December 23, 2007
Let's get real. For women, looks count. Always have, always will. Human nature made
men and women from different molds. If you doubt that, just ask yourself this question:
When is the last time you heard a woman comment on some guy's cute buns? Or on his
Men are more visual than women. This is reality. Many men are more likely to
appreciate a woman based on her bra size than her IQ size. This is the way God made
them. Men, even the new, feminised, 'metro-sexuals' usually learn everything they
want to know about a woman in the first glance. If they're smart, they have learned
to hide this under a societally induced patina of 'sensitivity,' but you can bet
your bottom dollar men's fantasies don't include long conversations, emotional bonding
and sexual equality.
The picture of 60 year-old Hillary showing her age with wrinkles, crow's feet and
bags has sparked a national conversation
about aging. Specifically, about aging
women. Men, as we all know, get better
looking with age. On men, wrinkles and squint lines are a mark of character. Graying
hair is a sign of maturity. Older men are still sexy. Not so for women.
Picture Sean Connery and Madelaine Albright smooching. Get my point?
My friend's son came by the other day. He saw a picture of me from my younger Hollywood
days. "Wow, you used to be good looking." Ouch. Reality strikes. I'm 54 years old
now. After a lifetime of turning heads, all of a sudden, I don't turn heads anymore.
Because of my age, I've had to put away forever the vixen persona, the seductive
'catch me if you can' personality that used to be second nature (and fun)! On a
54 year-old, those traits come across as Betty Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby
Jane. For a woman over 50, flirtatious behavior and seductive glances evoke pity
instead of passion. That's just the way it is.
Men, on the other hand, can, and usually do, continue to be boys even in their 70's.
Flirtatious behavior in older men is a sign of youth and virility. In a woman, its
smirk inducing. Yes, Shirley, there is a double standard. Life isn't fair.
Feminists can go on and on about how shallow and superficial physical looks are. They
have a point. The larger point, which feminists miss all together, is the effects
of aging on women are a sexual turnoff to most men. And men, even aging men, will
cling to their perceptions of femininity and sexuality till death. Who would choose
sagging skin, wrinkles and drooping breasts over taut flesh and perky boobs? Not
any men I know, unfortunately. I think it has something to do with the perpetuation
of the species.
My brother Ike is a prime example. He's 50 years old and divorced. Tall, good looking,
smart and a man of few words. In other words, a catch. I asked Ike what
is the first thing he looks for in a woman. He had the grace to look ashamed as
he sheepishly said that for him, looks were numero uno. Based on a lifetime of experience,
I know Ike is not the exception, he is the rule.
Our society expects women in the public eye to hide all signs of age. Older women
who look their age are associated with rocking chairs and grandchildren, not power
politics, sexy pouts or President of the U.S. Wrinkles and age spots on women remind
us of our mothers and mortality. On men, they're not an issue.
As Rush Limbaugh
so aptly put it, "Women age, men mature."
If a woman defies societal convention by looking her age, she pays a price. One
of the prices is sex, or the lack thereof. There, I've said it. And no matter how
uncouth it is to mention, all of us at one time or another have looked at an aggressive
woman and thought how much a good romp in the hay would improve their personalities.
(Can you spell Hillary?) If a man acts aggressive, he is automatically given points
for wisdom and experience. Such is life.
In this 24/7 media age, perception often trumps reality. And a perception devoid
of youth and/or sexuality will always score lower on the desirability scale. By
the way, when is the last time you saw a female anchor with wrinkles?
I was one of the lucky ones. Because I was a looker in my youth, I had many opportunities
thrown in my lap. I didn't fool myself that it was because I was smarter or better.
I knew the value society placed on youth and beauty. Ugly women had to work five
times as hard to be offered the same opportunities. Not fair, I know, but that's
the way the world is. For a woman, looks count.
Now I'm older and smarter. Now I have wrinkles. Now, I have to make my own opportunities
instead of having them showered on me. After a lifetime of learning to say 'no'
gracefully, I find they've stopped asking. Things change. Because my looks have
Hillary is now showing her age. And the same society that condemned Paula Jones
for her 'big hair', Kathleen Harris for her excessive make-up and Linda Tripp for
her less than attractive visage is coming full circle. Maybe life is fair after