Skip to comments.Beauty and the Beast (Dave Barry) LOL
Posted on 04/03/2005 8:27:49 AM PDT by nuconvert
Beauty and the Beast
BY DAVE BARRY
(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Feb. 1, 1998.)
If you're a man, at some point a woman will ask you how she looks.
''How do I look?'' she'll ask.
You must be careful how you answer this question. The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive opinion, then collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure. Trust me, this is the easiest way out. Because you will never come up with the right answer.
The problem is that women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do. Most men form an opinion of how they look in seventh grade, and they stick to it for the rest of their lives. Some men form the opinion that they are irresistible stud muffins, and they do not change this opinion even when their faces sag and their noses bloat to the size of eggplants and their eyebrows grow together to form what appears to be a giant forehead-dwelling tropical caterpillar.
Most men, I believe, think of themselves as average-looking. Men will think this even if their faces cause heart failure in cattle at a range of 300 yards. Being average does not bother them; average is fine, for men. This is why men never ask anybody how they look. Their primary form of beauty care is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same form of beauty care that they give to their lawns.
If, at the end of his four-minute daily beauty regimen, a man has managed to wipe most of the shaving cream out of his hair and is not bleeding too badly, he feels that he has done all he can, so he stops thinking about his appearance and devotes his mind to more critical issues, such as the Super Bowl.
Women do not look at themselves this way. If I had to express, in three words, what I believe most women think about their appearance, those words would be: ''not good enough.'' No matter how attractive a woman may appear to be to others, when she looks at herself in the mirror, she thinks: woof.
She thinks that at any moment a municipal animal-control officer is going to throw a net over her and haul her off to the shelter.
Why do women have such low self-esteem? There are many complex psychological and societal reasons, by which I mean Barbie. Girls grow up playing with a doll proportioned such that, if it were a human, it would be seven feet tall and weigh 81 pounds, of which 53 pounds would be bosoms.
This is a difficult appearance standard to live up to, especially when you contrast it with the standard set for little boys by their dolls ... excuse me, by their action figures. Most of the action figures that my son played with when he was little were hideous-looking. For example, he was very fond of an action figure (part of the He-Man series) called ''Buzz-Off,'' who was part human, part flying insect. Buzz-Off was not a looker. But he was extremely self-confident. You could not imagine Buzz-Off saying to the other action figures: ``Do you think these wings make my hips look big?''
But women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible, although there is a multibillion-dollar beauty industry devoted to convincing women that they must try. I once saw an Oprah show wherein supermodel Cindy Crawford dispensed makeup tips to the studio audience. Cindy had all these middle-aged women applying beauty products to their faces; she stressed how important it was to apply them in a certain way, using the tips of their fingers. All the woman dutifully did this, even though it was obvious to any sane observer that, no matter how carefully they applied these products, they would never look remotely like Cindy Crawford, who is some kind of genetic mutation.
I'm not saying that men are superior. I'm just saying that you're not going to get a group of middle-aged men to sit in a room and apply cosmetics to themselves under the instruction of Brad Pitt, in hopes of looking more like him. Men would realize that this task was pointless and demeaning. They would find some way to bolster their self-esteem that did not require looking like Brad Pitt. They would say to Brad: ``Oh YEAH? Well what do you know about LAWN CARE, pretty boy?''
Of course, many women will argue that the reason they become obsessed with trying to look like Cindy Crawford is that men, being as shallow as a drop of spit, WANT women to look that way. To which I have two responses:
1. Hey, just because WE'RE idiots, that doesn't mean YOU have to be; and
2. Men don't even notice 97 percent of the beauty efforts you make anyway. Take fingernails. The average woman spends 5,000 hours per year worrying about her fingernails; I have never once, in more than 40 years of listening to men talk about women, heard a man say, ''She has a nice set of fingernails!'' Many men would not notice if a woman had upward of four hands.
Anyway, to get back to my original point: If you're a man, and a woman asks you how she looks, you're in big trouble. Obviously, you can't say she looks bad. But you also can't say that she looks great, because she'll think you're lying, because she has spent countless hours, with the help of the multibillion-dollar beauty industry, obsessing about the differences between herself and Cindy Crawford. Also, she suspects that you're not qualified to judge anybody's appearance. This is because you have shaving cream in your hair.
Here's your Dave Pong. It's a good one
Refreshingly true, but I can't say anything(my wife will probably read this, and I'm already in enough trouble).
"There are many complex psychological and societal reasons, by which I mean Barbie."
A timeless classic...
She won't believe you because you married her and anyone that married her couldn't have good taste! LOL!
What happened? Did you give the wrong answer to "How do I look?"
Many times, I'm a slow learner!
good example, I posted to the wrong person, Duh-oh!
I've been sitting here giggling over this whole piece - MGD (MygirlsDad) asked what I was laughing so hard about, so I told him. As to the Mowhawk, he said, "well, I can't do that one anymore, but it used to be fun." To which I replied - "you still can, only now you'd have to do it on you BACK!"
Lucky for me he has a good sense of humor.
I almost dropped my coffee, I was laughing so hard.
ping for wife to read later
THe only correct reply: "You look fine, hon."
LOL...that was GREAT! I was laughing so hard my five year old asked me what was wrong with me. :)
Thanks for sharing!
That is a good one. Thanks for the giggle! :)
My "Brad Pitt look-alike' (in my MIND, anyway) husband is out in the yard right now doing a controlled burn; his favorite Spring chore. He could seriously give Brad a few Lawn Care tips, LOL!
