Women seem to instinctively know how important is when we are young (though I am beginning to wonder if this instinct is lessening – I’ll leave that for another post). The importance of beauty to women, especially when we are young, is twofold. We try very hard to be pretty and beautiful for men and we also try (sometimes harder) to be beautiful for other women. I have seen it said that there are no Alpha females, meaning that women don’t form their own hierarchies. This is untrue. Women most definitely form hierarchies among themselves and beauty is often one of the biggest tells of where she will stand on the ladder. Beauty, coupled with a sweet and pleasant demeanor could attract the eye of several men. This isn’t something that men were taught to find attractive, anymore than women were taught to find dominant men attractive. It simply is.
Feminism has tried, and succeeded scarily well, in making beauty taboo. It has taught women that is ok to look frumpy, unkempt and tired while simultaneously telling women that putting on a great deal of weight is ok. Your husband should love you anyway. It is not just staunch feminist women buying into this, it is a whole host of women who were never taught otherwise. I bought into it as well. I put on a good 15 pounds after we got married and unless I was going to work or out someplace special, I stopped dressing nicely. In short, I got lazy. Women of my generation were taught that it is what is on the inside that counts and if he fell in love with you he will always love you, no matter what. What they failed to tell us was that, while they may still love you, they will lose attraction for you.
Love and attraction are two very different things. Attraction can lead to love and love can be present without attraction. The latter will make for an incredibly difficult marriage. The thing women don’t seem to understand (I didn’t either) is that how a woman takes care of herself reflects what she thinks of her husband and her marriage. Men find the female form beautiful. This will never change. It is a sign of respect and love for a woman to keep herself as attractive as she can for her husband. Most husbands don’t expect their wives to stay in bikini shape for the duration of the marriage, especially after children. However, putting in the effort to stay in decent shape, to dress nicely, to don some fresh makeup before he gets home shows that you love him and that you truly want your husband to still find you attractive. Jacquie left this quote that she read in a book,
…The bigger issue is that your husband sees that you are putting forth the effort to take care of yourself, for him…It’s not about being tiny. If she doesn’t take care of herself, dresses sloppily around me all the time, never exercises, and has no energy to do something that she should know is important to me. And then it becomes a real issue because it affects her ability to do things and her self-worth and desire – and then it affects me….But really, I just want to see that my wife cares enough about me to make an effort.”
Women have come to expect that their men should love them no matter what. It is time for women to realize that this love must be returned as well. More than simply feeling love for him, she must demonstrate it. One of the biggest ways to demonstrate this is to stay attractive in her body, her dress, how she keeps her hair, etc. I am not saying that a woman should do this everyday. Life happens and I think most men will understand no makeup and a comfy pair of workout pants, once in a while. Also, there are women who, due to what their daily life entails, cannot dress nicely or wear the makeup on a regular basis (the makeup and pretty clothes are hard in my daily routine so I commiserate with these). But there are other things one can do. Wear nice underwear and a beautiful nightgown to bed on a regular basis. If wearing pretty clothes during the day is out, wear clothes that fit very well and are at least flattering. Make an effort to dress in clothes and colors that you know he likes often. Most of all, do your best to stay in shape. It’s not always easy, I know, but the effort is worth it to the man you married and to the marriage itself.
**In the near future I hope to have a post or two up on nutrition and exercise. Mistakes I’ve made and things I have learned that may help in keeping one in shape.