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April 03, 2007

The Perfect Woman

By Sarah

I'm sure you've heard the old saw that it's perfectly natural for men to drool over porn because they Playboy_3 have to - they're visual beings. When it comes to the male thought process, it's out of sight, out of mind. "If you can't be with the one you love. Love the one you're with." Bla, bla, bla.

In other words, they can't help checking out the fresher merchandise - it's biology!

What I didn't recognize until recently is how savvy women have learned to exploit this stereotypical masculine, uh, limitation. Turns out, I didn't have to be flirtatious or strong of character or even warm and loving to get a husband. All I had to be was busty and young! Goddammit, eighteen years in school wasted. Wasted!

Oh, silly me that I spent so much of my adult life trusting my strict New England-born mother and those romance novels which told me, nay, lied that someday some wonderful (handsome, rich) man would see my "inner beauty" and fall madly in love. Actually, a handsome, wonderful man did fall in love with me, but it wasn't my inner beauty that caught his eye. At least not at first. Seeing as I'm getting older and out of shaper with each passing year, I try not to remind him what it was exactly.

Science has shown that what men are attracted to is physical beauty, pure and simple. This is not to be confused with Beauty, like Keats. Truth is not in the male equation. In fact, according to research I'm doing for my next book (No need to laugh. I do really do research, you know) men gravitate toward the following: A face that is proportioned according to the classic mathematical ratio known as phi. (If you've read the DaVinci Code, and who hasn't, you  know this.) Skin that is slightly dark. Thin eye lids. Dark hair. Full lips. Thick lashes.

Beautiful_face    These images to the left are the perfect people. Granted, they're digital creations, but according to an Important Scientific Study, the title of which slips my mind, this was the woman most men found most attractive. Which just proves that we who have been forking over $60 every six weeks for blond highlights have been flushing money down the toilet. Men don't want light; they want dark.

And they want youth. Pictures of very well maintained, beautiful older women didn't do anything for the men in the study. But when younger, childlike qualities were digitally grafted onto the faces of the same older women, then the men sat up and took interest. Or something went up and took interest because what men subconsciously desire above all is to mate with women who are young enough to produce children. (See? That's why they like them young. I told you - it's biology.) This also explains why men like breasts, because a well-endowed woman is, again subconciously mind you, better able to nourish the next generation.

Big Juggs as Earth Mother. Right.

Frankly, having read quite a bit on this, I'm amazed any man stays with any woman past the age of forty. They must be either too tired or bone lazy is all I can think. To be fair, catting around takes effort. And money. A new car. Fancy dinners. Hotel rooms. Fuggeda about it.

What courting the younger female doesn't take is flamboyant clothes. This is what separates the males of our species from my parakeet, Calvin, who right now is preening my hair. Calvin, being a male, is bright green with a bright blue bill and a crazy dotted yellow head. Better to attract the drabber female. In contrast, our species actually does the opposite. Women wear the pinks and purples and yellows. Men wear gray, navy and black. Florida notwithstanding.

Okay, so men like dark-haired breeders with perfect bodies. What's a middle-aged blond woman to do? (Not that I have any one person (me) in mind?)

It's easy. Lie.

Remember that part about men being all visual? Well, that's the good part of the bad news. They're visual. They don't stop to analyze if your lips are really that red or your lashes are really that thick. They just like what they see, God bless them. Such is the driving force behind padded bras, cosmetics, spray-on tan - a whole billion-dollar industry devoted to exploiting the male weakness of visual susceptibility.

Also, along the same lines, men are incredibly receptive to suggestion. Confidently inform the man in your life that you look terrific and he'll think, "She really does look terrific." Don't believe me? Just imagine your husband behind the wheel on a long trip with unfamiliar roads. Who has the map in her lap? You do. Who tells him to turn left or right? You do. He doesn't question, he just turns.

Keats really was right. Beauty is truth. The question is, whose truth? Grecian_urn_2

Like that wise philosopher Helena Rubinstein once said, "There are no ugly women, only lazy."

Unfortunately, I'm afraid the same can't be said for men.

Now tell me - am I totally out of line?


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This is for Harley:

You know kids, I wish every mom
and dad would make a speech to their
teenagers and say kids, be free,
be whatever you are, do whatever you
want to do, just so long as you don't hurt anybody.
And remember kids,
I am your friend.

I would just like to say that it is my conviction
That longer hair and other flamboyant affectations
Of appearance are nothing more
Than the male's emergence from his drab camoflage
Into the gaudy plumage
Which is the birthright of his sex

There is a peculiar notion that elegant plumage
And fine feathers are not proper for the male
When ac---tually
That is the way things are
In most species

First of all, those two photos are just a little too similar for my comfort. Maybe it's just me.

