WomenSay Post Series: Bonnets, The Knife, & More


It’s summer, summertime and it’s time to get back in touch with Men and Women Says clan! To ease everyone into the posts we have planned, we’re starting this summer’s post series with a little discussion on appearances! Everyone is trying to be snatched this summer, but… how far are you willing to go? Check out what the ladies had to share!

O1 // How much of your appearance upkeep is for your partner? And how much are you willing to change if he asked you to?

Vanessa: I think keeping yourself together is very important. Going out in public with your partner looking a hot mess is not acceptable. It’s important that my partner is proud to be seen with me in public. I’m not saying get all glamoured up every single time, but at least try. The last thing you want is for your partner to look at other women and wish his woman looked like that :-(. Changing my appearance for him really depends on what he is asking for. If it’s reasonable, I absolutely would do it.

Nads: At this very moment, I’d say about 5% of my appearance upkeep is for my partner (lol). Right now, I’m about 6 months pregnant, I’ve gained about 30 lbs, and how I look is honestly of little importance to me; I’m literally just trying to make it through my days at this point. I will admit when we started dating I put more effort into my appearance, such as having my hair, nails, eyebrows, and waxes done, but as we’ve progressed, I’ve realized how unimportant most of those things were to him. I started to relax a bit. I still do all of those things, but definitely not on the same schedule as before. He has seen me at my worst and at my best.

I’d be willing to change anything he asked me to in regards to my appearance if it meant going back to how I was when we met. Anything outside that realm would be hard for me to justify to myself unless something I was doing was harmful to my health and/or well-being. I had a period where I gained about 15-20 lbs (yes ladies, “happy weight” is a real thing) and Greg expressed his discontent with it. I lost the weight for him because at the end of the day that isn’t how he met me, and although it was tough, I was grateful and appreciative that he was honest with me about it.

Chele: Whenever I’ve been in a relationship, I’d say most of my appearance upkeep was for my partner. My mama always told me whatever you did to attract him, you need to keep doing. So if I was on point when I met him, I’m going to stay on point. I want a man to be proud to have me on his arm so I can’t be out here looking bummy. As far as him asking me to change something, it depends on what he was asking me to change. I’d want him to tell me if I had gained weight and needed to shape up or if my outfit was too revealing. Otherwise, I’d gladly take his suggestions into consideration and would probably even try it his way. But, at the end of the day the final say is mine.

Britt: I’m vain. I’ll be the first to admit it. My upkeep is solely for me, he loves me for more than my looks. Only thing I’m willing to “change” is not going back to blonde hair. He’s not a fan of it.

O2 // How would you feel if your partner asked you not to wear makeup socially?

Vanessa: Makeup is something I recently got into about 2 years ago (by makeup I mean foundation and mascara). My skin is not that great so I depend on it to cover my blemishes. Although, I don’t have issues leaving my house without it because more often than not, I don’t have time to put it on. I wouldn’t be able to go without it because I feel like I need it sometimes when I go out to gatherings or parties. Sorry Mister, no can do.

Nads: Well, let me just go ahead and get that “no” out there right out of the gate. I may not wear makeup around him, or even when we are just out and about running errands together, but I will always at least put on eyeliner if we are making any type of rounds socially. That’s just me, always has been, and that isn’t going to change. There are times I like to dabble in lash land, which I am sure he does not find very attractive and if he asked me to refrain from that when attending one of his social gatherings, I would probably oblige. I am not one of those women who walks around with a “beat face” or even knows how to execute such a feat, so my makeup routine is reasonable and nothing that could or should would ever be an issue.

Chele: If I ever had a partner ask me not to wear makeup socially, I’d politely tell him no. I’m not one of those women who packs makeup onto her face and looks like a clown. So he would have to have a damn good argument as to why he’d ask me to do that. Even then, he’d still have to have Jesus Himself come down and give me a legit reasoning behind the request. And if I was wearing makeup when we met in a social setting, he could definitely hang that up.  If he didn’t have an issue with it then, it shouldn’t be an issue down the road.

Britt: Confused because he’s a mans man and doesn’t give me a hard time about makeup. As long as I don’t look like a clown, we don’t talk much about makeup.

O3 // Are you into the whole craze of having a small waist? Would you take it to the lengths of waist training?

Vanessa: Due to the fact that God was petty when he created me, I am built like a tree. I am not in any position to be making anything on my body smaller. I don’t really understand what that whole obsession is about to be honest. Just work out like normal people to get the results you want. I might be speaking out of ignorance because I haven’t done my research but, I’m not here for the hype and I feel like some women wear it just to wear it.

Nads: I like the look of proportion. I would be lying if I said I didn’t prefer the “hourglass” shape and didn’t like having mine, but I wouldn’t say I have a small waist. I feel that I am proportionate, so it looks good. I think extremes in body altering take the beauty away from the human physique, making some women look more like sideshow freaks than anything else. So for me, a small waist only works if it looks proportionate to the rest of her body.

