Women are under constant pressure to look attractive, especially in marriage. Aging is harder on women simply because society is harder on women.
Despite the fact that women have different metabolisms in comparison to men and that we actually house children, men are allowed to lose their youthful tautness in peace.
When you are female, how you look will determine how life and people will treat you.
I once watched a guy talk about the sort of girls that he found attractive.
“I like clean girls. Clean girls. Let their skin pure… make she fair. I dey watch things like toenails and hair. I hate girls wey no dey take care of themselves. Stomach go big anyhow.
“Breast go just sag dey lie down for chest. I no dey too concerned for big nyash, but that stomach must be flat and that breast must stand. Nothing dey irritate me pass stretchmarks… and cellulite… disgusting.”
I watched him with rising incredulity.
Let me describe this guy to you. First of all, he is round. Also, 70% of him was concentrated in his middle. His middle had no dent. No definition. His six packs were buried under the rubble of the bulbous fat he was encased in.
He mouth stank to the high heavens. I think he is one of those dry-mouthed persons. In corners of his mouth gathered white spit and his lips look taut like they were about to break out of the packaging.
He was balding. His feet were ashy. His toenails were black and his trousers gathered in the middle.
I am not one to call anyone unattractive because I sincerely believe that there is someone for everyone. But when someone is being very detailed about what they demand from a date/partner, it is hard not to look at them.
This dude that looked like he was roommates with Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street could sit on his patriarchal throne and nit-pick on the kind of woman to date.
Women have suffered.
After marriage and about a month after I had given birth to my first son… Of course, I had not lost pregnancy weight and my breasts were huge. I ran into someone I knew and he said:
“After only one child and you are like this?”
The rage that welled up in me…
But even Meghan Markle was not spared after marriage. When she made her first appearance after giving birth, she was definitely no Kate Middleton.
She still looked pregnant… totally normal. But people spoke about her letting herself go.
Dem no dey cut us any slack as women.
My gym is 70% women mostly approaching and over 40. They are all struggling to BBOFS… Bring Back Our Flat Stomachs.
Men don’t bother as much. Enter into any weight loss group on any platform. Women are a huge block in these groups.
Women are told that their partners will love them more if they look like they did when they met. Do men get told that their wives will love them more when they look like the first day they met before marriage?
Women are told that if they are fat, they will not find love. If their men cheat on them, they are told that they are to blame because they let themselves go.
Men are visual. Men are visual. Yen! Yen! Yen!
Women are blind, abi?
I have listened to people blame a woman’s appearance for the excess of a he-goat man… Every single time, we are told that what we don’t have is what they go looking for. How did we lose what we had?
Were we not giving birth?
Are we not aging?
Why on earth must I be 40 and be struggling to look 16?
If I can accept what the passage of time does to the body of a man, why can’t he accept mine?
See, women are doing anything and everything including putting their lives in danger just to look a certain way. This affects the dynamics of the relationships between women too.
I was once introduced to the wife of a former boss. He was still my boss then.
She looked to be at least 20 years older than I. She was impeccably dressed in an expensive outfit. Also, she had gold everywhere.
Her skin showed the stress of years of ‘toning’ (polite way of saying bleaching). I will never forget the look she gave me. She turned around and eyed me from head to toe.
She was wondering if I was one of ‘them’, I suspect. Her husband was a known philanderer in his marriage to her. I saw a battle-weary female who was on her guard with all ‘competition’.
However, she was barking up the wrong tree.
Her husband’s known office side piece was a least a decade younger than I. I wished I could tell her that there is no cream, no bum shorts, no surgery, no dress that can bridge the gap of age. If your partner likes small girls, you cannot compete with that.
There is no woman that can hold the attention of a man forever with how she looks.
Marriage demystifies that.
He has seen you a million times without your wigs sweating over a pot of semo you are turning. He has seen your face right after giving birth… The puffy post-war face and extra nose.
I really wish that women will wake up to the reality that the fidelity of a man has nothing to do with the span of her waist, the length of her skirt and if she wears g-strings or not.
Bum shorts cannot not save a marriage. If a man wants to wander, be as fine as Toke Makinwa, he will still go. Infidelity is a personal failing and cannot be projected on anyone.
So, prescribing bum shorts to a failing marriage is like offering band aid for a broken leg.
Having said that, shall we let ourselves go because aging is inevitable? No, we will not.
We will wear the things that make us feel attractive and maybe once in a while deliberately turn the heads of our partners. But we will also be realistic.
Things that save a marriage are:
Growth that is in sync
Mother in-laws that live in their own houses.
While bum shorts do not save marriages, we need to one day have the conversation about how smelly hair nets destroy marriages.