Taylor Swift in Elie Saab, Sebastian (with dad, Wiz Khalifa)
Last night marked the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Everyone was there from Beyonce to Mary J. Blige. Even Prince showed up clad in head to toe sequins to present an award along with delivering probably the most profound message of the evening, “Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.” Taylor Swift and Kanye may have buried the hatchet, but Mr. West nearly disrupted Beck’s speech while accepting the award for Album of the Year. He thought it belonged to Beyonce and clearly we just need to give him a seat on every voting panel to avoid further broadcast disruptions. In any case, I’m not sure who even hosted last night’s awards, but I wasn’t really tuned into the show post red carpet arrivals. I had pegged Ms. Swift as my favorite for the night- that is, until Wiz Khalifa’s son, Sebastian showed up. Two of my favorites who I never thought I’d be calling elegant, were Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj. Both tamed their usually outlandish looks for sleeker, more sophisticated styles. As for the rest of the arrivals? I’ll let you be the judge as I kept having the strange sensation of deja vu.
Beyonce in Proenza Schouler, Jessie J in Ralph and Russo
Nicki Minaj in Tom Ford, Miley Cyrus in Alexandre Vauthier
Anna Kendrick in Band of Outsiders, Gwen Stefani in Atelier Versace
Rihanna in Giambattista Valli, Princess Peach
Madonna in Givenchy, Matador on a Cell Phone
Charlie XCX, Creepy Rabbit
Sia and Maddie Ziegler, Thing One and Thing Two
Chrissy Teigen in Emilio Pucci, Ariana Grande in Versace
Jennifer Hudson in Tom Ford, Papertowels
Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell, Christina Aguilera in Versace
Kim Kardashian in Jean Paul Gaultier, Blanche Devereaux
Kelly Osbourne in Christian Siriano, Katy Perry in Zuhair Murad
Oh, sorry. I just woke up. I can only assume that my deep slumber was induced around the same time I slammed my hand to my forehead upon One Direction taking the stage to accept the award for Artist of the Year. Either that or I had too much wine. Maybe both. In any case last night was the 42nd annual American Music Awards held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and hosted by a basically blacked out and slurring Pitbull (Mr. Worldwide, if you will). While I look back on the evening, I can’t actually tell you who won or gush over any particular performance (except maybe Lorde’s), but there are a few key things I did deduce from the evening. If you do not already own a leotard, get one. Without a nary Beyonce, Miley, or Katy in the auditorium, there was no lack of spandex to be seen. Also, J. Lo and Fergie made the message clear that the old guard hasn’t gone anywhere and a Pilates class sure doesn’t hurt.
As far as the red carpet, there were about fifteen “celebrities” who actually walked it, leaving my options for best, worst, and WTF very limited. Black was the overall favorite for the evening and the ladies who donned the official color of New York, looked sleek, stunning, and sophisticated whether in long gowns or short shifts. The skin showing of choice last night was most certainly the legs with sky high slits as well as micro minis. Green, coral, a bit of navy, and peachy flesh tone were the favored hues worn by songstresses. Rita Ora was pleasantly surprised to find out that she was the only one wearing a skin flattering yellow frock.
The favored hairstyle for the evening was soft tousled waves more often than not in buttery blonde. Manicures were more like claws with long pointed tips not to be outdone by fingers covered in elaborate rings on multiple fingers. Statement clutches and sky high heels finished off the ladies’ looks.
And we can’t forget the fellas. Wyclef Jean and Imagine Dragons channeled their rocker style in tailored tees and leather, while Aloe Blacc spelled it out for us. Nick Jonas’ suit made me feel even more awkward than his crotch grabbing Flaunt Magazine spread. I quipped that I hoped 5 Seconds of Summer were also five seconds from a shower. Magic looked like lost tourists who had wandered onto the red carpet after a tour of Hollywood Boulevard (rude!) and Sam Smith seemed to have forgotten his socks.
I wonder if Pitbull’s hangover is as bad as mine.