And no offense to the Men of the Blog, all of whom are undoubtedly dead ringers for one Bond or another (ahh, the magic of the Internet) but intelligence, a great sense of humor, and above all, kindness, are the things that do it for most people of a certain age - at least the ones I know.

And lustful, Kathy. Don't forget lustful. I'm thinking Wife of Bath or the (was it) Innkeeper in Tom Jones. Bawdy and lustful. Yeah, that's what the older woman has over her youthful counterpart and man is it great!

Oops, that was me -- charlie -- not sarah with the last post. (I forgot to change the name on the computer.)

I think Helena Rubenstein was wise, but you are wise as well with that follow-up, Sarah.

But you and Charlie? Sounds like you guys need to get a room. Maybe a standing one, at the Lustful Inn.

I think you are out of line with this comment;

"Truth is not in the male equation."

It has been my experience that the opposite it true, that the female perspective too often confuses fantasy with reality.

Men are a lot more perceptive than we are given credit for in popular culture, we may
look at Jenny McCarthy, but we prefer to go home to a Kathy Ireland.

Well, as my husband and I continue to recover from the shock that I'm pregnant at 42 (my other child will be starting college just before my due date), I guess I can hope that means he still finds something visually appealing. Or maybe it's in his head. But anyway, the growing breasts are definitely appreciated.

Dave, you know I love ya, but if Kathy Ireland is meant to be the plain end of that equation...well, never mind.

Leaving now for a full-body chemical peel, or something.

Laura! Congratulations........That's fantastic. Just think of the wisdom and maturity you'll bring to motherhood. Later in life babies are a joy. I should know - I was one.

And Dave...all I have to say is, Dream On

Laura - congratulations!!! I am so happy for you.

I just found out recently that there won't be any more babies for me - not that I was planning any, what with the tubal and so forth - but it got me thinking about how wonderful motherhood is, and made me sad.

So great blessings on you and please keep us posted on this new chapter in your life.

And Dave, I think it's time to adjust your meds, bub.

Yeah, Dave. I was just weighing whether to take Hallie Berry or Pam Anderson home with me when they call me later today to beg for some nookie.

I can't disappoint either of them, so I think I'll just have to have them both over.

Now I see your joke, Dave. It was all about confusing fantasy with reality, right?

So true, Sarah!

Speaking of the relationship between hair color and what men like, I just got red highlights. My husband loves it when I change up my hair color. Why? Men like variety. He gets to pretend I'm somebody else!

And speaking of Bonds, I just saw Children of Men again for the second time. I'm sorry, but there was a miscarriage of justice, and I'm not talking about the Patriot Act. Clive is the true heir to Sean Connery.

Truth in this equation? That's a good one. Let's not forget that even the women in Playboy aren't real. They may start out that way, but after airbrushing and computer generated enhancements, they hardly resemble the originals.

Not that I'm complaining.

Michele--Clive Owen in Lorna Doone. Your life will never be the same.

(And you thought I'd come out swinging for Blondie, right?)

Foolish me. I thought today's comments would be a tally of who's read The DaVinci Code and who hadn't. (I have up at page 111 when they were still in the damn museum.) Guess I need one of those full body chemical peels for my brain this morning.

And Dave? Someday somebody's going to bash you over the head with a guitar. Remember "El Kabong!" anyone?

"Dream On"

I think I know somebody who was that television show.

Thanks for the congrats. Anyone have any used baby items?

I listened to the DaVinci Code rather than reading it. I think that made it easier to get through.

It's true my husband's crushes seem to tend toward the darker hair (Demi Moore, Sara Evans are among them), and so do mine. I always preferred the dark-haired halves of Starsky & Hutch and the Dukes of Hazzard, unlike most of my friends. So I guess we're more typical than I thought. Take that, Heather Locklear!

Sarah - great blog. As someone from an Italian family, I can tell you that dark always trumps light in my book.

Ramona - proud of you!

Btw, I think the DaVinci Code is one of the worst books I've ever tried to read. The fact that it continues to sell makes me fearful for the future of the industry.

I like Natalie Angiers' explanation for why men report preferring young, "nubile" women while women prefer older, "successful" men. It's perfectly plausible, she suggests, that smart women know that men are subconsciously turned off by potential competition with someone smarter, wealthier, and more successful in their careers than they are -- so they go for the men who appear more successful. Men, for their part, are avoiding competition when they select the younger women.

All that is speculation, of course, but so are the conclusions of those Scientific Studies (I took grad classes from a guy who writes a bunch of them). Including, in fact, the association of full lips, big breasts, and other physical characteristics with fertility. Moreover, new work on female promiscuity is shedding some very interesting new light on these old saws (I think I mixed a metaphor in there somewhere .. .).