LOL, I was returning from town yesterday and could see smoke for 30 miles. Coming down the last mile of road, EVERYTHING was fire. It wasn't until I pulled up to my gate that I realized the fire ended at my property line. My next door neighbor was doing his bi-yearly controlled burn on his 5000 acres, unfortunately he didn't tell me. Talk about heart attacks, LOL!
Just tell her, she has a perfect teardrop shape!
I meant perfect hourglass shape.
-THe only correct reply: "You look fine, hon."-
Not good enough! The next question will be, "Just fine?"
Repeat "Just fine", with proper emphasis, of coures ( a leer does not hurt).
And a good grope doesn't hurt either.....
The best thing you poor guys can do is to beat her to the punch, and say -- before being asked, or even in a spontaneous outburst when she's in grubbies and old make-up -- "You sure look cute!" Or "You know, you have the most gorgeous eyes!" You get the idea. The important thing is to volunteer your opinion of how she looks before she even asks you. My husband has me thinking I must look like Cleopatra, he's been complimenting me so much for the past 16 years. Of couse, the fact that he's more handsome than Pierce Brosnan doen't hurt ... (!)
I tell my wife she has "classic beauty", whereupon she whacks me, because she knows I am referring to those ancient Greek statues of women with big butts.
When my wife would ask for some new bauble or piece of jewelry, I would use the classic "Beauty such as yours needs no adornment". Course it never worked....
"Better every day" has sometimes worked, I'm told.
Here are some oldies with very funny stuff:
The Left-Handed Gun
Tech Support Call
Problem With Girlfriend Upgrade
Lighten Up (My Title - We need some humor today)
Wood found on Mars? Not Photoshoped - off the nasa website.
Dog Spit and Baldness: A hair-raising discovery (Dave Barry) LoL
Let me know if you want on or off my Humor ping list. (It's a low volume ping.)
Heh-heh. Good thing you've got a backup prepared!
Better to have a backup (line) than ger HER back up, if you know what I mean....
As a conservative, Texas gal, I have NEVER ask a man such a loaded question!
I just ask: "Does this look okay?"
it was the "woo-woo" that did me in!!
sent both to the office for a good start on Monday...
swallow any beverage before reading.
Here is a Dave Barry article I just read yesterday...I love him.
Pooped? Here's scoop on pick-me-up
I have exciting news for anybody who would like to pay a lot of money for coffee that has passed all the way through an animal's digestive tract. And you just know there are plenty of people who would. Specialty coffee is very popular these days, attracting millions of consumers, every single one of whom is standing in line ahead of me whenever I go to the coffee place at the airport to grab a quick cup on my way to catch a plane.
These consumers are always ordering mutant beverages with names like "mocha-almond-honey-vinaigrette lattespressacino," beverages that must be made one at a time via a lengthy and complex process involving approximately one coffee bean, 3 quarts of dairy products and what appears to be a small nuclear reactor.
Meanwhile, back in the line, there is growing impatience among those of us who just want a plain old cup of coffee so that our brains will start working and we can remember what our full names are and why we are catching an airplane. We want to strike the lattespressacino people with our carry-on baggage and scream, "GET OUT OF OUR WAY, YOU TREND GEEKS, AND LET US HAVE OUR COFFEE!" But of course we couldn't do anything that active until we've had our coffee.
It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.
The reason some of us need coffee is that it contains caffeine, which makes us alert. Of course, it is very important to remember that caffeine is a drug, and, like any drug, it is a lot of fun.
No! Wait! What I meant to say is: Like any drug, caffeine can have serious side effects if we ingest too much. This fact was first noticed in ancient Egypt when a group of workers, who were supposed to be making a birdbath, began drinking Egyptian coffee, which is very strong, and wound up constructing the pyramids.
This specialty coffee craze has gone too far. I say this in light of a letter I got recently from alert reader Bo Bishop. He sent me an invitation he received from a local company to a "private tasting of the highly prized Luwak coffee," which "at $300 a pound ... is one of the most expensive drinks in the world."
The invitation states that this coffee is named for the luwak, a "member of the weasel family" that lives on the island of Java and eats coffee berries; as the berries pass through the luwak, a "natural fermentation" takes place, and the berry seeds - the coffee beans - come out of the luwak intact. The beans are then gathered, washed, roasted and sold to coffee connoisseurs. The invitation states: "We wish to pass along this once in a lifetime opportunity to taste such a rarity."
Or, as Bishop put it: "They're selling processed weasel doo-doo for $300 a pound."
I first thought this was a clever hoax designed to ridicule the coffee craze. Tragically, it is not. There really is a luwak coffee. I know because I bought some from a specialty coffee company in Atlanta.
I paid $37.50 for 2 ounces of beans. I was expecting the beans to look exotic, considering where they'd been, but they looked like regular coffee beans. In fact, for a moment I was afraid that they were just regular beans, and that I was being ripped off.
Then I thought: What kind of world is this when you worry that people might be ripping you off by selling you coffee that was NOT pooped out by a weasel?
So anyway, I ground the beans up and brewed the coffee and drank some.
You know how sometimes, when you're really skeptical about something, but then you finally try it, you discover that it's really good, way better than you would have thought possible?
This is not the case with luwak coffee.
But I predict it's going to be popular anyway, because it's expensive. One of these days, the people in front of me at the airport coffee place are going to be ordering decaf poopacino.
This column was originally published Nov. 9, 1997.
Which user did you get that photo from? The site is hopelessly unsearchable, and I'm tired of wading through "Peace March" photo albums. Thanks!
As I recall, I did a Google image search under "large butt" and that was the one I chose. (Most of 'em weren't what you might call postable here!)
Thanks, Ern. I'll brace myself.
thanks, and for remembering to piong me. ;)
THAT was hilarious!