Even if you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve either seen or at least heard about the recently released music video for Kanye West’s Life of Pablo single, Fade. The video which stars Teyana Taylor was premiered by Kanye himself during the MTV Video Music Awards which too took place in New York a week ago. Truth is, there really isn’t much more to say about the video, the guys on Rounds did a great job analyzing it already but as it formed a major talking point of the event and for the benefit of this post, lets just represent Teyana and the video with this image.
On a night of glamour, pomp and all that jazz, in a hall filled with all the who-is-who in Hollywood, a certain diva still managed to stand out. Maybe it was her music, maybe it was her near flawless performance but whatever you like to call it, all I know is, everyone who attended or watched that event, went away thinking about the woman called Beyonce. And so, for talking point number 2, we shall represent her with this image.
And to the final talking point for me, another lady present among many. She not only stood out because she came purposely looking different from every other person, she stood out because she was singled out. Amazing vocalist and award winning songstress, Alicia Keys attended the event sporting her no-makeup look as she continues to drive her movement. If you don’t know what that movement is about, basically, her personal stand against using make-up in her daily routine is supposed to suggest that people should love each other for what’s on the inside rather than on the outside. And here’s lady number 3:
Three women, one event. In a perfect world, you’d expect to wake up the next day to headlines of how Beyonce totally stole the show at the VMAs with her performance, of course with a side mention of Teyana looking unbelievable in Kanye’s video and maybe no mention of Alicia – right?
Everyone led with Teyana. Who is she? Where did she come from? How on earth did she get that body? What does she eat? Who is her work out instructor? What’s her routine like? I mean, ladies literally trolled her twitter account till she gave in and said she was going to make a video of her dance routine available for everyone. But while many of the ladies praised Teyana and Bey, some other chics and guys turned to Alicia and made some really terrible comments about her. Im going to focus on the guys today so I pulled up some examples of comments I found online.
aye… Alicia keys ugly bro…
— KiLLa CaL (@iMooLikeACaL) August 29, 2016
When did alicia keys become so ugly?! 😳
— Matt Cornelius (@MCornelius21) August 29, 2016
Seeing the way men in particular reacted to these three women got me thinking about men and how our wants and needs evolve over time. I took one good look at that picture of Teyana and I remember how my 20 year old self would have entered full Yoruba demon mode to get a piece of that. I remember just how much I was obsessed with perfection. Oldtimers here will remember my post on the Marcus School – it basically chronicles how obsessed I was with seeking out only almost perfectly physically appealing women. Everything just had to be spot on. Flat tummy – check, ass – check, jugs – check. That was all I lived for back then and I’d probably die rather than let you catch me with a woman nowhere near my standards. And to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that. That was my reality at that point in time and that, today, is reality for a lot of guys. Now, I was very young at this point in time – in my very early twenties but as we will come to see, age has absolutely nothing to do with this.
Not long after I crossed 25, I moved into my Beyonce phase. Life was no longer only about flat stomachs, ass and jugs. I wanted more in my women. I was instantly attracted to intelligence, independence and wit. Of course the women still had to meet certain criteria looks wise but it was no longer priority for me. To my younger self, it felt like I had started to compromise on my standards but to my 25 year old self, I felt more fulfilled and in control of my life. To emphasise the fact that this has nothing to do with age, let me give some background.
I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 17, got my first flat in Lagos and started paying bills like an adult. By 22, though I was still in school, I was running a business and I had started meeting quite a lot of people in the corporate world when most of my friends still hadn’t even left home. At 25, I had made and lost money. I understood what it meant to be broke and I had learned why any sane man should want a partner who could also bring something to the table as opposed to some sort of dominated sub in a long term relationship. Subconsciously, all of this influenced my preference in women.
Sometime last year, I travelled to meet up with my wife after being away from each other for months and when I saw her, I almost couldn’t recognize her. She was pregnant with our baby and even though we spoke every single day and did video calls and what not, the actual realization of the physical changes that had gone on in her body only hit me that moment I saw her. But you know what, I’m pretty sure she’s only going to find out I had this reaction for the first time after reading this. Yes, she had changed in many ways – some expected, some totally unexpected but this is the woman I love and married and she was making one heck of a sacrifice for us by going through this process and it only took me a few seconds to tuck in my 20 and 25 year old minds and focus on reality.
I still hate hairnets, grandma panties and women tying wrappers around the house but I must confess that a lot of times nowadays, I don’t even see these things. I’m lucky to be with someone who knows when, how and is also willing to make the effort to switch things up. She looks great, she’s independent but what I’m mostly thankful for nowadays is the fact that I’m with someone confident and strong enough to make tough decisions but also sensitive enough to seek my trust and understanding.
Following the outrage to Alicia’s no makeup appearance at the VMAs, her husband, Swizz beats went online and wrote this:
This is deep. Somebody sitting home mad because somebody didn’t wear make-up on their face,” he said in a clip with a puzzled look on his face. Not your face, but they didn’t put make-up on their face because they just didn’t feel like wearing make-up. But you mad because that person didn’t put on make-up to please you? Type of sh** is this? Cause you can do whatever you wanna do. She didn’t tell y’all don’t wear no make-up. She just said that she’s not vibin’ with the make-up all the way 100 percent like that. That’s kinda her thing that she wanna do.
If you don’t know the background story of the relationship between these two, I’d suggest you read up on it. I don’t know for sure what their life is like, we all know celebs, I can gush about them now and they turn around next week and file for a divorce but from what I can see, I can assume there is a truck load of trust and understanding established between them. Ask yourself as a guy, how many of you would let your wife go out with you to an event like the VMAs without makeup?
The point of this post is to establish the progression in the life of men in particular as it relates to what they want and need in women. Many women got pissed at guys who attacked Alicia for looking butt ugly because she didn’t use makeup but praised Teyana for looking awesome but my question to the ladies is, do you know where these guys are in their lives at the moment? Like I said earlier, this absolutely has nothing to do with age. The only underlying factor here is EXPERIENCE. I know 24 year olds who are already at the Alicia phase of their lives because they grew up fast and got the right experiences they needed to get to that point.
The question for the ladies is, have you really checked to see what point in this timeline your man or potential man is? He could be 30 but still living with his parents and the moment he gets his first apartment do you really not expect to see some changes? For the guys, though its tough, it’s always good to try to question yourself as much as possible. Yes we know you want Teyana or Beyonce but have you really asked yourself why? Why do you want or need the things you think you do right now? Please use the comment box below to express yourself.