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The Bust Of All Possible Worlds

I agree with your view that women should maintain their looks and take care of themselves, but I take exception to the "do what is necessary to keep your man" mode of thinking. Men like large breasts, so we have women rushing out to surgically inflate themselves. Where will it all end? How much money should women spend on keeping flawless skin, perfect teeth and thin thighs? Most women aren’t attracted to fat, balding men, but men are not under the same pressure to keep up appearances (especially after marriage). I am a “barely B” woman involved with a man who thinks women walking around with basketballs on their chests are sexy. Am I supposed to go under the knife? Shouldn't we all be better than this?


In other words, does what separates the men from the baboons involve anything more than $10,000 in laser hair removal?

You could say men who go for women with tube-top tankers are no better than the boy baboons chasing after the girl baboons with the biggest, reddest rumps. Maybe it’s up to women to be a civilizing force, to teach men what really matters. And maybe women will -- just as soon as they’re done posing as bank inspectors to dig up some date’s net worth, and sending over private detectives to see whether his “classic car collection” includes more than a Yugo and a Pinto up on blocks on his granny’s lawn.

Oops, it seems we’re all evolutionarily ugly in our own special way. Men evolved to go for reproductively hot bodies -- fertility indicators like youth, clear skin and dangerous curves. Women evolved to go for “providers” -- guys who’ll hang around after sex to feed and care for any little knuckle-draggers that result. Times have changed, sure, but our genes have yet to get the message. That’s why a study by Michael Wiederman of over 1,000 personals ads found that women are 11 times more likely to seek a partner with “resources.” And just a guess, but when your mother was telling you the ways of the world, she probably didn’t say, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a drunk, unemployed one!”

If beauty sells, what’s wrong with buying it? Well, awfulplasticsurgery.com is a pretty good argument against it, with all its pictures of bad boob jobs and “trout pouts” -- collagenized lips the size of car bumpers that make women look like they’ve been body snatched by giant dead fish. Also, for a lot of men, big fake knockers are more scary than sexy. But, if you’d truly be happier with a different nose, or twin Winnebagos where your breasts used to be, why not? The big lie is looks don’t matter. The truth is, love may be blind, but lust has very good eyesight.

Here you are, a girl whose breasts are, at best, a B-minus. Here’s your boyfriend, who’s into women walking around with basketballs on their chests. Just a thought, but if this is a priority, not just a preference, maybe he should be with…a woman walking around with basketballs on her chest? There are guys out there who go for more “athletic” bodies -- guys who’d be all over those bee stings of yours. You won’t need breast augmentation to be with them. You will, however, have to remove that big, ugly growth that’s dragging you down; you know, the boyfriend you suspect lives to hear the announcement, “In case of a water landing, the girlfriend of the man in seat 5D may be used as a flotation device.”

Posted by aalkon at July 14, 2006 9:02 AM

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Once again, the most self-evident solution is also the easiest, smartest, and most practical one! Yay! Let's see...I'm fairly tall, thin, with pale skin, black hair, a big butt and tattoos. I don't date guys who are into petite, curvy, tan, athletic blondes. Because I'm not one, and I'm not interested in being one. It's much easier and way less damaging to the ol' self esteem to date guys who are into thin, big-bootied tattooed women. Throw this guy back, and you'll find one who is into the you that you actually are.

Posted by: amh18057 at July 26, 2006 9:08 AM

Yep, pretty simple! Love me for who I am or move along.

Posted by: Scout at July 26, 2006 1:36 PM

Amen to that! I'm also thin, dark haired, with more "assets" than chest and tattoos. AMH's advice is spot on - find the kind of guy that likes you for the entire package and then you won't have to sweat whether or not you're physically what he wants. And I've never had any shortage of male attention.

Posted by: Amelais at July 29, 2006 4:21 PM

Women should maintain their looks for their own sake, not for a guy. It's hard to respect yourself when your hair is a rats' nest and your nicest outfit is a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt.

There had to be some kind of initial attraction between Ms. Barely B and her guy -- so maybe the basketballs thing is not as important to him as she thinks it is.

I don't like this trend of people carving up perfectly healthy bodies to look like someone else's idea of perfection. And no surgery is risk-free. I think you should learn to like the body you have and dress it attractively. If your guy doesn't like you for who you are, that's his problem, not yours.

Posted by: jen at August 4, 2006 10:26 AM

I agree with you on dressing with self-respect. It's also important to walk as if you have it. You'll look pounds lighter and just more like somebody other people would want to interact with.

PS I'm trying to get into your alt weekly in Toledo. If you like my column, you might suggest they pick it up. They're really nice -- just met them at the recent alt weekly conference in Little Rock. Reader requests always help. If you're so inclined!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 4, 2006 10:35 AM

I have to disagree with the whole evolution thing. I see it touted a lot in this column, so I know I'm in a minority, but evolution is about CHANGE, not stagnation. If we don't evolve, or change, we die off, it's that simple. I'm not saying people shouldn't take care of their bodies, because that's key to good health, but I don't think the human race is stuck in neanderthal mode. I happen to NOT be attracted to super-ambitious men, which totally goes againt the evolution thing. Why? Because I'm selfish. I want to be the most important thing to my husband, not his job, and you can't be ambitious and spoil me at the same time (for me spoiling doesn't involve shiny things but time). There's all sorts of people out there, with their own wants and needs, and that's what evolution is about. If people are true to what they want, need, and who they are, instead of what they think they should want and need, then they'll be happy. Stop following the herd!

Posted by: Angela at August 4, 2006 11:30 AM

As Don Symons notes, it takes hundreds or thousands of GENERATIONS for an adaptation to take hold. If you look at the data, as I do (this column isn't simply based on my opinion), you'll see it holds up the contentions about evolution: That men are sexually very visual; that women want providers, and all the rest. You want a man to invest in you. That's very evolutionarily driven. MPI - Male Parental Investment. It makes perfect sense - whether or not you want kids. Your genes don't know from birth control. In the old days, if you had sex, you were pumping out kids, and not seeking a "dad" over a "cad" probably meant your genes were shit out of luck.

There's also no such thing as "should." Either it is or it ain't. Men want beautiful women. Gay men also care about beauty. Because they're men. See all those starlets out with rich old coots in Hollywood? See young hunks who aren't gay out with rich, powerful women? Usually not. Because women, no matter how powerful, want more powerful men -- contrary to the theory of structural powerlessness -- more social science crap that suggests that women only need to attain positions of power before they'll start marrying the gardener. Guess what: data says no. Of course.

There are anomalies, sure. But generally speaking, across cultures, men want the same thing -- a young, beautiful woman with a .7 waist-to-hip ratio. And women want the same thing: men who are providers. That doesn't necessariliy mean they want Donald Trump. High-powered men are more likely to be unfaithful, so MPI is more safely gotten from a man who shows you he'll invest prudently in his career, but heavily in you.

Your example disproves your argument, in other words.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 4, 2006 12:16 PM

if you are happy in yourself why should you change just to try and please someone. as the saying goes love me love everything else that comes with me.

Posted by: james stevens at August 4, 2006 12:20 PM

Well, if you're unattractive and have a bad personality, if you want a date, or want to have sex again before you die, maybe you should work on some improvements.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 4, 2006 12:25 PM

I think breasts are something men are attracted to. No matter how beautiful the face the eye catchers are the breast. thats my personal experience. I always adored women with big breasts, thats natural and i dont think any man will change in future

Posted by: Big at November 19, 2006 10:00 PM

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