Its Friday and you have been invited by friends for night out with your girls and thinking to yourself, what in God’s name would i wear and you finally decide to let your hair down, you rouge your cheeks with your best, shimmery blush. You clip your hair back into a soft, messy bun and slip on your favorite pair of heels. You take one last look at yourself and think “cute, I guess.” Meanwhile at the club, men are lining up at your feet, offering you all sorts of drinks and sexual innuendos. Why the sudden interest, you think? That’s because the looks you’re rocking all have one thing in common; they make you look like you’re ‘ready for sex.’ Let’s take a closer look at how ancient patriarchy first assigned this ‘sex appeal’ to these items.
BLUSH: Gives your face away that you are ready for sex.
image: Jeffree Star Cosmetics
Blush dates back as far as ancient Egypt. On top of inventing winged eyeliner and pyramids, Egyptian men and women used to grind red ochre to add rosiness to their complexion. They’re not the only ancient society to have done this; the Greeks used crushed mulberries and flowers, whilst the Romans rubbed Vermillion on their cheeks.
Once prostitutes started wearing blush for maximum allurement and to cover bruises and tired eyes there was a huge chunk of time where society frowned upon it. It was during this period where ‘higher class’ women would paint their faces white or use leeches to remove natural redness from their skin so darling the attention you getting might be as a result of the blush you just packed on your face few minutes or hours ago before stepping into the club.
Bedhead: A hairdo tangled up by sex
Rocking bedhead may serve to liberate our morning routine, but Urban Dictionary defines it as “a hairdo that looks like you just finished having sex”. How did this happen? Well, similar to the rise of blush, messy hair was once only synonymous with “improper” women, whilst neatly styled locks was a symbol of decency. You get the drift now its time to have switch when it comes to your choice of hair, you think men dont know these things, you are so wrong.
Stilettos: a physical sign that we’re ready for sex
The original high heels were invented for men to be able to secure their feet in stirrups, and later, for aristocrats to parade around towering over everybody. But they too eventually took on a hyper-sexualized meaning when they were later only meant for women. The story goes that the original chunky platform was deemed too dangerous for women, especially when pregnant. While to women today, high heels represent glamour, ambition, and power; to men they once represented a woman ready for sex. This is because heels cause an arched back which suggests openness to “mating advances”. I laughed out loud while typing that.
When asked what men find attractive about a woman in high heels, a French shoe designer once famously said that it was that “heels slowed the woman down, giving the man more time to look at her”. Clearly, no one wanted women to be able to get away either. Anyone else thinking rape culture?
Inasmuch as all these have no significant connotations to it rather than it being your regular go to beauty choice, or a lazy choice after a long day at work, or the enviable heels choice, unfortunately there’s a place where all these really have a different meaning to it, An express call to have sex in simple terms. So the next time you planning on that night out with the squad make sure you think about what you really want to attract to yourself.