Posted in Dating / Relationships, Self Esteem

“Real Men Prefer…” Hang on, Who Are You To Decide?

Memes like this really bother me. Don’t get me wrong, I like a woman with curves. Mirror Image is medically overweight but has an amazing hourglass shape. I have said it before that body size is far less important to me than body shape, and a woman with a shape that appeals to me is nearly always going to look good no matter what her dress size.
This meme that calls into question the sexuality of men who prefer more slender women (and others like it – “only dogs like bones, real men like meat” for example) bother me for several reasons. Firstly, it once again decides on behalf of men what we should and shouldn’t find attractive and attempts to shame us for making the “wrong” choice.

I know what I like and I like women in all shapes and sizes. Of the dates I had before meeting Mirror Image, I would say that Mischief was the largest and she was one of those I felt the most physical attraction for, but that’s not to say that slimmer women don’t turn my head either – because they do: both Ubergeek and Indiechick were very slender. It is not anybody else’s place to decide for me or to judge me for or any other man for what we should and should not find attractive, nobody else’s place at all.

If I like catwalk models, that’s none of your business

If I prefer morbidly obese women, that too is none of your business

If I prefer blondes, that’s none of your business

If I prefer brunettes, that’s none of your business

If I prefer bald women, that’s none of your business

If I prefer women who wear glasses, that’s none of your business

If I prefer women who don’t wear glasses, guess what? That too is none of your business

Why we as a world have suddenly decided that Facebook memes dictate to men what men should and should not find attractive, and what that says about their sexuality if they differ, I really do not know. Men are often praised now for saying we prefer curvier women and scorned for saying when we prefer smaller women. It’s become socially unacceptable to prefer slimmer women – why? What should be socially unacceptable is shaming what other people find attractive.

Ultimately, is it not down to the individual what they find attractive? Often, this is not a matter of conscious choice. We have our own preferences that we develop over the years. Me? I go wild for redheads and there’s nothing sexier than a body covered in freckles. That’s my preference, nobody has told me to like that and I haven’t decided to like that purely because it goes against what I am supposed to like. I cannot explain why I like it, I just do.

The other issue is one thing we talk about a lot – body-shaming. When did it become acceptable to body-shame slimmer people? Why is still acceptable to tell a skinny woman to stop starving herself and eat a Big Mac, but not acceptable to tell a larger woman to get her head out of the fridge for a few moments?

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

5 thoughts on ““Real Men Prefer…” Hang on, Who Are You To Decide?

  1. It’s true and it goes the other way too.

    There are memes out there that say women only prefer tall men, muscular men, men who wear suits, men who drive sports cars…

    It’s all rubbish.

    ***

    If you took all the men I have dated, including the liar I married, and lined them up, no two would be alike. They all differ in physical attributes.

    Which means I do not have a *type* per se.

    Granted, when I meet a guy, there has to be a physical attraction but what attracts me to that man is uniquely different from the last guy and the guy before that.

    While married, my Ex lamented that he prefers skinny petite women like Mila Kunis. He used this as a means to manipulate me, so that he could make me feel inadequate.

    Well guess what? You should see the woman he married. Not only is she shorter than me, but she’s probably the same weight as me. Let’s put it this way, she’s NO Mila Kunis.

    ***

    I may not have a physical type; however, I do prefer men who work in the trades versus corporate. I prefer a man who does not put a suit on every morning for work. I prefer a man who can fix stuff, has a working knowledge of how things work and how to use tools. So I guess you could say that’s my *type*.

    At this stage of my life (I’ll be 48 next month), my attitude is: any man I meet is going to have to accept the whole physical package or he can move along. I consider myself in decent shape but I do I have curves (I am of Italian descent). Also, I am heavier now than when I was in my 30s (not for lack of trying because I am trying).

    We women tend to fall into a trap believing that men want a woman who looks like Jennifer Anniston or Angelina Jolie or even Mila Kunis. We workout, drilling ourselves into the ground believing we know what *type* of woman a man wants. We starve ourselves, we change our hair — we do all of this bullshit believing we know what men want. Sad fact is, we don’t.

    Thank GOD I’m over that nonsense. Now I don’t care. I do what I do for ME and only ME. How I wear my hair, my clothes, working out, what I eat etc… is all for moi!

    🙂

    1. Good for you! It’s true of everyone that what we want is different from the next. It does us all a disservice to suggest “all men want…” and “all women want…”

      Competition in pretending we are competing for the hottest is unnecessary and reductionist, not all women want a 6’4″ investment banker and not all men want a 25 year old waif-ish blonde.

      I think people who start memes like that feel they are doing positive in attemping to make bigger women feel better about themselves while shaming men into wanting something else, but ultimately they are no different than anybody else presenting an ideal of beauty.

    1. Because memes like this influence public perception and this, and others like it, presumes to tell men what we should and shouldn’t like and this shit is everywhere.

      This is a blog about male issues and many men get annoyed at gender-based hypocrisy like this, I am simply providing a voice.

      I wouldn’t tell women to date short, balding, overweight men to prove they are a “real woman” and any man who did would probably be subject to a million other memes and a series of posts on Upworthy about what a pig he is to tell women what to do or think. Shouldn’t we always point out hypocrisy where it exists?

      Good for you if you are unfazed by homophobia, some of us are not.

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