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It drives me insane when people say that heteronormative beauty standards for women are created by women and not by men and the patriarchy.

There is a reason why gay men are expected to be perfectly waxed, in shape, dieting constantly, wearing tight clothes, tweezed, plucked, showing skin and dressed perfectly constantly.

Theres also a reason why it is extremely common for older men to target younger men or leave their long term partners for younger men in the gay community just like in the straight one.

In the lesbian community, beauty standards are so diverse. I see women who dress, present and find comfort in their look without being pressured to uphold this same standard. Thats why for years there was this stereotype of the "ugly lesbian"

It drives me insane when people say that heteronormative beauty standards for women are created by women and not by men and the patriarchy. There is a reason why gay men are expected to be perfectly waxed, in shape, dieting constantly, wearing tight clothes, tweezed, plucked, showing skin and dressed perfectly constantly. Theres also a reason why it is extremely common for older men to target younger men or leave their long term partners for younger men in the gay community just like in the straight one. In the lesbian community, beauty standards are so diverse. I see women who dress, present and find comfort in their look without being pressured to uphold this same standard. Thats why for years there was this stereotype of the "ugly lesbian"

89 comments

[–] otterstrom 54 points Edited

The Ugly Lesbian©️

A woman who has good hygiene, doesn’t shave or wear makeup, and wears comfy clothing 😒

not a lesbian and do all those things and still get hit on by creeps, men don't care as long as you have big tits and a pulse and I'm not sure about the latter.

Men will fuck anything. Literally anything. Shoes? Yup. A coconut? The floor? Yup. Thin air? Yup. Dead humans? Yup. Shit? Yup.

A n y t h i n g

This is the thing that gets me!! Why do men develop such weird, obscure fetishes?? Both to super mundane things and objects, but also injury and gore. If it exists, men will (somehow) find a way to sexualize it.

I was JUST thinking about this today. Like I was considering making a post about it.

You always hear that gay men are so horrible to each other about their bodies and gay men often end up with body image problems. But it’s probably just gay men treating each other the way straight men treat women. Yawn.

I swear that's half the homophobia in straight men. They don't want a man treating them the way they treat women. I've heard some of them say so, too.

I feel like you see this with TIFs and I’ve observed it in some libfem lesbians—they want to be on the other side of the shit treatment.

Yeah, the standards are 100% created by men. This reminds me of a clip where Kate McKinnon is talking to Jerry Seinfeld on his show and he asks her how she reacted when men hit on her in college. Her response was that she was invisible to them because she wore sweatshirts and pajama bottoms every day. He asked why she didn't want to work harder to attract women and she answered, "that's fine for them".

Women are more likely to appreciate things like a nice handbag that another woman is carrying, but I wouldn't really put that in the "beauty standard" category. Women aren't waxing their crotches to please their female friends.

Jerry Seinfeld asking a stunning woman why SHE didn’t want to work harder on HER appearance in order to attract women hilariously illustrates this point

Because Jerry's such a hot guy himself. Those big white sneakers he wore in the 90s really did it for me. /s

[–] no- 25 points

I’ve always found “ugly” lesbians hot. They’re not ugly, they’re cool liberated women.

I think that many women just don't think critically about these topics. Recently on another forum some women said that she prefer to dress in "flattering" clothing "for her, not for men". Um, OK, sure, have you bothered to think about why some clothing is "flattering" and some is not? Clothing (and hair and makeup) that is 'flattering' means highlighting your shape in a way that highlights health, fertility, and youthfulness.

Don't get me wrong, I follow these beauty standards to a large extent but I don't fool myself into thinking that it is "for me". There are many many benefits for women to follow these beauty standards in our patriarchal and male supremacist culture. Finding a date/spouse is part of it, but women's appearance determined how they are viewed by everyone, including medical providers, employers, landlords, and law enforcement. I admire women who do not conform to these heteronormative standards, but I am selfish and it makes my life easier to get what I want when I do so.

[–] RuneOwl 0 points Edited

"I don't do it for men, I do it for myself! Because male validation makes ME happy!"

This is what they actually mean. It's a bit sad that they don't seem to think very deeply about it but still foolishly think they're being empowered and feminist.

I could at least respect them for honesty if they just admit the truth. "Yeah its a pain and the male gaze pressures me into it, but this is how I survive in a sexist world and there's enough benefits for me to deal with it, I don't have the energy to actually fight the patriarchy."

