I just read a post on tumblr about Mars’ song Just the Way You Are and why it’s the exact antithesis of equality. They cited song lyrics praising the woman who Mars is singing about as completely misogynistic because he says, among other things, that her hair looks perfect without her trying.
I just…what?! I’m obviously woefully out of the loop, because I thought this was what we were supposed to want: Men who appreciate us aesthetically for who we already are, think we’re beautiful the way we are, and don’t pressure us to meet society’s beauty ideal. I thought that’s what made a guy okay.
I guess not. Like, he’s not complimenting her on her mainstream accepted, overly treated hair that follows the most fashionable and high maintenance styling regime known to earth, yet she somehow manages to make look effortless. He’s potentially complimenting her crazy, unruly, corkscrew curls that she doesn’t even try comb because the teeth of the brush would just break off. Or her super short pixie cut that just looks hotter after a week without washing and rolling backwards through a hedge. Or any other hairstyle.
This principle can be applied to ALL of the lyrics in this song. He says, essentially, “I like your face” to which I hear an outcry of “HOW DARE HE? He thinks that he needs to validate this woman’s appearance,” and sneering comments of “oh, well I’m SO GLAD he finds her perfectly and effortlessly beautiful. Because he obviously can’t find anything else worthwhile about her.” How is this commentary accurate? Poets, and let’s face it – pop lyricists are one of our most prolific sources of poetry at the moment, always talk about aesthetics. Not because they don’t value other, less obvious traits like intelligence or cunning, but because what we find beautiful inspires us. It’s easy to talk about how physically attracted we are to someone. It’s fun to compare their face to celestial bodies. The glorification of what we find attractive about them that we can point at and everyone else can immediately see, that’s not misogyny. That’s pride.
So yeah, Bruno Mars likes this woman’s face. But that is only a problem if he doesn’t like anything else. Except even then it isn’t. We’re allowed to like people on a superficial level, right? We’re allowed to just want to bang people because something about their appearance makes our gut clench.
Oh, or maybe we aren’t. Because that makes us whores.
Sorry, I get confused sometimes about what is and isn’t okay for women, or you know people, to do.