Vanity is a girl-boy thing
But lads can't resist appeal of skinny lasses
AT A party recently, I could not help but notice how old, married men were drooling over young, statuesque girls who looked like they had just stepped off a fashion ramp.
The lasses were hot, and judging by the way they walked, danced and carried themselves, they knew it.
I thought to myself: "What chances do average girls have in life if there are these gorgeous women?"
But then I thought what is it with this obsession with models?
Dr Thobani Maweni, a Johannesburg-based psychologist, says confidence is the key to being irresistible.
He says, after all, if you don't like yourself, why would you expect anyone else to like you?
"Men like women who are confident. Confidence is attractive. These women show the utmost confidence in themselves and men start to see them in a different light. They carry themselves as if they are beautiful and that is how others will see them."
He adds that men are conditioned through media to prefer thin women.
"Usually women with nice bodies do not have low self-esteem. They know that they are appealing to men."
He, however, cautioned sexy women that having confidence in being sexy is a false sense of security. He added that relationships that began based on looks tended to fail or dissolve.
Maweni says many men, who are married and have good jobs, are probably less likely to value a woman's other qualities over her appearance when looking for a mistress or even a one-night stand.
He says men over 40 don't seem to value validation from women their own age as much as they value it from women 10 to 25 years younger.
This is because the sexual validation from women of their age is less ego-soothing than the kind that they believe can only come from much younger women.
He attributes this to the need for validation of their own attractiveness and fear of ageing. And they get the validation by forging relations with younger, attractive women.
Maweni says men do not generally like looking at overweight girls, but this does not mean they cannot like an overweight girl. He adds that most men don't marry women who are obsessed with their looks.
"An overweight woman can be liked by men, but she might find it necessary to compensate in some respects to compete with and surpass her thinner female peers."
Ironically, he says, model-chasing men are usually "happily married", have children, stable homes and probably overweight wives. They objectify these model-type women and see them as sources of instant gratification.
Most of these men have everything and that sexy girl on the arm is for show to their friends.
He says even if some of these men were looking for wives, they would not marry these attractive women. Men prefer women who appear to be healthy and are capable of producing healthy children.
What is the standard look for an average women then?
Paledi Segapo, a fashion guru, who also co-owns a modelling agency, says the average woman wears size 30 to 38 and anything bigger or smaller than that is usually unattractive.
He says health shows in your skin, hair, nails and eyes. He says eating the correct foods is the key to looking and being healthy.
But Luxolo Majavu, 52, a divorced father of three, says it is no longer a-female-only-thing to feel sexually invisible. He says the reality is that ageing men also experience anxiety about their own waning looks.
"Men are becoming more and more concerned about their bodies than ever before. That is why some date models to test if they are still hot. The models date them because they want money and comfort," says Majavu.
He adds that the truth is most young women look at these men and they see someone who looks like their father.
Sandiso Ngoma, 42, a single architect, who prefers the model type of woman, says overweight women are not in control of their appetites and have emotional problems.
"They are often clingy in relationships and bring more stress into a relationship than a woman with a beautiful body who takes good care of herself."