Yup. It's men. Hetero men are so keen on not grooming precisely because grooming marks you as gay. Unfortunately. Unless you're Italian, when all bets are off.

Visiting Europe always throws me off slightly, just because a lot more men dress and groom themselves in ways that would lead to people assuming they're gay here in the US.

[–] Iceni 36 points Edited

I am British but now live in the USA. Hate to say it, but American men are a bit slobbish. Mainland European men are even better than British men at grooming.

Once when living in the UK I bought my American (now ex) husband a sweater. He said it "looked gay". So I gave it to my best friends husband (British) who was fine with it.

Think it's one of the ways misogyny (as well as homophobia) is expressed here, because it tells heterosexual men that they shouldn't make any effort to be physically attractive to women (or to even just attempt to look 'nice') while expecting women to do a ton of work to be attractive to men.

I’m always amazed at how slobby and unkempt American males are. I grew up seeing them so tidy on TV shows,then my partner had his two friends from America come over (one of whom was gay). Neither of them had a pair of long trousers or decent shoes between them. The gay guy was slogan T-shirts, cargo shorts, hiking boots, baseball cap. The other guy was scraggly beard, slogan T-shirts, cargo shorts, flip flops and baseball cap.

The gay guy went to Cardiff to meet other gay guys while he was here. He returned very annoyed because they told him he was too scruffy, and he also couldn’t get in any clubs so basically he was dumped. 😬

And we watch so many documentaries based in America and the guys look the same as these two, cargo shorts, slogan shirts, scraggly hair and facial hair. Then you see the idiots on Reddit saying women are too picky. It’s not picky to not want to date the troll who sits under the bridge eating Billy goats

The slob to hot male evolution is American to British to Mainland European to South East Asian

Now I understand why "groom yourself, shower daily and dress nicely" are common suggestions given to incels. I thought they were basic practices.

Japanese men are the same way; always neatly put together, with a lot of younger men paying attention to being stylish. Of course, here in good old 'Murrica they would automatically be slapped with the gay label just for paying attention to grooming.

I think it's a large part of why I could never find American men very attractive, or at least the majority of men who live in my general area. So many of them just don't look presentable; wife beaters, ball caps to hide balding scalps, beer guts, dad bods, etc. They don't care at all about maintaining themselves. ><

[–] eire 15 points

Yes, American men are terrible with their wardrobes unless they are really wealthy or gay it seems. You can pick out the Anerican tourists in Europe from a distance: baseball cap, trainers, shorts and some terrible t-shirt. Why do straight women fight for this?

Go to a major city in Italy in the summer and see men in suits, well groomed, just looking well in the sweltering heat.

Also, as someone who's done her share of sex, European men see pubic hair as normal. Or do in my age bracket. The few American men I encountered actually said something. I asked if they were circumcised due to religion or hygiene reasons because I'm that person!

baseball cap, trainers, shorts, and some terrible t-shirt

Hey, that’s my fit you’re dissing 🤣

Lots of Australian men are like this too. They just have no style and so many of them look like shit. European men are sooo much better.

In my experience people outside the U.S. - men and women alike - dress far better than we Americans.

I happen to live in a U.S. state that is even more informal than most. I love that women are under less pressure than in other areas to perform femininity. On the other hand, I loathe seeing people at the opera or symphony in tattered jeans and flip flops.

I think there's a weird balance to strike. While on its most fundamental level, getting "dressed up" could be easily argued to be a waste of time, and the uneven pressures on women to do so are misogynistic, with cultural context added it tends to be disrespectful to not in situations that call for it (such as the opera, although I've heard Royal Ascot in the UK has been increasingly having the same issue). Maybe because it signals 'This isn't worth making the effort/ you aren't worth making the effort.'

This is also true for a lot of other cultures of men. Basically anyone who isn’t white and American or British it seems.

What gripes me is the Muslim men in casual clothes: shorts, sandals and T-shirts, who are escorting women covered head-to-toe, with head scarves, often black. It has been an especially harsh contrast in this heat wave. Or other men, from ethnic minorities, like Indian men, who avail themselves of all the western practical garments, while their wives wear traditional ones. It seems so unfair and lop-sided!

