Make me pretty

BY REBECCA AGULE

The question must be asked – what constitutes a bigger example of false advertising, a good padded push-up bra or breast implants? They both misrepresent what is being sold with the package. In the case of the former, while it may be tricky at the outset, once you get to the point of encountering “reality” first, ah, hand, you can get a better sense of what is – or as the case may be, isn’t – involved. Conversely, in the case of the latter, everything you see is technically included. But if we are to believe all the studies claiming men’s preference for voluptuousness harkens to their DNA, that they are driven to D’s by a deep seated inner nature, then those extended protrusions hardly present an accurate picture of the genetics being brought to the table by the woman.

And I can name few girls who haven’t turned to, or at the very least considered, one or both methods of enhancement.

A quick quiz of a cross-section of male friends and family members elicits the expected answers. Oh, how they try to spare our feelings. “What do you first notice in a girl?” is met with “A smile.” Or, “The way she carries herself.” Even, “Eyes, it’s always the eyes.” But any evening in your local pub will knock the basis of truth right out from under these responses. Someone invented the term “butterface” for a reason, the same reason the term “butterass” is not bandied about. At least at the outset, it seems much easier to get past a deficiency in the face (that smile, those eyes, the way she carries herself) than one of the body.

I used to pity my gender, what with all the primping and plucking and pruning. Nary a blonde begins a blonde. I challenge you to show me a metallic red fingernail anywhere in nature. And the removal of bones in order to fit into the latest style of shoes need not even be discussed. Women will fall all over a man well covered in a long sleeve button down shirt, but a girl in the same outfit will often find herself alone and backed into the smallest corner of the bar. Skin must be shown, and the skin shown must be perfect.

Please do not take my words as bitterness. In reality, as I get older and learn the game, my pity has been transferred to the men on the other side of courtship. While these methods of increasing one’s attractiveness can hurt, and hurt they do, both the body and the wallet, in reality, they are a little more than a form of deception, albeit a deception as smooth as a baby’s butt. I cannot help but recall one of my favorite episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Will, stuck in the cellar with a girl he thought of as his ideal, quickly learns his dream lady is more of a Frankenstein’s monster nightmare. The padding in her bra comes out, a wig comes off her head, fake nails are flicked from her fingertips. In the end, Will realizes how little of the girl is actually the girl. And poor Will has no way of knowing, for the girl has done her job well. This makes for good television as it follows the old adage, “It’s funny ’cause it’s true.”

Women (at least in the days before metrosexuals entered the scene) know the deal from the outset. Men have nowhere to hide, and therefore, we can see before we buy. Men lack the luxury of makeup to cover blemishes, to bring out their eye color, to highlight the curve of a lip. Facial hair, the last remaining method by which men might hide or enhance themselves, has even begun to go the way of the powered wig. But as men lose their methods of camouflage, women seem to find more. Injections into the skin, the lips. Implants into the cheeks, the breasts. Hair waxed from here, glued on as extensions there. Perhaps one day doctors might even find a way to move the excess from where it is not wanted and replant it where it suits us better. For those of us born far from perfect, technology can do us a great service. And by improving ourselves, we can better fool them.

With the assistance of modern medicine and cosmetics, the whole business of dating and attraction, as least on the part of the women, can be distilled down to an art of trickery. Perhaps I am spilling gender secrets and will be expelled from the club, but the process gives us such an upper hand. The reason it takes your girlfriend an hour and a half to get ready is, quite simply, that your girlfriend in reality looks nothing like the girlfriend you get to see.

It’s rather easy to notice that couples of rather disparate levels of beauty usually come in one form; we shake our head, wondering how that man got that woman. Call me shallow to have noticed, but it is far less common to see a man who seems to be with a woman not attractive as he. Often we write it off as the differences in what women and men find appealing, that she fell in love with his mind, that that he might have a bank account as big as her . . .In reality, chances are, she is just as hideous as he, or at least she started out that way. But with the magic of pushing and prodding, of hefting and highlighting, of fluffing and feathering, of stuffing and saturating, the deal just might be sealed before the poor man is any the wiser.

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