Joanna Schroeder believes men are being harmed when the beauty industry tells women they aren’t good enough… “down there.”
Men—or ladies, of course, depending upon your interests—do you really care about “down there” as much as everyone says you do?
I realize this is a lady-type question, but this is a men’s magazine, and I need to know what you all think. Because according to Cosmopolitan and all of its brethren, all you men think about is the ways in which we women horrify you.
And as a sex columnist, I can attest to the fact that out of the approximately 500 anonymous questions Eli and I have gotten on She Said He Said, exactly one was about a woman’s stinky crotch. Every other guy would rather talk about how to please a woman sexually or whether or not he should call his ex girlfriend.
Jezebel writer Erin Gloria Ryan summed up the ways in which women think that men think about us, in a piece called How to Make Your Vagina Taste Awesome:
Ever since I’ve been old enough to sneak copies of Teen Magazine at the middle school library, I’ve known that vaginas (sorry, “down theres”) are mysterious, confusing places that need to be waxed, washed, wiped, and maintained lest all men run screaming away from you and you end up spending your life attachment parenting a series of rescue cats.
And so Ms. Ryan set out to discover what science could teach her about how to… shall we say… “maximize the appeal” of the female nethers. Of course (because I know you’re all wondering) there was no science to it, aside from keeping clean and going to the doctor if something seems troubling. But the “anecdata” she collected included eating a whole bunch of fruit and drinking water:
During my informal snooping and asking around, I found pineapple mentioned frequently as vaginal taste aid. Apparently, it’s high in sugars, and when you eat it, some internal mechanism sends tiny Magic School Buses to your stomach to cart away the sweet pineapple molecules straight to your vagina.
But what I really wonder here, and what I’ve wondered before, is whether or not you guys feel like pawns in some messed-up beauty industry bullshit.
Think about it, the beauty industry has told us that you won’t love us unless we’re “perfect”, which basically means that you won’t love us if we look the way that nature intended us to. Now, I know that everyone has their own preferences for hairstyle and the whatnot—men and women, straight and gay—and we should all be able to discuss what we (as individuals) prefer, but I think men are being manipulated by this campaign against women’s bodies.
I mean, it’s in your name, as Ms. Ryan so eloquently points out, that we’re told we’re just not okay the way we are. And that makes us resentful. And it makes you look like shallow a-holes.
And I, for one, am not buying it. I’m not buying that you guys are willing to dismiss a woman you really like because she doesn’t taste like a fruit salad.
But I’m willing to hear arguments either way.
What do you think? Are you guys being sold up the river by the beauty industry?
How do the multitudes of articles in major women’s magazines telling women they aren’t good enough damage men?
Image of fruit salad with mint leaf courtesy of Shutterstock