The age old story of “what men like” has plagued us for ages. It has run the gamut, scrutinizing every part of our bodies from our hair to our toes, but in 2012, so many of those ideas just do not hold true. Sensuality and sexuality are about so much more than a set of prescribed guidelines, crafted by a bunch of men who would like nothing more than to have their women be modern incarnations of the Stepford Wives. In this day and age, when we have the right to look however we please, a few things mean so much more than the typical idea of beauty like confidence, a dynamic personality, and a slew of other things. Here are some common misconceptions about what men like:

1. Long straight hair, don’t care

As a natural-haired woman, I can tell you I have gotten more attention than ever due to my larger-than-life Afro. Long straight hair is beautiful, but that isn’t the only thing men are searching for these days. Maintaining your mane and keeping it done is of the utmost importance, not how long it hangs.

2. Lighter is better

This is an unfortunate, yet ever-pervasive idea in the black community. So many people have beauty attached to fairer-skinned women, when we all know that just isn’t the case. Can we talk about great skin, no matter the complexion? Men like a woman who looks beautiful naturally and keeps herself groomed. The color complex still holds true for many, but for real men it isn’t an issue.

3. Video vixen curves

“Thick” is atop the list of most overused words today. Curves are in and though they’re beautiful, body confidence and health are most important. A romp in the sack or a brisk walk in the park should not leave you gasping for air, and when that happens, it most certainly isn’t sexy. Taking care of yourself is and that love of your body is truly hard for men to resist.

4. Big breasts

Not all of us can be as well-endowed as Jill Scott. Some of us are playing for the other team, and though men love big breasts, they kind of just like breasts in general. If you’re self-conscious, hit up Victoria’s Secret and do those push-ups to keep everything as tight as possible.

What are some other common misconceptions about what men like? Is there really a standard of beauty?

–Faith Cummings

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  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    I’m starting to think that it’s women more than men that have these hang-ups discussed above. And as much as I like this magazine, it’s starting to become irritating to see these articles. Don’t Black women catch enough hell from the rest of the world? Do we really need to continue giving it to one another? This is the path that Essence magazine went down, always talking about “do Black men want us?” (because they’re all DL, White woman loving, Black woman hating fools, right)? Putting Puffy and Kim Porter on the cover and calling it Black love and continuously degrading their target audience. And their subscriptions went to hell and a hand basket. Only recently have they started to rebound from this. When Clutch started, I loved it because it was so different from Essence. In fact, when my Essence subscription ran out, I didn’t even renew, because I didn’t want to pay for that mess. But now Clutch is slowly starting to look more like the old Essence. Guess what ladies? Men love women who first love themselves. Imagine if a man approached you, and he sat around lamenting the fact that he wasn’t a baller, wasn’t 6’5 with muscles, and didn’t look like Shemar, Denzel or Idris Elba. Would you want to date him? I didn’t think so. To do so would become an emotionally draining exercise.