Scared of silicone

The reaction of various female columnists and bloggers to the latest reality show, The Swan, is really funny. First, the notion that women are significantly affected by media images is a complete load of nonsense. They may be emotionally affected – as in jealous – but this pernicious media bombardment still hasn’t prevented them from getting fatter than ever before in all of human history. Terms like “morally offensive” and “harmful” are thrown around with abandon, demonstrating that there is no televised sin, be it murder, blasphemy or adultery, so grave as a woman making her sisters look bad by comparison. There’s a reason, after all, why little butterballs get off on telling each other that they are really looking too skinny.

Sure, surgery can be dangerous, as is being overweight. But it seems that many women would prefer to get up in arms about a television show helping women look the way they want than the fact that the percentage of obese women aged 20-34 has increased from 18.5 to 25.8 percent in the last six years. And 63.6 percent of the 35-44 crowd is overweight. And yet, we only hear warnings of that devil D-cup.

Another complaint is that men don’t value women for their careers, education and intellect. Well, tough. Who are you to tell us what we should value? Unless I’m planning to sponge off a woman and let her pay the bills, why would I care what she does for a living? I spoke with a 30-something architect who has had trouble finding dates, and she was horrified when I told her that perhaps 5 percent of the men out there would consider her education and employment to be a significant relationship asset. She’s a smart girl, but had never stopped to think about what men actually like in a woman for ten seconds.

Seriously, look at the facts. Men like pretty girls. Men like women who smile, not lecture. There has never, in the entire history of magazine publishing, been a men’s magazine dedicated to women’s resumes and test scores. Think maybe there’s a reason for that? Because we don’t care! Intelligence isn’t a negative – Space Bunny could argue rings around half the people who email me – but it’s generally not an attribute any man would place in his top five. What attributes are most important? It varies of course, but this list is probably fairly common:

1. Pretty face

2. Nice body

3. Pleasant demeanor

4. Sexual compatibility

5. Sense of proportion

6. Sense of humor

7. Intelligence

Notice that there’s nothing about money, careers or any of that sort of thing on the list. Religious guys will probably have religious compatibility somewhere in the top three, but almost never at #1. Sure, there’s the occasional John Kerry who rates financial assets above all, but that doesn’t hasn’t entered into most men’s thinking since the days of Middlemarch. Men, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but be honest about your priorities. Save the PC sensitive New Age male stuff for the office.