All But Basic Black:
Charlie XCX in Vivienne Westwood, Selena Gomez in Giorgio Armani, Fergie in Halston
Mary J. Blige, Christina Milian, Jenny McCarthy in Cushnie et Ochs
Little Babe Dress:
Nicki Minaj in Alexander Wang, Meghan Trainor in Ted Baker, Lauren Cohan in Blumarine
Elizabeth Banks in Peter Pilotto, Julianne Hough in Zuhair Murad, Jhené Aiko in Alice + Olivia
Jennifer Lopez in Reem Acra, Selena Gomez, Morgan Stewart
Kendall Jenner, Heidi Klum in Versace, Kylie Jenner in Alexandre Vauthier
Becky G, Lele Pons, Noah Cyrus
All That Glitters:
Jordin Sparks in Halston, Olivia Munn in Lanvin, Zendaya
Whatever Suits You:
Jessie J, Iggy Azalea, Gigi Hadid in Prabal Gurung
Ne-Yo in Anthony Franco, Ansel Elgort in Kent and Curwen, Nick Jonas in Armani
Male Order Babes:
Wyclef Jean, Imagine Dragons
Leading Ladies ( DaBest):
Kate Beckinsdale in Kaufman Franco, Rita Ora in Zac Posen, Taylor Swift in Michael Kors
I have always tried to emphasize to my readers- because I know most of them are female and some of them are quite young- that taking pride in one’s appearance is certainly an extension of self worth, however, banking only on good looks is a serious gamble (hence, why I created Smart Is the New Pretty). In tandem with primping and priming our exteriors we should also be grooming our interiors. A shiny car is great until you slip inside only to find it full of garbage and leftover McDonald’s wrappers that even a Febreeze ad couldn’t cover up. Sure, we’re careful about what we’re feeding our bodies (as we should be), but also being conscious of what we’re feeding our minds is what makes us complete packages.
I live in a city full of 400,000 more beautiful women than there are men. Most people see only see Maybelline and Victoria’s Secret commercials on their television screens. I’ve seen them in the flesh on more than one occasion, especially around February and September. And even if you don’t live in a real time perfume ad, women all over the globe are constantly being bombarded by sexy sirens on TV, in magazines, and now even our Instagram feeds. (Uh, belfies anyone?) Here’s the thing: the women who stand out are the ones who can stand on their own.
Most of us still subscribe to women’s magazines or at the very least, “like” them on Facebook so as to have stories about losing those pesky extra five pounds, tips to make your man hot, and how to be basically perfect streaming into our lives on a regular basis. Taking cues from Cosmo and other women who don’t know what men want any more than the rest of us seems like a case of the blind leading the blind. I could tell you multiple tales of what not to do, but I decided to go straight to the source. I asked actual men what they thought about certain things we wear and the qualities they find most desirable in women and the answers were pleasantly surprising. Though they wouldn’t shock Susan Patton.
While this “study” couldn’t even come close to being considered “scientific” (although one of the classes I easily aced in college was chemistry), it does give a little insight into the male brain, which while complex is much more straightforward than our own female version. To be perfectly transparent, my sampling really wasn’t that random. It was a slightly homogenous mix made mostly of the men my friends and single ladies I know would like to date and probably pine over between sips of pinot on lonely Thursday nights. They are the guys who would delight your parents should you show up to Thanksgiving dinner with one of them rather than that terrible ex of yours from college who only wore fleece vests and pleated chinos. You know, the one who gave your younger brother an unsolicited course in the birds and bees after insulting your mother’s candied yams. My pool of respondents are educated, successful, and worldly- not to mention handsome. I suppose I also could have asked guys who frequent nightclubs because I know those guys too, but I don’t have their email addresses. I can’t even be sure they have email or know what email is. In any case, I compiled a questionnaire consisting of ten questions that can only begin to scratch the surface of what makes men tick.
