Should men have a voice in women’s beauty choices?

I saw the now infamous post last week that the R&B singer Tyrese posted to his IG account in which he ranted about women who have plastic surgery and wear weaves. When I read it last week I felt some sort of way and became angry and at first I didn’t understand why it bothered me. I went on about my week, forgot about it until I saw Wendy Williams and then I felt some kind of way all over again because it reminded me why even I felt offended by the rant in the first place..that I didn’t even feel applied to me.

When I first thought about even writing a post on this topic, I am not going to lie but I felt a little conflicted about even talking about this as I have found myself being frustrated at times about the current standards of beauty. We are surrounded by a “fake it till you make it” culture nowadays. Whether it is fake that you are a celebrity until become one, or act like we are not wearing any makeup but we are as we are implementing the “no makeup” trend, or applying IG filters to all of our pics, or how about faking leadership qualities to make it into one of the most power positions in the world. I remember even having a conversation with my sister a month or two ago where she suggested I achieve the perfect brow via microblading and I guess I was in my feelings a bit as I responded by asking “when is enough enough? It’s microblading today and what will it be in a couple of years when we have moved well past the “let’s walk outside with the facial and body features that the good Lord gave us.”

So I can understand to some degree (barely) where Tyrese may have been coming from as today’s beauty standards are a little bizarre but guess what? I guess I feel I can say that because I didn’t create these standards and I am among millions of ladies pressured to keep up with them that were stamped with a seal of approval by men. I have a funny feeling too that at one point in Tyrese’s life he probably gave his thumbs up to some of them as well! His message seemed to be wrapped up with something other than what was communicated so who knows where it came from or even what the true intent of it was. But I found the rant to be a little problematic more so in the fact that he feels it is OK to judge the next woman and that’s what bothers me.

Men get to dictate what the standards of beauty are for women and it has always been this way whether we like to admit it or not…and unfortunately, we as women have allowed it. And I think it’s perfectly normal for the men of our lives to give their advice and even suggestions about our beauty decisions to some degree but I think the key point in saying that is those men are connected to us.  This guy goes on a rant and just tears into women that appear to have nothing to do with him and tells them they are not meeting his and other men’s standards. What he fails to realize is he may be perpetuating the cycle here a bit if some of these ladies were told this same very message in their past and believed it. The funny part is… does he think they are making these changes for other women? HA. Some of these ladies may have made their decisions to impress men. I can relate to some of these women if they were lead to feel at some point or another that their looks were not cutting it.

I remember walking by a group of men on my first day of college to my first class and not realizing that I had walked into a beauty contest in which I had not sign up for. I walked by a group of men and all of a sudden it became really quiet and then one of them pointed at me and said “what about her?” Next thing I heard was “oh hell no…she is ugly” and they all began to laugh. Guess what? I was naturally skinny and was wearing my natural hair just..oh… you know…minding my business trying to get to class to get an education! This was definitely not the first time I had been called ugly in my life as I had experienced the same treatment for a portion of time in high school. In high school I was called ugly by a group of young men who went so far to pick on specific body parts and my hair style choices (which were natural) everyday for a period of time.

I’m sure if Mr. Gibson ever saw this he would just sum all of this up by concluding that I hadn’t let go of some isolated incidents from my childhood and teenage years but I would ask him what would he say if even a few years ago a man thought it was appropriate to tell me that I did not meet the ideals of perfection. I walked up to the counter of a fast food restaurant and placed an order for salad to pair with a lasagna dish that was waiting for me in the office of where I worked. As soon as I placed my order the sales clerk proceeds to give me the following unsolicited advice…“you don’t need to order a salad. You need to order a big juicy burger (as he looks me up and down) to put some meat on your bones!” All I wanted to do was order a fresh salad! Well, he caught me at a good time in my life where I stopped “being nice” and holding my tongue when I felt that someone had insulted me. I literally blacked out after he made his remarks and the only thing I remember saying as I looked straight at his belly was “Oh what, do you think you are perfect? Would your doctor be happy with your weight?” The crazy part was I felt horrible for commenting on his weight as I never do that as it’s just not my nature to even feel that is OK. The sad part was he didn’t realize how his comment was insulting until my rebuttal. In no way shape or form do I think I am perfect, I just decided a long time ago that it’s silly to tear yourself down when most of the time we didn’t even know there was anything wrong with us unless someone else pointed something out and it stuck with us. So my attitude now is either take me the way that I am or “get up out of my face!”

This is why I can say I can relate to the women this man felt the need to bash. What if they were natural and like me were told their God given natural attributes weren’t cutting it? What if these women were told they weren’t isht? Or what if these women felt great about their natural attributes and felt they were enhancing them because it made them feel good! Even after the insults I received, I didn’t go on to have surgery to plump myself up per se but what would be so bad if I chose to do so with my body! And what the heck is natural nowadays? Honestly, does anyone meet the “natural” criteria? I feel that I have given this fool too much of my time already so I am going to end here. My advice is next time you feel like giving advice about women maybe just keep it to yourself unless asked for your opinion. Let us decide what is best for bodies as you never know how your words can impact someone and the decisions they make later.

Let’s talk! Do you think Tyrese’s rant was warranted or do you think it was out of line for him to talk about women who aren’t “natural” who have had plastic surgery and wear hair extensions?

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