I have nothing against waist training and more power to the women who have embarked and succeeded on that journey. Waist training was very interesting to me when it first hit because at that time I was trying to lose a few unwanted pounds, and I did try it, but it wasn’t for me. The dedication it required was just something I was not willing to commit to.

Chele: I would love to have a smaller waist, but I’m not into this hype about waist training. Those corsets look uncomfortable. I get annoyed with having to wear a bra and work slacks, so I know damn well I’m not about to stuff my ass in a waist trainer just so I can look “snatched”. As much as I’d love to be “snatched”, I’m not willing to be uncomfortable and hemmed up to achieve it. If I wanted it that badly, I could just hit the gym.

Britt: I love the hourglass shape, it screams super feminine, and I think men find that body type more attractive. I’ve considered waist training, but more out of curiosity than necessity.

O4 // Finances not in question, with all the new advancements with body augmentations (fat transfers, etc), would you go under the knife to obtain your dream body?

Vanessa: I used to be so against this when I was younger but I’ve had a slight change of heart. I hope I’m not contradicting myself by what I said in the previous question I answered, but I’m for it. A tuck here and there that require simple procedures is fine by me. Personally, the two parts of my body I’d work on are my breasts if the ever got saggy after children and my booty.

Nads: Let me start off by saying… HELL YES! This is my second pregnancy and after my first, I just could not seem to get over how pregnancy “ruined” my body. As Drake would say, Nothing Was The Same. Stretch marks in places they had no business being and the Great Depression of my boobs made for an unpleasant start into motherhood. At 21 years old, a transformation such as this was so discouraging. As time passed, things reverted back to semi normal, but there are changes that will be with me forever and with this being my second pregnancy, going through that again is something I am not looking forward to. Who knows what kind of “bounce back” I will experience this time. It may not be as much of a “bounce” as before, and for someone who loves her slender, curvy body, I wouldn’t mind going back to what I used to be even if that meant going under. There are just certain things a gym and diet cannot fix.

With the introduction of fat transfers, I feel as though that would be something I would consider. I would never implant foreign objects into my body in the name of beauty, but if they can take a gut and make it a butt, I see no issues with it. The body I had prior to children would be what I would strive for if I ever got the chance, I see nothing wrong with that.

Chele: The only thing I’d go under the knife for would be to remove the small layer of fat around my stomach and maybe making my breasts bigger. I hate sitting down and seeing that small pudge, so I’d absolutely consider getting rid of that. Then again, I’ve found that some men love that shit. They like to nibble it so I’d probably leave it alone and continue to flourish.

Britt: I think post-children for sure. A boob lift, maybe a fat transfer.

O5 // What is the one beauty practice or ritual you will not give up for your partner?

Vanessa: None of the few beauty practices or rituals are too extreme so I don’t think my Mister would ask me to get give them up. My Brazilian waxing, full sets, and eyebrow threading are really as complicated as it gets. If he wanted me to stop getting full sets and just paint my natural nails, I would do that.

Nads: I’m a pretty simple woman, I engage in the routine beauty practices. I stick to the basics, but one thing I will not give up for my partner is getting my hair straightened/pressed. Miss me with that “you must hate yourself” crap, it is what it is. Although, I do not put a chemical relaxer in my hair, I do prefer the straight look and that is how I will continue to style my hair until I feel a change is needed. It’s okay to prefer to look a certain way and not have that be associated with insecurity (obviously there are exceptions to this statement). It’s so easy for people to make everything a psychological issue when a lot of the time, it simply isn’t. That natural hair movement is dope, I’m lazy though, so I don’t have the time nor energy to be at home making concoctions of shea butter, mayonnaise and coconut oil (oh my) to put in my hair for hours at time, only to then engage in an epic battle against my naps; it’s just not for me. I prefer my edges laid for the GAWDS honey and you can judge me if you want. Let me have my preference without the diagnosis. Let me lay my edges in peace without the notion that I am denouncing my ancestors and the very being of who I am. Maybe I just like the way my strands dance in the wind after a fresh press, it really could be as simple as that and I promise you… it is.

Chele: The rituals I wouldn’t give up for my partner are my weekly hair appointments and wrapping my hair up at night with a scarf and bonnet. I get so sick of some of these men talking about they hate seeing women in bonnets because it’s a turn off. Negro please. You can roll your ass over and not look in my direction again until the next morning if that’s how you really feel. They want us to look good but don’t want us to take the necessary steps to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind getting sexy and leaving my hair down when the occasion calls for it, but I’m absolutely not about to make that a habit because a guy has an issue with a silk scarf/bonnet.

Britt: My biweekly manis/pedis/eyebrow threading sessions. I’m not willing to part ways with my triple threat.

So there we have it!

Question for the readers: Are you willing to change your appearance for a spouse?


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