The european exchange students in my college classes always looked so NICE. Like please American guys take the hint. maybe I just have a fetish for well-fitting floral button down shirts but this guy from poland is beating your ass in the fashion department

You should visit East Asia

Yesss as someone who lives in east asia the fashion hair and even makeup styles (straight also) men adopt are so great

I'd like to! Seems like there's a lot of creativity happening in the street fashion scene and it's cool seeing more out-there high fashion styles actually being worn off of a catwalk

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It's because only women groom. Most of homophobia directed at men is because gay men are "acting like women". It's really misogyny. And gay men perpetuate it too, by playing into this social scheme. I.e., drag queens, cattiness, putting on a lisp, etc. They are doing feminine gender performance to show they are gay.

Men don't have to do any of that, but even the gay ones define themselves and their sexuality in terms of being not us/like us. Lesbians don't define themselves in comparison to men, it's just men doing this.

I think this may be the reason second wave feminists and old school lesbians did not get along with gay men. Or one reason, anyway. At least that's the old stereotype.

I think this is a very American approach to appearance with men. It is like they equate unkemptness with masculinity.

Italian men just look and smell good without a hair out of place. The amount of hair products geared at Korean men, as well as foundation and plastic surgery shows the emphasis on their appearance. They tend to look put together including with man bags without fear of looking feminine. So many Scandinavian men have that very minimalist style, which I love. I could go on.

American men have just packed it in because they have an overflated sense of their true value, which is nowhere near reality. Also, Americans seem to value cheap and disposable over quality, maybe it is because they have bigger closets?

Not all American men are like that (see gay American men, who really are not like that at all and prize grooming), but yeah, they are typically less concerned with appearance than many European men, for sure. I think this may be an anglosphere thing though.... My stepdad at one point was British and I had occasion to get to know many of his male relatives. They aren't that different in terms of keeping themselves up compared to the men in the US.

Italian/Arab/Middle Eastern/Occasionally South Asian men can be extremely well groomed too. Cultural standards.

Wow, I never thought of it that way. Very true. Lesbians are made fun of for being ugly and dressing ugly, but it's because they have the freedom to. Mind blown.

I don’t know, there’s certainly a subset of the WLW population who gravitate to women who look like their mirror image, and these women overlap significantly with the women who are high-maintenance regarding their looks. #NAWLWALT but women are no stranger to enforcing beauty standards for other women.

[–] ghoul2 9 points Edited

I've had a lot of male friends ask me how (hetero) women are attracted to men at all. i definitely think we tend to just view beauty differently from the fundamental base level. It means something different to us. I find it really uncanny valley when I see men who are too perfectly groomed. I mean, it's like the blow up doll look on women, but on men, and it kind of freaks me out. I feel like it's weird to be obsessed with hairless men too but that's just me

Edit to add: dressing in clothes that fit you properly though will never not be attractive though... lol

The answer is we don’t find most men attractive because they’re lazy and ugly

I just thought I didn’t ‘have that desire’ but when I see men who actually put effort into their appearance and work out (but not like a steroid fuelled ‘gym bro’) I find them SO hot

There are a lot of studies showing that men judge women physically ("She has a good figure" etc) whereas women judge men more hollistically ("He is non-threatening, he might make a good father" etc).

That's because it's too much to ask for a man to have a good figure and also be a non threatening and we gotta pick one

Are gay men really expected to be these things though? None of the gay men I've known throughout life fit those criteria at all.

[–] immersang 3 points Edited

None of the ones I know fit those criteria either. Then again, I only know a few really well.

On the other hand, gay men in anonymous online spaces are shockingly judgmental of other men's appearance. When discussing male celebrities for example. "Fat" this and "ugly" this and "old" that. And of course that's always a question of taste, but in the cases that I witnessed it was often targeted at actors or other celebrities that are generally considered attractive. I mean, okay, maybe this guy is not everyone's type, but "ugly" is more than harsh.

So, there's that.

yes, i don't doubt that, but i just still don't think gay men have the same pressure as women to always look perfectly attractive. Maybe similar but not as strong

Yes, the men who dont fit that criteria are literally called "bears" by the rest of the community

afaik 'bear' is not an insult or anything derogatory though. it's just a category for them no? i mean many are specifically into 'bears'.

It's a category but as someone deeply embedded in the gay community with lots of gay friends nobody wants to date a bear. its a common joke in gay media as well

It's not something gay men aspire to be or be with, based on what my gay male friends and relatives seem to do and be into.

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