When asked about their favorite outfit on a woman…
As I’ve often said, “Keep it simple, stupid,” or K.I.S.S. This holds true for business and personal matters as well as your wardrobe. Though answers to this question garnered some pretty scattered results including fitted jumpsuits, lace, sneakers with skirts, maxi dresses, and rompers (which were, ironically, listed as something we should stop wearing- but we’ll get to that), the answer that kept popping up included a variation of white tank/tee and jeans/jean shorts (here is an example of keeping it simple). So, basically, your drop crotch Hammer pants and ruffled crop top are best left to be worn on a night out with the girls because your beau either did not notice, does not care, and as one of my respondents replied, is turned off by your wearing of labels. Two other honorable mentions were the cult favorite, yoga pants, and his old t-shirt with a pair of boyshorts.
And what we should stop wearing…
Animal print may be a continuing trend for fall, but don’t expect a man to fall for you when draped in pelts. Sadly, many of the answers to this question happen to be some of our, as women, favorite trends. As a matter of fact, many of the answers dealt with men’s distaste for women following fashion trends too closely. The “arm parties” (can we stop calling them that yet?) that we so love are driving men crazy and not in a good way. All of the clanking is not only creating an imbalance in arm strength for you, but also distracting and annoying him. Wearing things that don’t fit your body (I have rephrased the answer much more eloquently than its initial iteration) and showing too much skin, namely cleavage are surefire ways to end a date early. And that bit of underwear showing? They hate that too but, don’t think that high waisted anything is going to be the cure all. Last but not least, they may love you in jeans, but definitely not boyfriend jeans.
So, who do they consider to be style icons?
Sorry, Miley Cyrus, men seem to be immune to your raunchy high cut leotards (not to mention antics) and Katy Perry’s cupcake cleavage seems to be lost on the male species. As a matter of fact, one of the only young A-listers to be mentioned was Taylor Swift. It would appear that most men who answered tend to favor classic (and covered up) beauties like Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. Other responses included Jackie Kennedy O’Nassis, Audrey Hepburn, Charlize Theron, Olivia Palermo, and the great Kate Moss.
And regarding makeup: Done up or au naturale?
Save yourself some time and trouble when getting ready by paring back on the effort spent spackling your face in the bathroom mirror. Though a few of the respondents preferred completely natural, most preferred makeup that looked natural, emphasizing your God given beauty, but not masking it with thick foundation and crazy eye colors.
Do they notice and/or care about our manicures and pedicures? What about that leg stubble?
Sadly, and I can speak from experience, men do pay attention to details when it comes to our fingers, toes, and the limbs in between. One respondent summed it quite well with, “It is the overall impression of being ‘together’ not any one particular aspect.” Others said they notice, but would never comment on chipped nails or an unsavory shade choice. As for unshaven legs, they were a bit more vocal. Having a bit of blonde fuzz on or around your knees wasn’t a big deal so long as it didn’t imply that other regions may be overgrown as well.
What makes a woman attractive?
The beauty industry is $400 billion dollar industry globally. We spend hundreds of dollars a month on creams that will rid of us wrinkles, painful procedures to banish unwanted hair, and makeup that guarantees to cover up any minor imperfection. But what is it that really makes a woman attractive? Turns out, it’s not solely long lashes, flawless skin, or toned thighs. What do men find most attractive in a woman? Sorry beauty industry, but it’s brains. From having a job and her own interests to a strong yoga practice and spirituality, it seems men are more interested in women who have their heads on straight. Men find women who are interesting attractive.
On what makes a woman interesting…
Much like what makes a woman attractive, the most succinct answer was, “Her brain,” and that response was echoed and elaborated on time and time again. Having a positive attitude, a sly smile, the ability to hold a decent conversation with well thought out opinions, and confidence were just a few. A woman who has traveled on her own, can navigate a city solo, possesses her own style, and has something to add to a conversation or is able to teach others also makes her swoon worthy. Having a little bit of “fire” doesn’t hurt either.
