I was recently knocking back cappuccinos and biscotti with a couple of male friends when the subject of ‘who’s hot and who’s not’ came up — as it inevitably does in any male-dominated conversation lasting more than five minutes.
Why do men worry constantly about the number of ‘good-looking’ women they know, counting and recounting them on their fingers and toes, as if some woman-famine is on its way? And this is regardless of whether they are married, dating, single or desperate.
If you tell a guy that a female friend is coming to town, he will react like a puppy at mealtime: his eyes brighten, ears perk up and an idiotic dreamy expression takes over his face. “So, what does she look like? Pretty?”
That’s always the first question. It’s quite incredible actually, you could be talking to a Siberian Eskimo and telling him your new dog sled trainer is on her way, and he’d mutter through frostbitten lips, “Is she pretty?” Or maybe you tell your hippie friend that you found a new artists who paints scarves, and he’ll say, “Dude, is she, like, a looker?”
Your friend could be a NASA scientist, or an uber-cool tribal artist. She could be a fascinating writer/ stand-up comedian/ hypnotist/ scuba diver, but if her braces aren’t off, or her nose is one inch past regulation point, none of the guys really want to meet her. Because, let’s face it, almost all men are ‘looksist.’ (i.e. A condition where you discriminate between people on the basis of how they look.)
They want to date conventionally beautiful women, so that other men envy them. They also want to hang out with good looking women, so — well — other men envy them.
So, when I ignored the question, and just said “she’s really nice,” both of them immediately guffawed, “so she looks like the backyard of a bus, huh?” And that’s another man thing. You either have to be pretty, or nice. You can never be both, if you’re female.
Women, on the other hand, don’t really look for good lookers. Yes, they’re probably fussy about the men they date, but when it comes to male friends, women don’t care how they look as long as they’re fun to be with. In fact they prefer low-maintenance rugged men. After all, who wants to share their hair gel and lip salve all the time?
Right at the beginning of the series, in the second episode, I had said: “Would you like to be seen kissing someone toad ugly? Yes? My number is….”
It’s been over 36 weeks, my phone hasn’t rung yet.
I had also said that men find most women hot, whether they are dark (Halle Berry), not all that well-toned (Shakeela), not conventionally beautiful (Mallika Sherawat), short (Rani Mukherjee) and even if they are not skimpily clad (Nandita Das) and their definitions of what’s hot are pretty broad and all-accommodating.
Now think about all the words women say while describing the prototypes they want to meet: “Perfect Gentleman,” “Tall, Dark, Handsome,” “Prince Charming,” “Mr.Right”.
Gentleman = Some guy who’s nice to them, plays with pups, wears a Raymonds suit, picks them up, opens doors, takes them for expensive dinners, opens doors and even pays. Very simple needs.
Tall, Dark, Handsome = Women don’t go for looks indeed. Tall, Dark, Handsome is the description of his inner beauty, Shallow Hal style, no?
Prince Charming = Yes, royalty is incidental. And charm too. That’s why Snow White didn’t pick one of the seven dwarfs to fall in love with and just waited for someone appropriate to show up to kiss her.
Mr.Right = Who could be some guy-next-door who’s just flunked another paper and stalks the girl he loves, right? He’s the guy who is always right when she’s wrong, of course.
Yes, there are also those simple women who settle for the regular, intelligent, witty guy with a sense of humour. Such men are so common-place after all.
Now, if you are a woman, put yourself into his shoes.
Are you going to hope meeting someone new with a big shopping list and checkboxes that go: Pretty, Witty, Intelligent, Sense of Humour, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Princess Fiona?
No you don’t.
You simply decide that most women are hot at some level or the other or at least assume so, because it makes you happy to believe you are going to meet someone pleasant, irrespective of whether you ever get to date them or not.
Men being the simple guys they are, just ask the same simple question before meeting any girl also because he wants to know what one girl thinks of the other.
Irrespective of her answer, he would anyway go ahead and make his moves if she gives him enough attention.
If she’s not his types, he’ll just wait for the next friend to arrive.
Men, live in hope, but on Planet Earth. Women live in Wonderland and in trashy romance novels.
Also, why invent a new word when you can simply say men are lookers? He he!