Aah, female body issues – there are few subjects myself and my friends have talked about less. In truth, men don’t really care about how women view themselves, which may be part of the problem when it comes to male-female relationships.
When we first meet a girl we like, we don’t really focus on the imperfections; we are too blinded by love, or at least lust. As time goes by, and a relationship moves from ‘new and exciting’ to ‘going through the motions’, we care even less. If beauty fades as we grow familiar, then so do the imperfections; which is just as well.
As men get older, their requirements from a relationship change – in our twenties we all want the hottest girl (or at least hotter than our friends have got), but as we move into our thirties and beyond, we want something more – we want intelligence and humour; we want someone who gets us, and puts up with our foibles. The common thread through this ageing process is that it’s all about us. This may be a blessing in disguise however, as even though we may enjoy looking at unattainable women, we have no interest in, well, attaining them.
The thought of marrying, say, a Victoria’s Secret model, may initially seem appealing, but does any 35-year-old man want to lie down next to someone with a six-pack, or whose idea of a roast involves kale and tofu? No, we want to grow old shambolically, and not be constantly worrying that our other half can bench press more than we can.
The whole point of growing old is that we worry less about how we look, and more about how we spend our time. A woman who constantly focuses on how she looks may turn her gaze to us, and that is something no man wants.
So what advice can I, as a somewhat functioning male, give to women who are worried about how they look? Well, I never met an attractive woman who was missing one thing: confidence.
One girl I had a brief relationship with more than 10 years ago had shaved her head and used to wear a single golf glove (on her left hand) when she went out – she would make a beeline for the bar, order a drink and pull out a Cohiba cigar. She clearly didn’t care what others thought, and was incredibly attractive because of that. Now I am not suggesting that women should sport bizarre hairstyles or smoke cigars, but the point is she was different and she embraced that difference.
The other issue is that no matter how many bodypump classes or dermabrasions you undertake, you are still going to slowly disintegrate; you will end up a bag of bones and skin, before eventually dying. Fighting it is ridiculous, and tying your self-esteem to your reflection is a one-way street to unhappiness.
We are all ageing together, and the brief time we spend on this planet can be spent in a more productive manner than caring about how we look – ultimately we men don’t really give it much thought.
So for once, let the average male’s self-absorbtion be of comfort; we have far more important things to think about, like the new season of True Detective.