It’s difficult enough being a woman in a patriarchal society that holds us to unrealistic beauty expectations, without having people constantly comment on your looks. If you shave, someone will shame you for it. If you don’t shave, even more people will shame you for it. If you wear makeup, you’re “trying too hard." If you don’t wear makeup, you’re, “trying to be unattractive." I mean, the list of things you should never say about a woman's grooming habits, but end up being things that the collective "we" feel ridiculous confident commenting on, is kind of (read: completely) upsetting if not utterly ridiculous. If you go get a facial, you might be “vain,” but if you don’t take care of your skin, you obviously need to start. If you shape your eyebrows, it’s not the “right” shape, but if you don’t pluck or wax, you must “not care” about yourself. It is freaking exhausting.
The thing is, no one should be commenting on your personal grooming choices. No one. At all. The fact that some folks feel entitled to list every single thing they think is “wrong” or want to “fix” about you (or any other woman) is just mind-boggling. Even celebrities aren’t exempt from people scrutinizing their looks. You'd think that, as a society, we would have continued to follow that cliched, "don't judge a book by its cover" saying, but that seems to go right out the window once we graduated kindergarten and started listening to advertisers. It's as shame, honestly.
So, In case you (or someone you know) need a refresher course on what’s appropriate to say to a woman about her looks, here’s all the things you definitely don’t want to say about any woman’s grooming habits. Trust me, this list is much longer than the list of things you can actually, or should actually, say.
"When The Last Time You Shaved?"
Not your business. Maybe she doesn’t feel like shaving. Maybe it’s a political/feminist stance. Maybe she forgot. Maybe she can’t afford a freaking razor. Who knows? Who cares?
"You'd Be 'Prettier' If You Wore Makeup"
Why do people think this is okay? People are beautiful with and without make-up so STFU.
"You'd Look 'Better' If You Didn’t Wear So Much Makeup"
Great, bro. She’s not wearing it for you. Step off.
"You Missed A Spot"
Either she knows or she doesn’t or she doesn’t care. Quit being a creep and staring so hard you even notice something like that. I mean, just no.
"I Guess Your Parents Couldn't Afford Braces, Huh?"
The state of one’s teeth is a complex matter. Many low-income folk are shamed for the way their teeth look, which is often the result of being unable to afford proper dental care. Kindly shut the ever-lovin' you know what about this please. Inappropriate on so many levels.
"Did You Forget To Schedule A Hair Appointment?"
Are you paying for said hair appointment? No? Well, then it probably isn't any of your business as to whether or not someone is going to touch up their roots, huh? And even if you were, just no.
"You're Wearing Too Much/Too Little Perfume"
Some folks find some scents attractive. Others don’t. If you don’t like her smell or think there's too much of it or think there's not enough of it, keep it to yourself.
"Why Don't You Wear Deodorant?"
Plenty of folks go the au naturale route, and that’s totally okay. Personal choice. You have no say. Good day, sir.
"When Was Your Last Mani/Pedi?"
The state of one’s nails are a personal matter. Personally, I’d love to go get my nails done every week (because those hand and foot massages are killer) but sadly, I don’t own a money tree, so they are few and far between. Leave my fingers and toes alone, thanks.
"Your Hair Is Cut Is All Wrong"
Everyone wants a perfect haircut but it doesn’t always happen. Also, what I may deem as perfect for me might be questionable for you. But guess what? It’s my head, not yours.
"Oh Wow, So This Is What You Look Like With Lipstick On"
I used to fear what people would say if I suddenly started wearing lipstick. I didn’t want to attract attention to myself. I worried what they would think of me. Then one day, I just stopped giving a shit. It was liberating as hell. Now, I wear lipstick if and when I feel like it. Some days I sport a bright red, or a dark brown, and others I just throw on some Chap-stick. Do what works for you. Screw the haters.
"Oh Wow, You're Not Wearing Any Makeup!"
I used to have a friend who wore makeup daily, and you could tell the days she decided against it. I would always tell her I thought she looked great, but honestly, it wasn’t my place to say anything about it (unless she asked). But some folks were jerks and would tell her she looked sick or tired, and she’d rush back to wearing makeup. This kind of shaming needs to stop.
"You Should Try Some Facial Waxing"
Women are constantly shamed for having facial hair. Some have more, some have less. Why the hell should it matter? And no, it is not your place to make any comments about it.
"You'd Have A Better Romantic Life If You Tried Harder"
Contrary to mistaken beliefs held by absurd dude brah bro men and other ridiculous people, not every woman is trying to get laid, nor is she trying to attract you specifically, nor does she need to look a certain way if she were trying to attract anyone. So, like, stop.
"You Take Way Too Long To Get Ready"
After all the crap that we’re fed to look a certain way, some folks still have the audacity to whine about us taking 5 or 10 or 30 minutes (or even more) to prep for a night out. Listen, we don’t give a damn about what you think. We do what we want to do how we want to do it. Keep your opinions to yourself or GTFO.