is to ask how many of us have consciously or unconsciously modified our personal druthers simply to appease the opposite sex.  Who knows?  I for one, know that I would never do that!  Oh well……I better get in here and shower and shave before work tomorrow.

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