1401822906000-1395-v3Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. This dieting often transitions into poor eating habits due to under-eating. I recall watching an episode of “The Real” and I was listening to a conversation between Tamara Mowry-Housley and Tamar Braxton about self-esteem and how it starts for children as young as five. For women it can last well up to old age. Think about it, you never see beauty ads and campaigns on “anti-aging” methods and phenomenons targeting men. They’re always targeting women and sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We hate our weight, we hate our stretch marks, we hate that our hair isn’t a certain texture, we hate that our face structure isn’t sharper and the list goes on. With so many movements now geared towards self-love and self-esteem building for women, I thought about the men who love us and what our body image and self-image does to them. I thought about what they thought.

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“I think women stress too much about cleavage and butt not being the “right size.” I’d tell her, just as I have before, you are made just as you should be. And if anything is suppose to look differently then let it happen naturally” ~29

“Definitely their butt. It has gotten so bad that women are willing to get a zillion butt injections. To me its sad. Do I like a nice round curvaceous booty? Yes. But even more I love a woman who is confident in how God already made her.” ~37

“Women stress a lot about their stomachs or guts if you will. Society has painted an image that the flatter the better. But that’s not the case. Although guys may have a preference for the flat belly there are some who prefer bigger women where the gut doesn’t matter. Some guys have no physical preference at all. As long as she’s cool to vibe with. I say love yourself.”~25

“Stretch marks, a few gray hairs, weight gain, etc..what I always say is if you want to change something about yourself or make small improvements, go ahead..but make sure you truly love yourself and know that the right man will see past that and love you regardless”~25

“Personally, I don’t think anything is stressed too much with body image issues expanding and changing with each commercial and movie. I do however think that as long as you are comfortable in your own skin, the rest will take care of itself.”~29

“Some women stress too much about having their make up perfect. Women that I have dealt with in the past would take so much time trying to get the make up perfect that we would miss our reservation at a restaurant. I honest prefer my lady make-up less”~27

Body image is something that I still deal with no matter how sure of myself I may seem. I’ve been battling weight issues all my life and I am finally getting to a place where I am becoming more and more content and focused on being healthy rather than skinny. It’s nice to have some male reassurance from the person you love, but remember that if you can’t find the space to love and care for yourself what someone else offers won’t make much of a difference because body image starts in the mind…it’s start with the way we think.

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race-aa-400x210According to an article titled “The Science of Cohabitation: A Step Towards Marriage Not Rebellion” written in The Atlantic by Lauren Fox, cohabitation has increased nearly 900 percent over the last 50 years. More and more couples are taking that step in the hopes of “testing the waters” before marriage because as they say, you never really know someone until you live with them.

A study conducted by the Council of Contemporary Families raised the question on whether cohabitation before marriage had a direct link to a higher divorce rate and their findings showed that the longer couples waited to live together the better chance they had at a successful marriage. It was founded that individuals who committed to cohabitation or marriage at ages 18-22 saw a 60 percent rate of divorce. Whereas individuals who waited until 23 and older to commit saw a divorce rate that hovered more around 30 percent. Just adding my own personal spiel I also believe that it has a lot to do with where you’re at in life career-wise and whether your lifestyles complement each others.

As always, some of the fellas weighed in on sharing space and duplicating them keys.

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“When you trust them to share responsibility and when you’re sure your pimpin days are or over or at least on pause…Instructions: don’t come without food.” ~29

“I personally believe it depends on how deep the relationship has gotten, can’t really put a time limit on a connection. A relationship is all about give and take. If I care about her and she’s there everyday, opening the door could be the brightest part of my day. And decorating will take a discussion and a little compromise.” ~24

“I’m a firm believer in things being organic and natural. Relationships tend to progress naturally as long as both parties are making an effort to grow outside and inside of the relationship. It’s like magic, one day you’re just like, “here’s the key! I’m tired of going out of the way to drop off the key just so you can get that blouse you left at my place.” ~26

“When the person can help you pay the utility bill that they’re helping you run up!!” ~28

“You know when you first start dating someone and you’re all on cloud nine and in that honeymoon, new phase…once that’s over things become settled and relaxed and you’re thinking how can I one up myself this time…then it hits you…here babe, have a key.” ~29

“You get tired of getting up to buzz her in to your apartment or waiting around for her to get there before running out for errands. With a key, she can come and go as she pleases.” ~25

“When I feel like it because it’s my house.” ~33

There can be a lot said both good and bad about the prospects of living with someone before marriage. It can be a learning experience and a smooth transition into marriage, but on the other hand, “couples stay in relationships longer than they should because once they live with someone, it becomes harder to find the escape hatch.” 

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Either way we all agreed that if he gives you a key to his place ladies, you got the juice now. Carry on.

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In my quest to understand men from men, I stumbled across an article that was headlined as “Pretty Woman’s Face is Like Cocaine to the Male Brain.” I thought about the countless arguments that take place on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about this created binary that pretty women usually lack intelligence and that smart and intelligent women usually aren’t seen as attractive, but as intimidating to men making them undatable. So I surveyed my think tank of men inquiring about their thoughts on the matter:

Phonto (8)

I don’t think it’s rare… Pretty and intelligent are both subject to opinion and personal level of intellect. ~29

Society and the media propagates that pretty girls spend so much time being pretty they aren’t intellectually aware. And the opposite, intelligent girls are always in a book and not using makeup, doing their hair or shopping. Look at some of the original rom-coms. ~30

I think the media is to blame for this. The media is constantly telling us what is “beautiful” and what is “intelligent”. That is a very unusual debate to be having to me because what is intelligent and beautiful varies from person to person and culture to culture. I think everyone has both qualities in their own way. ~27

I look for both! I think it is indeed a “rare” occasion where you find both, but I do know it’s out here. ~28

Phonto (10)

You gotta go for the one that’s more mentally stimulating…you’ll recognize the natural beauty in that..physical beauty can eventually wear off. ~25

I asked my Dad why his first marriage didn’t work out. He simply looked at me and asked, “Son, would you share your life and your bed with a beautiful fool?”…I think he was trying to quote Coming to America or something…but still lol ~24

I need that conversation. ~23

I’d definitely have to go with the woman with more brains. You can’t fix that…lol! If her body is okay, then we can work with that as there are plenty of ways to stimulate attraction to the outer appearance, but if she can’t hold a conversation, I can’t get with it. ~27

She’s gotta have good conversation. ~23

I honestly say get what you want. It’s perfectly okay to put both of them in the FRIEND ZONE!!! ~29

I think it’s safe to say that beauty and intelligence are two things that are both relative in the eyes of the beholder. So can a woman be beautiful AND intelligent? Yes, yes she can and it seems that more men prefer her with an arsenal of knowledge.