I thought it would be an innocent article on fitness, likely encouraging women to be kinder about our genetic predisposition to certain body types, changing metabolism with aging, and the value of weight training for good health.
At least, one might think as much, scanning the comments.
Buried in the remarks were direct (and implicit) references to hooking a man, sexual attraction, and attentiveness to appearance as necessary for finding and keeping a good provider.
When we’re honest with ourselves, we can’t deny that the visual is paramount in attracting a partner. Sexual chemistry matters to most of us, and looks are a significant factor in coming together – initially.
The Beauty (and Body) Advantage
But according to one (presumably male) reader who comments on the article, the games continue, with women using whatever they have with the goal of catching a man:
she will catch a man in her peak years and then the challenge is hook him… and then the next phase can begin… But can’t blame women… encouraged to just go out there and be free and try to be a man and do whatever and snag as many guys as possible.
Huh. Are we really still out there “hooking?”
Are we focused on primping and prepping the wares, competing for the Best Provider, and doing just enough to manage to keep him? Isn’t this so much propaganda about Bad Girls (or Sexy Ones) getting the guy? And then what?
Love Predator, Trophy Wife
I admit the above remark proposes a multiplicity of ideas beyond body image: woman as love predator, woman’s sexual freedom as an attempt to live like a man.
Why is knowing what we want (if that’s what it is) a bad thing? Why is sexual expression male mimicry?
Aren’t we well aware that sooner or later, relationships require a broader sensual, cerebral and emotional cocktail to keep a partner engaged? And what about his capacity to keep us interested? Or am I living in a dream world of my own creation? Is the Trophy Wife more prevalent than I know – alive and well, awaiting her theoretically lucrative divorce a few years later?
Pop Culture, Body Image
Ironically, Ms. Constantine’s words were targeted at diversity in body types, highlighting the fact that there is no single story when it comes to who we are, just as there should be no ideal figure that we’re hell-bent to acquire. She was attempting to debunk the notion that women who weight train will bulk up, become unfeminine, and therefore reduce the likelihood of finding a suitable man.
We know women in our culture have warped views when it comes to body image. Let me rephrase: when it comes to almost any aspect of appearance.
Personally, I’ve never met a woman yet who is entirely pleased with her body. In contrast with most of the men I’ve known – if not thrilled with their physical form, they accept more easily and compensate more readily in other ways.
How To Hook a Man
There’s beauty, there’s body, there’s charm, there’s smarts. There’s genuine empathy, common interests, and modes of authentic connection. I’ll take “healthy” over hooking when it comes to relationships, thank you very much.
After all, none of us stays young forever. Life changes our bodies, as well as our circumstances. The concept of hooking a man is hardly respectful to ourselves, or the gentlemen in question.
Isn’t it time this oddly retro notion be set aside? Aren’t we beyond equating a woman’s value solely with beauty, with thinness, with youth – and with the number of men she can attract?