Yesterday’s Urban Dictionary word of the day was “butter face,” defined as:
“n. A girl who is hot, except for her (but her, butter) face.”
Basically, it means a girl with a sexually attractive body but a less-attractive face. So of course I put the link to “butter face” definition in my Gchat away message with some grumbly comment about the obnoxiousness of the phrase.
But then a male friend IMed me to say, “Simmer down, that’s not sexist! ‘Butterface’ just means the same thing as calling a man ‘ugly.’” But really, it doesn’t! “Ugly” can apply to both men and women, but “butterface” labels a woman only by her appearance. Men are always going to assess women’s face, legs, ass, boobs—that’s just what healthy human sexual attraction is. But labeling her based on what he considers to be her worst feature is just mean and nasty. It’s crueler still because there is no male equivalent.
My buddy said he doesn’t think women care as much about a man’s appearance and “that’s just the way it is.” The way women are branded with these nasty labels—butterface, pink wig, paper bag—while men are allowed to have less attractive faces/bodies isn’t “just the way it is.” I think it’s just the way we make it. Women still care how men look, but the standards for men and the standards for women are just extremely skewed. The answer isn’t to make the standards for men crueler and more judge-y—it’s to stop pretending that gendered slang like “butterface” just means the same thing “ugly.”
Original by: Jessica Wakeman