Recently, a guy looked me up and down and asked “do you have fake boobs?”. Somewhat thrown by the random question (I was wearing a t-shirt with a pizza stain), I told him that I did not. Later, he praised my tan, and then asked if it was “that fake tan shit”. Again, thrown by the question, I told him that it was real. Later still, he complimented me on my eyelashes. I blinked coyly and waited. Sure enough... “are they those fake ones?”. “Ahem... why do you keep asking if everything complimentary about my appearance is fake?” I asked, faking a smile. He shrugged, unabashed. “It’s usually the way with chicks”.
Boy, did that open up a fake can of worms.
What followed was an extremely enlightening conversation in which I became privy to a whole new point of view. The male point of view. I have since carried this conversation on with many of my dude friends, and heard a lot of similar frustrations. All the tricks that our gender pulls to fix our flaws and lengthen our eyelashes and tan our skin and pump up our boobs.... all just lead to disappointment and confusion. I don’t think any of my man-friends are being chauvinistic. They are not saying that us girls are unattractive once you wipe all the shit off. They are just tired of having to work out what is real, and what falls off before bed time. Here was the basic message from my penis’d pals:
Ladies. Get real. When it comes to your appearance, false advertising is unnecessary and annoying.
I have to admit, I love being a girly girl. I like to spend a good couple of hours painting on, wiping off, sticking down, teasing up, pulling in, plucking out and plumping up before a good night out. And I’m always feeling much more confident after a few hours of ‘getting ready’ then if I had just followed a dude’s four-and-a-half minute beauty regime – shower, shave, spray and suit up. But since I have been enlightened into how annoying the ‘fake shit’ is, I’ve started to notice how much of it is unnecessary when the intentional subjects are either a) not noticing it or b) rolling their eyes and assuming I’m one of ‘those fake chicks’. I may not use any of the super-fake stuff on a regular occasion, but I have dabbled in the trends. Until now.
The dude opinion: Bronzer on legs. Annoying and messy. False eyelashes. Annoying and weird. Clip-in hair extensions: Annoying and misleading. Long fake nails. Annoying and high maintenance. And the biggest one of all – push-up or padded bras and ‘chicken fillet’ inserts. Annoying and unnecessary. Boys love boobs. Whatever size they are, chances are, a boy would happily stare at them for hours on end. Because they are boobs. And they get really annoyed and confused when part of the boob falls off at night-time. So don’t use chicken fillets or stupid bras, because however small you might think they are, a boy thinks your boobs are beautiful just the way they are... THEY ARE BOOBS.
All of the female-false-advertising conversations lead to another point, too. Social media. Or more specifically, girls editing their pictures on social media so finely, that they look like a completely different person than they do in real life. Not a crime, not even an interesting story, until you consider how many couples are starting to form through Instagram and Tinder and the likes (no pun intended). One male friend of mine has a hilarious story of how he met a girl through Instagram and things went awry because she was misrepresenting herself so outrageously*. Don’t de-tag all the bad photos of yourself (well, some, but not all...). Don’t only post photos where you look Covergirl perfect. Nobody’s buying it. If you are looking to do some flirting over social media, keep it real. Throw in a few shit photos, because at least you look honest. And someone might just like you for everything you are.
I guarantee you, I will continue to use make-up and fiddle with my hair and do all the things I like to do to feel fancy. But it is actually a relief to know how much of it is not needed. The boys I know like their women natural and honest. A bit of primping is okay, but no need for fake crap. It only makes you look like a different person than who you are, and what’s the point in that? Just like Judy Garland said, be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of a fake-tanned, false-eyelashed bimbo**. Just like Kesha said, We R Who We R. Just like Tupac said, keep it real, homies.
Less fake stuff. For real.
*The story of Love on Instagram: It began with a mutual love of the Kelvin filter (sorry oldies, that was an Instagram-specific joke), and lead to late-night facebooking and SMS-ing. Her pictures were of an adorable girl, smiling shyly at the camera from cute angles, filtered to look old-fashioned and hipster. My friend stepped off the train to meet her... and was faced with an entirely different looking girl. The same girl, definitely, but much less... airbrushed. Not one to be shallow, he went ahead with the date... only to find that she was a pathological liar and recently released from a mental hospital. No, really.
**Pretty sure Judy’s quote was a little different to that, but she knows what I mean. Love ya Judes.
By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably returning that bronzer she just bought.