The “Looking Good” Thing

A set of make-up brushes

So here is an idea that I’ve been wanting to write about for a few months now. 
This idea is a little contrarian, in that it is opposite what most people think.  I might also be completely wrong about this – or it might even be completely based on fear. It is almost certainly extremely controversial. However here it is.  
This post is about physical appearance, or how I look as a woman.  I really want to look my best and most attractive for my husband. However I think that there are different dynamics at work regarding physical appearance, and there are ways to best exploit these dynamics, as well as the necessary energy that it takes to look fantastic.

Summarising the argument:
In this post I am suggesting something radical. As a woman, instead of pulling out all the stops to look utterly phenomenal when you are getting to know someone, I suggest that you completely tone down your appearance.  Opt for simplicity in clothing.  Cut out make-up if you can. Aim for everyday, unenhanced prettiness rather than out and out stunningness.

Now why would I say that?!  Why indeed – and why would I of all people say that?!  While I have for a long time been committed to simplicity of lifestyle, clothing and dressing has always been the one area I have struggled with.  And seriously, which woman wants to be anything other than utterly captivating when interacting with a potential spouse?!

Here is the thing.  I want to look seriously amazing for my husband. I want to pull out all the stops. I want to dazzle him with my dressing and make the poor man stare in frank admiration!  I want to do all the things that I have recommended against doing in the paragraph above; unapologetically use make-up and spritz myself in beautiful fragrances.  But this post is about recognising and exploiting appearance dynamics. 

I really want to do this for my husband. Here is what my personal experience has taught me:  I need to make sure I know who my husband is before I dress this way for him.  Seriously!  In this post I will explain why….in short, the big risk with dressing too attractively too soon is not that it won’t be effective – but rather that it will be too effective!

A true story:
The following is a true story
A few years ago I found myself in a situation where I really pulled out all the stops for the benefit of a certain individual. And man, I really pulled out all the stops!  If you’ve only met me in the last few months, you might find it hard to believe that I am capable of dressing like this! I wore my most beautiful clothes, I did the make-up thing… man I really pulled out all the stops….and I carried myself with that confidence that you get when you know that you look good! And guess what, that dressing combined with everything else I was that day really seemed to hit the desired target.  There is no way I can write this post without admitting this following thing – and that is that I behaved so flirtatiously that day – and it was largely brought about by my self-consciousness about how good I looked. 

On one hand nothing happened other than that I was very very loud, and very very…laughy?! No inappropriate dancing! On the other hand I was so loud and so laughy that this episode still deserves an entry into my “When Tosin went crazy” blog post. To make matters worse I had a nice little audience of church folk watching me act this way. Man, I was so shocked and embarrassed at my own behaviour that I simply ran away (I honestly wanted the ground to open up and swallow me), and by the time I finally surfaced the man in question was  on the other side of an ocean, safely out of the reach of me and my flamboyant dressing! 

So there was a significant problem in this particular case, and that was that I did not know the man in question. It was quite awkward to try to get to know him when the seeds of attraction had already been sown. And this I believe is the main risk with dressing this way.  It is not that it “doesn’t work”.  It does work – of course it works! The big risk though, if you insist on carrying yourself this way all the time, is that you attract guys before you get to know who these guys are. You know what, sincerely, for men I’m sure that as long as a woman is clean and neat and wearing well-fitting clothes, they barely notice the difference between been dressed moderately and “pulling out all the stops” as I did that day. The person it really makes a difference to is me!  It really makes a difference to the way I carry myself and the way I smile – and dear Lord, that day I smiled for England Scotland! And then it is the big broad confident smile that the man interacts with.  As long as I was smiling that way, I’m sure that no matter how I was dressed it would have made that same deep impact on that guy.  However, it took my dressing that way to push my smiling over into that realm of flirtatiousness. 

I’m sure that there are some women who manage to look “one thousand percent” without it affecting the way they interact with men. But I am also sure that for many women it definitely does affect the way they interact with men.

