Go through any check-out aisle in a grocery or department store and you will see dozens of gorgeous women smiling back at you from the covers of fashion, beauty and gossip magazines. They have perfect teeth, porcelain skin, and the latest make-up tricks and trends playing up their already flawless features. Their hair is blow-dryed, hair-sprayed nirvana. They are wearing the latest designer clothes and they are... NOT what most men consider beautiful. Curious? Read on...
The female demographic spends billions each year on products and clothing that quite frankly are a shrug factor to men. Magazines and beauty franchises spend even more selling us on the latest trends in eye make-up, lipstick, foundation, hair products and skin care regimes. We see the ad and the happy pretty model with the perfect features and glowing skin and we want to be her. The problem is, most of us are "enhancing" ourselves to please men, not women, and unfortunately, we are playing to the wrong audience. Our female friends admire our new hair style, eye shadow or designer clothes. But for most men, they could care less if you are wearing Vera Wang, and most are happier with a woman who wears less make-up. So, with that confusing dichotomy in mind, what is it that men find beautiful in a woman?
"Most men like a woman who exudes femininity and a fresh, sparkling look," I was told by 85% of the 2,000 men I surveyed. "Remember Farrah Fawcett from Charlie's Angels? She didn't wear tons of make-up and her hair bounced and looked natural without stiff hair spray.
Her sex appeal was the perfect white teeth, flowing mane and little girl femininity," said J. Banks from San Diego, California.
Mr. Banks was not alone with his assessment of what makes a woman beautiful. Most of the men I surveyed said that women today wear too much make-up, too much hair product and obsess about their wardrobe. Men tend to favor the girl next door look with clean, fresh skin, minimal make-up and soft hair they can run their fingers through. Beautiful smiles were listed in the top 3 things that make a woman lovely. Someone who smiled and laughed often was listed as beautiful. When shown photos of models done up in cosmetic perfection, the men chose the women who were smiling every time.
"A smile says "I love my life", and it makes a woman more approachable," 98% of the men told me. They also said that when it comes to make-up, less is more. Globs of lip gloss and bright red lipstick tended to be a turn-off. They stated that kissing someone with all that on their lips was like kissing a blob of grease. Plus, they were tired of it staining their shirts when they hugged a girl.
Eye make-up was listed as "nice", but again, toned down was preferable. Men could care less if you are wearing the latest "smoky eye" or the "cat eye" trend. Their only desire was to look into sparkling eyes that were looking back at them with interest and approval.
"Tell you what," said Mark from Texas. "Know what makes a woman beautiful? Confidence! Not conceit, just that eye contact, smile and posture that says, "I like who I am... I have a full life."" Guys want in on that. A happy woman equates to low maintenance and excitement.
Clothes were brought up over and again as something most guys really don't notice in the terms of designer labels. Most men love a woman to look a little tom-boyish at times with a ball cap, white t-shirt and shorts. Form-fitting clothes that were not to the point of street walker were, of course favored. Feminine colors and styles beat out tailored, office-style looks. The Grunge look left men cold, as did piercings and most tattoos.
So ladies, it would seem men just want a woman who looks healthy, fresh and sparkles with happiness. To them beauty IS more than skin deep. It is reflected in a woman's confidence, her joy with life and her comfort with her own femininity. Save the magazine model look-a-like for special evening occasions when you want to make a dramatic statement. Most of all... be yourself. THAT'S beautiful!
Make it sparkle!
Rebecca F. Pittman, creator of Troubleshooting Men