Let me just make it clear: I am thrilled that I am not a woman. Of course, there are many reasons for this, but one of them is that I feel exempt from the tyranny of beauty and perfectionism.
The other day I sat in the waiting room at my dentist, and in the absence of magazines that interested me, I picked up a random one, which turned out to be aimed at women. The front page promised us how we could get a super body, how we with seven grips were going to get the perfect wardrobe, and how 2016 would come to be your best year ever, and more such. It was as if someone had carpet-bombed the front-page with superlatives, and the only feeling I was left with was; "you're not good enough as you are, but we're going to help you." The skinny girl who covered most of the front page, except from the superlatives, looked as she had only been eating straw all her life.
For men, life is easy. If I'm going to a party, I am almost to the well-dressed if I wear nice jeans, a clean shirt and doesn’t smell of sweat. It takes me fifteen minutes from I'm starting to find my clothes, until I have showered, fixed my hair, embraced myself with hooker-water (urban slang for perfume), and got dressed. I have a beard, which makes me look a little bit filthy, but that is just so hip. Add a beer belly and love handles, and you see a man hotter than hell, a walking-talking fashion icon – in just fifteen minutes.
For women, getting ready to a party is definitely another story. Anyone who has ever been waiting for their wife, fiancée or girlfriend knows exactly what I am talking about. But then again; that was why God invented beer and television.
I cannot imagine how is to constantly be reminded that you need to become thinner, more beautiful, more perfect and a better version of yourself, regardless of how good you are for your children, your boss, your husband, your surroundings, or even the IRS.
Why is it that all women are measured against the front page girls on women’s magazines and their sometimes close-to-morbid thinness, and why are these women, which have an unhealthy life (most likely) regarded as perfect? Is it just because women are concerned with perfectionism and are attracted by this, it is because there are huge amount of money involved in "selling" women a lower self-esteem than they should have, or is it because women actually have a huge improvement potential? The last question I am happy to say I do not support, but I think the right answer lies somewhere between the two first.
There is a proverb saying "Perfect is the worst enemy of good", and sometimes also “best” have been used as a replacement for “perfect”. Any man who have helped with household at home, and who have been happy putting the vacuum cleaner back in its resting place after having done the job, probably have experienced getting the question "when are you going to do the cleaning?".
For many women is not it good enough that the house is vacuumed and tidied good, if it’s not vacuumed and tidied exactly the way they want it to. Women are, unfortunately, too much occupied with perfectionism, and this is probably one of the reasons why there is so many decorating magazines. It’s simply not enough to have a good home, where you have a good life, since it’s more important that the home is better than the neighbor's and all your friends’ too. Therefore, and this is the core of the problem; many women will never be one hundred percent happy with themselves, or their home or whatever, since they are constantly looking for the perfect, the best, the wonderful, and so on.
This is in sharp contrast to us men, who often are far more satisfied with ourselves than we have reason to be.
But as a result of the perfectionism goal of almost all women, they have contributed to an industry which gain from women’s feeling of inadequacy. This industry lives off advocating for women that they are not perfect, until they have tried this product, or just bought these clothes, or done this to their homes. When I'm in front of a dulling TV-program, in my too-much-washed jogging trouser, picking my nose or something, I witness this industry: They are filling up the commercial breaks with girls telling me I have to use exactly this shampoo to get that full look, or this mascara to make my eyes look fabulous – and I tell myself: God, I am so happy for being a man
The only problem for me is that I am more updated makeup products than beer.
Are women comfortable with this, is this what you really want? Because in my opinion you are all working full time for the industry which tell you that you’re not perfect. And you are all working very hard, every day, to try to convince other women that you cope very well with the perfection goals. And you are all working very hard, maybe the hardest work you ever do, aiding the industry that keeps you stressed and unhappy. Therefore ladies, I’ll repeat my question: Is this what you really want?
If the answer is “Yes”, then it is fine. Then we men can pop a beer, relax in the sofa and have no worries if even more young girls develop eating disorders or even more middle aged women develop stress related diseases.
But if the answer is no, then it’s time for some consumer power: Every time you see a magazine telling that you are not perfect, think “Fuck that”, keep your head up and smile to yourself just because you’re still good enough. Then you have taken a decision, and you are acting every day on this decision and don’t support the industry that make you and your sisters unhappy. I guarantee you will feel power when you do, and this will make you feel good. Done enough times, I am sure you’ll feel happy.
For after all, in the end of the day: what is more perfect than being happy?