So here is the thing ladies; I believe that if you go around dressing that way you will catch everybody.  I believe it works because this is the way that man are wired to work: they are wired to be attracted to beautiful women.  However, the danger is that when you catch someone, you will not know who he is or what his character is like. If he falls for you then he might instantly start proclaiming his love and trying to draw you into a relationship with him.  I believe that this is the single biggest reason why so many women cry in frustration at the negative relationships that they experience:  they go around looking super-attractive all the time; they catch various inappropriate men and embark on relationships with these men who then proceed to treat them badly.

I also think that trying to get to know someone when intense sexual attraction already exists between you is setting yourselves up for a big battle with sexual temptation. 

Finally, I also think that some men may run away from intensely attractive women – not because they don’t find them attractive, but because they are scared of the sexual temptation that they might represent.

So this is my recommendation, and this is the life I’ve been living for the last few months.  Tone it down!  Seriously!  Guess what – even living at the bare minimum of effort with my appearance as I have been doing, (clean, neat, unelaborate  wardrobe, no make-up, simple jewellery) men are still attracted to me!  Living this way also means that I don’t have to invest so much effort into my appearance just now, meaning that my energy is currently available for other things. 

Here is the thing. I completely hope and plan to dress very attractively for my husband after he is my husband.  However, I at least want to make sure I know who the man is before I direct my attention and my energies towards him, and unleash the full power of this smile.  In the meantime though, cutting out the risk of flirtation etc means that I can get to know the man as he truly is, and I can make sure, as far as is possible, that he is the one I want to be with, before setting out to “catch” him. 

PostScript Added 9th November 2017
Well re-reading this post I still agree with the idea in principle.  However it might also be helpful if I try to explain what actually happened in practice when I tried to implement this!  In short, I may have gone a little bit too far.  And guess who was the audience for this going way too far – Mr TDA, that’s who!
So I happily wore the simple clothes – that bit was fine.  I refrained from make-up.  For me this is a big deal because I’ve been very, very naughty to my long-suffering facial skin for many years and I have lots of discoloured and dark patches on my face which I immensely dislike. For years I have covered up these dark patches with make-up.

So for me, the bravest part of this was going without make-up.  Actually, that too, was fine!  However, at the time I was also struggling with understanding how to deal with my afro (I still am struggling!)  This is where it becomes mortifying!  (And also hilariously funny, of course!) So the point is that I was trying to find a way to encourage my hair to grow very very quickly, while also looking presentable. And to be candid, I did not succeed!  So I had recently rediscovered the joys of shea butter and castor oil for natural afro hair. And I applied them very liberally. And they would literally leave my hair yellow. Like literally yellow! (Although I guess they do say that blondes have more fun!  Do you like blonde, Mr TDA?!  Because I can do blonde!  I might look a bit of a spectacle, but I can definitely do blonde!!!)
So back to the shea butter! I kept expecting it to melt into my hair, but it would not happen, and it took me so long to grasp that it would not happen! And then there would be times when the oils in my hair would literally be running down my face! So combined with the uber-simplicity of my dressing all this equates to feeling extremely self-conscious, this time negatively, feeling like one hot mess!  And as I say, guess who was right there to observe all this?!  Yes, Mr TDA!  Well obviously that is one effective way of keeping anyone at arm’s length!  

Furthermore, I was recently looking longingly at people who were well dressed.  And I thought to myself: “You know what, I’m going to go back to my glamorous dressing!”  Thank God for this stage of simplicity.  It has certainly served its purpose, and in a way it has helped me to reconnect with what I feel is my real self. That is: quiet, thoughtful. No matter how well I am dressed I never want to lose that. On the other hand, I really miss those high heels, the beautiful jewellery, the stylish clothes!  The making of the effort! The unmessy hair! As much of a feminist as I am, this is a traditional aspect of femininity that I gladly embrace.  I think the point still stands though regarding “catching” inappropriate people.  To that my current answer is that I have “two yeared” everyone that I am likely to be two yearing for a while.  I already know what they are like. So whoever chooses to be caught, or not, I am already pretty sure of whether or not I can consider them romantically!  (And yet, with Mr TDA, I think that it would still be appropriate to tone it down, otherwise, if I were to try to deliberately pull out all the stops… I don’t even want to think about the kind of uber-flirtatious behaviour I might be capable of demonstrating towards him!!!)  🙂 

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