And what makes for a total dealbreaker…
We all have our dealbreakers when it comes to dating and mating. These are the quirks that can’t casually be overlooked and just deemed cute. While mine include things like lacking self awareness and wearing sports jerseys, men had some very specific responses to this one. Interestingly, as one respondent pointed out, “Each [sic] woman is unique. Something that is awesome about girl A could be a huge turn off for girl B.” So, while one man’s dealbreaker may be another man’s aphrodisiac, here are some of the more interesting answers and it’s probably best to just bullet point these:
Saying “like” too much
Seeing her read a celebrity mag
If she’s a bad kisser
Inability to manage money
Not having command of they’re/ their/ there and you’re/ your
Lack of common sense
Being outspoken with a low quotient for relevant and interesting content
No awareness of current events
Using “hahahaha” and “lol” in texts
One thing men wished women knew about them…
This question held some of the most valuable information in my opinion. One gentleman wanted us to know that men aren’t as tough as we think they are and they stress about work and their need to provide. Another added that they don’t think nearly as much as we do… about anything. One pointed out that threats, ultimatums, and games aren’t effective because social media and apps like Tinder have leveled the playing field (Ouch!). To soften that last blow, one response was, “Real men prefer a woman who values herself enough to be ‘hard to get.'” Follow that up with, “Women please, as long as you’re being insane in your body desires, please, please, please move towards Misty Copeland and away from models/women who look like prepubescent boys.” My favorite response came in the form of a video (below) and much like my YouTube experiences of getting sucked into hours of puppies, I watched several more videos by the same man, Mark Gungor (this one was life changing).
And luckily, men do know the difference between leggings and pants…
Leggings are just a single piece of fabric. kinda like thick tights. pants have some kind of discernible feature (pockets, zippers, etc)
Leggings are incredible for any situation but if we are going out to eat or somewhere special throw a pair of pants on please. Preferably leather pants.
I’m probably wrong but: I feel leggings are tighter and comprised of a stretchy material. Pants can also be tight, and stretchy, but not as stretchy as leggings. I also feel like pants have seams and leggings may or may not.
One of the most important relationships a woman will ever have is the one she has with her father. Now, I realize that I have been especially blessed because not only do I have a father to speak of, but I have a father who is one of the kindest, smartest, most loving people on this planet. Really the only daddy issues I have are knowing what it feels like to be loved and respected by a man. Because I know that I am at an advantage having someone like Dick Smith a mere telephone call away at any time, I loan him out to a lot of my friends, which he is more than happy to do. Basically, if my dad isn’t following you on Instagram, you’re doing something wrong. So, here’s to all the dads of the world- whether he’s your dad, you baby’s daddy, or father to your four legged friend.
They say the way you spend New Year’s day foreshadows how you will spend the rest of the upcoming year. Probably not promising for a lot of you who woke up missing articles of clothing, unable to identify your bedside companion, sans cab fare for the journey home, and with a headache equivalent to the explosion of the Hindenburg. As for me, if today is any indication, I’m all set. Being handed a mimosa upon parting my eyelids, walking outside outfitted in a crop top, and spending the rest of the afternoon alternating between drinking rosé and napping is something I could get used to. Certainly an improvement over the last twelve months. 2013 was a hot ass mess… or maybe that was just me. I basically spent this past year dating completely inappropriate individuals, staying up too late, not working hard enough, and writing it all down. There are plenty of personal bad habits that I wish to lay to rest along with 2013. That said, here’s a countdown of some other things from 2013 that I certainly won’t be crying crocodile tears about kissing goodbye.
No, I don’t want to play Candy Crush.
Trainwrecks. I mean, obviously literal ones, but really figurative ones a la Amanda Bynes, Lilo, and most of my ex-boyfriends. Can we please stop encouraging bad behavior?
Parody t-shirts. You know: Féline, Homies, Commes des Fuckdown, and the likes.
Anything with a peplum.
“Keep Calm” and STFU. Please stop making these. Along with most some e-cards, and definitely those comic strip things.
The word/action of twerking. Also, all mentioning of molly.
“DJ” as a fallback career. When did grasping the general concept of Spotify equate to a paid occupation?
Awl dese cray wayz of mizspelling thangz n stuph. Idk. Itz nawt kewl, bb, k? Werq.
The exploitation of unicorns.
Miley Cyrus’s tongue. (Though her explanation to Babs was somewhat endearing). Let the record show- I’m a Miley fan.
Leggings as pants. Seriously.
Peace out, ’13. I’d be lying if I said I’ll miss ya. xx, WhyDid image via