Anyhoo, congrats to Laura! She's the real winner today :)

Wish I knew who said this, but:

"It takes a fashion model two hairdressers, three makeup artists, two seamstresses, hundreds of photographs, and computer enhancement to look as beautiful as a woman does to the man who is in love with her..."

Hey, Dave, thanks for remembering that episode. When I was young and, er, well--young.

And Josh? That is just downright scary. My first-grader came home 2 days ago demanding to know if I had the "hair song," which her cousins had payed for her. I unearthed the CD, played the whole thing in a big wave of nostalgia, while First Grader laughed over and over at, "and remember, kids. I am your friend."

Oh, and Sarah? Great blog. Depressing, yet great.

Oh, and Laura -- I had my first baby at 42, and my twins at 45.

Of course, I'm stark raving mad, so don't go by me.

William, that's a wonderful quote about beauty. You must make some woman very happy.

William, that comment restores my faith in...maybe everything. Today you are the Blond Bond of the Blog.

Harley, you had your twins at 45??? And you can still, like, write words and all? I don't know what's higher than Blond Bond of the Blog, but you're it.

William, you rule.

Well, William, I have to agree that you do sound like the prince we have been taught to believe in.

That said, my question is what attracted you to your wife in the first five minutes?

I've been reading a great book, Inventing Beauty by Teresa Riordan. The whole history of cosmetics and women's role in them....fascinating.

Mr. Simon, first let me tell you that you brought a big smile to this gravity winning face of mine.It has always amazed me that my wonderful husband can look at a magazine where beautiful women are displayed and tell me that I will always look better then them anyday of the week. At first I thought he was just working the , if I say something like that I can maybe get some tonight thingie, but then he has said this for 32 years now! I am beginning to believe that the man truly believes this! Maybe love does make you blind to the faults of your loved ones. And with gravity working away at this face and body, he must be really really blind. God Bless all the love blind men in the world, we normal women need you. SusanCo

Well, I can attest to the big b...s part of this. Having once been incredibly over well-endowed, and then giving myself a surgical 30th birthday present...I can admit that I got more interest and dates due to the former chest size.

Luckily for my boyfriend, he is happy with the way I look now with only an occassion bit of drool over some old beach photos. :)

And since Laura has finally spilled about her wonderful surprise, I gotta tell you that that was the most difficult secret to keep! LOL! Of course, I was usually in the background going "are you gonna tell? Huh? Yes?" I have got the word out for you, Laura, with all my friends who are mom's unless you want to raid my closet for bigger tops?

Laura that is great news for old timers in their forties.

Be nice to the youngest, this child will be your best friend when you are in your eighties. That's the Truth!

Maybe there's a reason eyesight begins to fail around 40? Kind of like using the soft focus lens for photographs.
Congrats Laura!

Or Cybil Shepard in later seasons of Moonlighting, an all-time classic TV series. When Bruce Willis was considered funny and attractive, and not just annoying.

Laura, congratulations and best wishses. Your child's view of the world will be much wider than most thanks to your life experience.

Laura, congratulations and best *wishes.* Wishes! I meant 'wishes!' My fingers can't see to touch-type today!

Hey y'all-

I've been buried in the PC Lab all day, and just now getting back to check.

Elaine, you flatter me, but you *might* want to check with The Boss on that one...:) I made it clear when we got married, no jury in the world would find her guilty in the event of homicide, but divorce was NOT an option...

Sarah, that's an easy one. We talked on the phone for over a week, and her sense of humor was wicked. When we finally did meet face to face, I took one look into those eyes and it was all over...:)

Mazel Tov, Laura.
Last night at a Passover dinner we went to, the four year old girl greeted us wearing a t-shirt that said "I don't do pink!" There may be more future research out there for you Sarah.

Mary Alice.....now down to the grey hair and no boobs that breast cancer brings and my lover and I are still conoodling all the time. I guess love really is blind.

Congratulations Laura. It will be wild to have kids at such different times in your life. I did the later in life, it's all I know, but I wonder how it would have been to do it in my 20's.

Regarding the topic of the day, I suppose if you are trying to land a whole lotta men, it would help to have all of the attributes, but being more of a quality and not quantity type (be it alcohol or men), I think I am doing okay! Just concerned about appealing to the one I've got.

Thanks again to all. I can't get on here when I'm at work because my company bans me, but I appreciate the kind words. It's definitely going to be a different experience this time, in a good way. I had the world's greatest kid the first time around, so I hope I'm as lucky this time. Last time I was the young Mom at school - now they'll all think I'm the Grandma.

And Harley, you're an inspiration.

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