Rediscovering the blindingly obvious
A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some male friends [Didact: Translation- guys she would not sleep with] and conversation turned to which female celebrities would be on my "lesbian list" (as it does). I duly rattled off the names of five famous women who I believe to be irrefutably stunning, interesting and talented and could therefore definitely turn me, if only for the night.
I won’t name them here, since public body shaming goes against every fibre of my being, but suffice to say there was a massive discrepancy between the way I, as a heterosexual female, viewed these women and the way they were perceived by my heterosexual male friends.
An actress whom I pinpointed because of her unique sense of style and mane of thick luscious locks was dismissed as looking like a "shaved horse". [Didact: Sarah Jessica Parker, I suspect.] A supermodel whose glorious bone structure and timeless coolness I covet had, I was told, "the body of a prepubescent boy". [Didact: Has to be Kate Moss.] A singer I admire for her glamour, vivaciousness and exotic colouring was dubbed "a ferret lady in Shirley Bassey’s old clothes".
Somewhat affronted, both on behalf of the women I’d mentioned but also because of my friends' assessment of my taste, I then asked them to name some famous women they thought were beautiful.
About ten names were provided for my consideration. They were all people I thought were pretty, in a sort of attainable, girl-next-door type of way. None of them fitted the super slender, uber-glamorous stereotype I’m used to seeing on the front cover of Vogue (or a men's magazine). More than half of them were over 40 and the majority of them were over a size ten. The list was the complete antithesis of the "never too young or thin" beauty paradigm huge swathes of women are striving for.
- Someone healthy versus someone skinny: A beautiful woman generally tends to be a healthy woman too. There is a reason why very few men actually like anorexics. Ever tried hanging out with a woman who is obsessed over her weight and how skinny she is? I have. It's infuriating. All such a woman ever does is yap about her diet and fret over her weight. There is no depth and no sense to such women at all.
- A sense of proportion: Some men prefer butts, others prefer breasts. Some like skinny girls, others like voluptuous ones. It's a matter of individual taste and preference. But almost no man wants to date a cartoon character.
|Not even this one|
- Individuality over style: Probably the most subjective point of the lot. There is a fine line between wearing the latest fashions and wearing the latest fashions well enough to stand out.
- A woman who looks like she's having a good time: This, and the last point, are by far the most important. Most men have dreamed, at some point or another, of dating models and supermodels. Personally, I have never really understood this desire. I used to know a couple of former models- not very good ones, mind you, but very minor models nonetheless- and I don't think I've ever met a more unhappy, superficial, high-strung bunch of women. Being a model is hard work, and it's difficult to look happy and carefree when you're working like that to maintain a flawless facade.
- Someone who smiles: Bingo. A woman who pouts and preens her way through any social engagement or date is not a pleasant person to be around. A woman who smiles, a lot, and looks like she is delighted to be alive, is a source of energy and goodwill for all those around her. There is nothing like the dazzling smile of a pretty woman to lighten a man's day.