30 August, 2010

Men and make-up: Gillette really is the best you can get, just leave it at that okay lads?

I know we’re meant to be pro equality of the sexes, anti gender-discrimination, in favour of a bit of the metrosexual in a man and all the rest of it, and I am…for the most part. Most of me is thrilled that I can wear Boyfriend style jeans and not have the world immediately assume I got dressed in a mans room in the dark and/or bat for the other team. I am quite happy for the unfairer sex to get in the kitchen and concoct some gourmet Jamie Oliver creation while we get on with painting the bathroom. I’ll even lend my apron (like I have an apron) when my male housemates want to cook me cheese fondue. From scratch. (No really). And obviously 99% of me is pleased that women can work pretty much equally to men now. And the 1% of me that isn’t pleased is a just a lazy cow who’s in a mood because she needs another tub of ice cream. All hail equality, basically, if it hasn’t been said already…

My qualm is that these days it’s less ‘what can women do to become more equal to men’ and more ‘how many more eyeliners does this guy need before he’s got more than his girlfriend’? Wrong, off beam, a sorry mistake, one to tell the grandkids maybe but still just plain wrong! For there is a big difference between gaining equality and just down-right thieving the essence of the opposite gender.

This struck me most recently when reading September Glamour’s interview with Tinie Tempah, who admitted he’d decided to launch a fashion range because he didn’t like the fact his sisters ‘could literally fix your car whilst cooking you a full English.’ That’s great for the ‘Tempah’ sisters. Really great. I mean they probably aren’t going to endure Spidergate any time soon and the chances are their garage bill is going to be a lot less per annum, but why Tinie then needed to go and launch a fashion range to balance things out is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong, I am in support of men being fashionable, stylish even, in fact it’s a bit of a deal breaker for me that they are, but to design your own line just to match the multitasking abilities of your automobile fixing sisters? A Tinie bit extreme.

And again when watching Big Brother this summer it came to my attention that the more John James liked Josie, the more eyeliner he put on. John James, just because we look better with dark eye make-up and find it to be an effective form of seduction, that doesn’t mean you do or indeed will. If anything, I imagine Josie became increasingly alarmed and wondered what the hell she’d got herself into. ‘Is he going to be borrowing my best Mac lipstick when I’m not looking? Will he look better in it than me? Will he be pilfering my advantage card points when my back’s turner?’ No no no, guyliner wearers! Now here’s some facial wipes, be a good lad and take the eyeliner off while you make us another cup of tea.

I’m more than happy for a man to take care of himself, in fact there’s nothing hotter than a guy who knows his style and rocks it, just as long as he doesn’t frock it. I draw the line where I open Heat magazine to see Alex Reid 10,000 Oranginas more tanned than he ever was before, purely so that Jordan doesn’t out-bronze him. Really, Alex, choose your competitors wisely in future – anything you can do, she will put more fake tan on better.

***This does seem to be what celebrity couples do when they split up. They set out to become as orange as possible. Is this some weird concept us muggles aren’t in on? Is it that they get so used to having someone apply their fake tan for them, that when the other half’s no longer there to do it they get the quantities just all wrong? Or is there some bizarre clause in celebrity divorce contracts that states ‘he who resembles an oompa loompa first, laughs the longest’?***

Anyway, the beauty battle is something that should never have become a cross-gender sport. We don’t see Kelly Holmes running up against Darren Campbell in the Olympic Games; we should not see Peter Andre coming in a close second to Katie Prices amber traffic light impression.

First of all this is not hypocritical because, equal opportunities aside, there are still no signs of us girls getting the big guns out, invading your masculine territory and leaving a big red cross of lipstick where we conquer. Just because we the women folk now work, vote and, beggar’s belief, wear jeans, does not make us essentially any less feminine. I can do 12 hour days in a pretty frock no problem. I can do sit-ups in a full face of make-up. And I’m fairly sure the fact I earn my own salary doesn’t make my boobs any smaller. The equality women have gained does not see us happily displaying a nice frame of chin stubble, wearing afore mentioned jeans half way down our French Knickers* (no pants-on-the-ground boys, that still doesn’t look cool) and playing burp the alphabet with our mates over sushi.

So why, men, do you insist on going one better than just re-tipping the balance of equality, but go to the lengths of categorically stealing our femininity. Not only are you well and truly erasing the lines of sexuality, you’re also making it nigh on impossible for us to be sexy. Soon all it will come down to between a boy and a girl is what’s under your G-string. As interesting as that may be, there’s something very wrong with this notion and, worse still, something very unsexy.

I am not conservative in any light and I would rather be sharing a bloke’s wardrobe than forced into bloomers and a bustle while I scrub the billiard room from noon ‘til night, but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, all things considered, ultimately and basically, joking apart, there needs to be mystery between a man and a woman. And so when he’s got a ‘widger’ (thank you Josie BB 10) and you have not, there are just some things (other than the obvious) that should be done differently.

There needs to be secrets, boys, you’ve got to leave us something. Soon you won’t be wondering how the hell we look so good in a bikini, but you’ll be filching our cellulite busting cream so that you can look that good next year. Soon you won’t be amazed at how well we throw our outfits together to look effortlessly chic, but you’ll be tutting to your mates that you know we’ve copied Cheryl’s look from this month’s vogue. Soon, my dear men, we will resentfully be vowing to love, honour and share beauty secrets until death do us part.

So please lads, I beg of you, put down the guyliner, the man tan, the sarongs and the GHDs, step away from the walk in wardrobe and wegde you’re ass back out of our skinny jeans. We already have a tough enough time staying chic and pretty enough to compete with the rest of the female population, without you getting involved and nipping at our heels. Literally.

*I note there is the occasional exception to this rule. JODIE MARSH.

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