Frisky Rant: Why Do All The Trends For Dudes Involve Them Getting To Be Lazier?

A couple years ago, I vowed to myself never to date a dude with a beard. Not because beards are dirtier than poop, that study was not a thing yet. Although I did manage to come across a rather foul smelling one in the early days of the beard resurgence.

No, I had other reasons. Political reasons.

You know why? Because right at the point when beards were becoming ubiquitous was also when Vajazzling was starting to be a thing. REALLY? I thought to myself. Men get to skip their ONE grooming thing, and I am supposed to have a rhinestone encrusted vulva? I THINK NOT.

This is partially due to the influence of my mother, who is beyond furious about the idea of bikini waxing. “You’re all suckers! You’ll fall for anything! We tried to make it so you didn’t even have to shave your legs, and you all go out and pay someone to rip your pubic hair out with wax? So you can look like a prepubescent 11-year-old? What is wrong with you? If they tried to pull that with us in the ’70s, we would have set them on fire. Or at least laughed right in their faces!”

These rants were always followed by me rolling my eyes and being all “OH MOM” about things. But the beard thing set something off in me.

It is expensive as hell to be a woman. It also involves a lot of effort, and it seems like every goddamned trend they come up with for us involves spending more money and putting in more effort. Then, the second you think you’re doing OK for a minute is the moment they tell you to encrust your vulva with rhinestones. It never ends.

You know, I get that people love to make fun of the “big pants” trend of the ’90s. But you know what? That was the best thing on earth to have be trendy while you were in high school. Who could even tell anyone was going through an awkward stage? We were all swimming in our clothes! It was glorious! Plus, UFOs were comfortable as hell. The best part, for me, was that I was pretty tall and had–for years–not been able to find jeans or pants that were long enough. They literally did not exist at that point. Buying men’s pants totally solved that problem.

True, we had some good trends in the ’90s geared towards lady laziness – broomstick skirts, apron dresses from craft festivals, and multiple unisex wardrobe options in general, like t-shirts and flannels – but then along came Britney Spears and the Spice Girls and soon the dream was over.

Sure! There are occasional trends now that make things easier on women – leggings, yoga pants, blousy dresses, maxi dresses, ponchos – but said trends are always met with indignant fury from both men and women for either failing to produce boners or succeeding all too much.

But those are few and far between. There’s more vajazzling, more waxing, more tops and dresses no one can conceivably wear a bra with, more botox, more Spanx, more asshole bleaching, more figuring out what the hell contouring is even supposed to be, more diets, more keratin treatments, more facials, more bikini bodies, more flawless post-baby bodies, more pregnancy abs, more cleanses, more cosmetic foot surgery for the purpose of looking better in heels, more eyelash extensions, more eyelash dying, more lip plumping devices, more vaginal steaming … not to mention “waist training.”

Yeah. Thanks 2015! Women get “waist training” – where we are supposed to mess with the placement of our internal organs in the quest for a tinier waist – and dudes? DUDES GET DADBODS.

Now, let me just say, the thing they are calling “Dadbod” is kind of my actual preferred type. I’m into it!  But let me also say that it’s just frustrating to see men get high fives for Dadbods in the midst of the requisite 15,000 pre-summer articles about whether or not a woman has managed to achieve a “bikini bod” or not. I mean, really. Fuck you! And if you have a Dadbod and a beard, I do not believe you should get to make any ridiculous demands on women. That should be the rule. No dude with a beard and a stomach paunch should ever get a lady with a Brazilian.

I have zero plans to do waist training or most of the other things I listed. I have yet to meet a man worth rearranging my internal organs for. But it does get to me psychologically sometimes. I will often find myself thinking, Well, I know I’m not good enough or doing all the things I’m supposed to be doing, but who gives a fuck? rather than thinking I am fucking awesome as I am. There’s a difference and it takes a toll.

The thing that gets me though is that the constant message to women is “Guess what! You are failing in some way that you didn’t even think of before! You better get on this fast, or else some dude is going to vomit all over you in disgust! Spend some moneys!” They are, by and large, fear-based trends.

It just doesn’t feel fair. Our standards go up, theirs go down. We get waist training, they get Dadbods. We get waxing, they get beards. We get told to spend more money, they get told to spend less. And we’re still not getting equal pay!

And the thing that is most frustrating? We do it to our own damned selves. Because you know what? We are very often the ones writing these stupid trend pieces in the first places.

Which, of course, is why I really love seeing pieces like Lane Moore’s 12 Things Every Twenty-Something Woman Needs To Do To Get A Bikini Body in Cosmopolitan, and Véronique Hyland’s glorious How To Get Your Body Caftan-Ready For Summer showing up all over my Facebook feed.

What I really want though – because I am a petty, petty human, and because I know that all this bullshit is probably never going away as long as some woman, somewhere, is willing to fall for it – is for trend piece writers to start making up entirely ridiculous, expensive, and uncomfortable trends for men. Codpieces. I want CODPIECES. Perhaps also neck ruffs, like, you know, Shakespeare-style. Incredibly itchy leisure suits. Possibly with thorns on the inside, for exfoliating purposes.

Then, I want to shame them as much as humanly possible and make them incredibly paranoid about any minor imperfection. I want articles like “Is Your Overly Protruding Adam’s Apple Keeping You From Finding A Girlfriend? A Very Expensive Surgery Can Help!” and “Not Getting Enough Blowjobs? You May Suffer From Ballstank!” and “Do You Look Like A Serial Killer In Your Tinder Profile? Probably!” and “Make Sure You Wax Every Inch Of Your Body Regularly, Because If Not, Women Will Vomit On You For Being So Unclean.”

Then, friends, we can all be insane paranoid monsters vomiting all over each other, and eventually collectively decide that we give no fucks and that laziness is sexy for everybody.  True equality!

[Cosmopolitan]

[NYMag]

[Buzzfeed]