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While I’m a firm believer of dressing for yourself and not a man, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t like it when a man complimented me on what I was wearing or what I looked like when I was out.  As women we sometimes go to great lengths to look good, not only taking up a lot of time but also spending lots of money process, and none of us can truly say that it’s got nothing to do with men and how we’d like them to see us.

In the past I’ve had friends who,.;’ terrified that their boyfriends would see them without their make-up on, would wake up early just so they could put on their face; creeping back into bed afterwards to feign sleep, all to appear as though they’d woken up picture perfect. Can you imagine!! Whilst another friend who I paid an impromptu visit to one Sunday afternoon, disappeared 5 minutes after I got to her house, only to re-emerge 15 minutes later with a face full of make up!  I asked her if she was expecting someone, feeling bad that I had interrupted her day, but she explained that she was just embarrassed about me seeing her without make-up on.  I found this hilarious and was baffled as to why she would go to so much effort just for me.

I mean I had known here for 10 years at this point, and I sure as hell wasn’t trying to sleep with her!  But tales such as this really got me thinking.  Is it just that women lack confidence to be themselves in every sense of the word, or is it that they go to such lengths as they think it’s what men actually expect of them. Is all the effort women put in actually noticed by a man?  Or does it in fact have the opposite effect, turning them off rather than turning them on?

I decided to carry out some research to try to discover exactly what it is men look for when they’re looking for a partner.  And please, before I continue, note the word “partner” and not “one night stand”, because after asking around, I realized that lots women present themselves in a way that is guaranteed to attract the attention of man, however it’s often not interest of the long term variety that they get. My research opened the floodgates and it became a case what turn men off rather than what they look for, but nevertheless it was quite interesting.  It would be selfish of me to keep my research to myself, so read on to get an idea of what men really want, or rather what they don’t like!

Fakeness – artificial hair, nails, eyelashes, eyebrows

Long untidy nails

Too much make-up

Body Odour



Dependence on men

Negative Attitudes


Habitual Liars and Paranoia

Wanting to marry “tomorrow”

Obsession with material things

Lack of Family Values

Poor Etiquette

The research conducted veered off the physical aspects of what a man doesn’t like, and other things were mentioned too.  It seemed as though the people I asked were happy to finally have a voice and vent about all that they’d been unhappy with in their previous or current relationships!

But despite non-physical dislikes given, the number one complaint from men regarding a woman’s appearance was that too much make-up is a turn off, as is any fakeness in the form of hair, eye lashes etc.  Comments such as “I want to be able to run my fingers through my woman’s hair if I want to” came up countless times.  Despite never wearing a weave myself (for no reason other than I love my short hair by the way!), I tried to defend this argument by saying that often when I’ve been with my boyfriend and I’ve just had my hair relaxed, I don’t like my guys hands all up in my head either!  But this was to no avail as it seemed that it was the mere fact that long hair was sewn on the head that seemed to be the major issue.

So what does this mean for women then?  I certainly wouldn’t go as far as banishing all weaves lashes, make up etc from our beauty regime.  After all, it’s our prerogative to express ourselves as and how we want to.  And, to all the weave wearing, fake nail rocking ladies out there who have men, it most certainly isn’t having a detrimental effect on your life, so keep on doing you!  But what I will say is that perhaps, when applying make-up, contact lenses or 30 inches of hair, or if you dress provocatively, think about the reasons why you’re doing those things.  Is it genuinely because you like to look that way?  If so, then more power to you.  But if it’s all an attempt to attract the fancy of a man, I would think again, because to be honest, most really don’t seem to care.

Words by Funmi St Matthew Daniel



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  1. Ts funny how the article is called “what do men want?” And it only lists what they do NOT want.
    You used the word ‘whilst’ inappropriately.
    And also, they hair and eyelashes bit. I love that shit!

  2. Abegi! Is it not the same men that will not look at a girl who’s carrying her natural hair? Mshew. Tired ‘what do men want’ gist is stale and over flogged. The question should be ‘what should men be’. The Nigerian man has been brought up to think he’s better than his female counterpart and that women should act in a particular way which should massage and inflate his ego. A woman is marked unafricanif she challenges the status quo, God help the said woman if she’s still single and everyone would say it’s because of her attitude. I’ve seen bitches get married and stay married and I’ve seen good girls still unmarried even in their forties. The society is yet to address what is expected of men both as boyfriends and husbands. All you guys do is talk about what women should do and not do. The world is changing and Nigerian men are yet to change wi th it That’s why everyday we have stories of wife beaters and killers. Women are been abused daily and nobody does anything about it. Wives and girlfriends are been abused emotionally everyday and nobody has done or said anything about it. I challenge you to write a feature challenging the wrongs been done to women instead of writing this old story about what men want or do not want. If you want a particular type of woman have you tried to make yourself a particular type of man? You can’t tell me that all the abused and killed women did not have what these men wanted. Let the media shift focus to the men, educate them on how to be better boyfriends and husbands, the Nigerian woman has been termed a gold digging loose whores for too long. Men show no respect to us because no one applauds our goodness or perseverance. Write About how women have worked to feed their families and raised good children. Talk about how women have forgiven wayward boyfriends and husbands. Exposé those wicked men that don’t provide for their families, cheat on their wives and abuse them. Let these men know that what they are doing is wrong and it’s GOD’s world and not a man’s world. Let every battered wife and girlfriend know that it’s not normal for their man to beat them. Help build that girl with no self-esteem know that God created everyone his image and likeness.

  3. i hate to admit it but Celia is damn right….food for thought …The men need to be cautioned not the women….!

  4. Celia abeg chop knuckle. You’re so right on all fronts. So many countless articles and books on what men want and how women should behave in order to satisfy men’s needs.so irritating.

    As for this article, I get where the writer is coming from but let me ask, how many men will pick the girl with braids or ‘thread’ or ghana weaving over the chick with waist long brazilian hair?

    Abeg leave matter for mathias. My sisters do you be you. If you’re natural, fine, if you like looking like Nicki Minaj fine. Don’t change yourself for any man. It aint worth it.

  5. i second u celia and omada joor. majority of d guys that talk abount running hands through their woman’s hair saw it written somewhere and probably av neva tried it. natural hair and brazilian hair? dey wil pick d brazilian hair anytime . by d way ow long are we supposed to wear d natural hair for them to run hands thru without changing styles??

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