Kathy Lette: 'It's a girl thing, guys'

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The Independent Online

Our motheres always told us that "beauty comes from within". Yeah, right. Within a jar marked "Estée Lauder".

Our motheres always told us that "beauty comes from within". Yeah, right. Within a jar marked "Estée Lauder".

As any woman can tell you, beauty is one of the most lovely and natural things - which money can buy. When it comes to appearance, collective female confidence is lower than Britney Spears' bikini line. Show me a woman who is happy with her looks and I'll show you the electro-convulsive therapy scorch marks.

Like Dracula, most women try to avoid mirrors. Or, at least get them insured. Men on the other hand have always seemed to keep fit by doing step aerobics off their own egos. Until recently, that is ... Sales for men's beautifying products are on a sky-rocket trajectory. But boys, I beseech you - stop.

Women are neurotic about looks because we suffer from FACIAL prejudice; you men judge us on appearance. For women, however, wordplay is foreplay. (How else is Woody Allen still getting laid?) Humour, intelligence, compassion - surveys conclude that these are the more highly regarded attributes in a male.

Not that we want you to squat around on your haunches all day combing nits out of your back hair. A daily shower and shave fellas, is a must. But the female of the species is definitely put off by a man who demands more mirror time than she does. Globally, more money is spent on beauty products than on munitions. (And that's all these lotions and potions are really - ammunition in the sex war.) But "miracle creams" are so called because it's such a bloody miracle anyone would be stupid enough to fork out £150 for one.

The truth is that appearance is really a case of mind over matter: if you don't mind, it don't matter. So, don't buy into the metrosexual neuroses. Become a consumer conscientious objector and don't let the till toll for thee, and, if manners maketh man, why should make-up maketh woman? If you really want to impress women - learn to read between our lines.

Kathy Lette's latest novel, 'Dead Sexy', is published by Simon and Schuster.