With three times as much shelf space in my local bookstore devoted to women’s fashion magazines than men’s fashion magazines, it’s no wonder that the overwhelming opinion out there is that women do more preening, are more concerned about their appearance, and, are more sensitive about body image issues than men.
I have a project for you ladies. This week, make a point of going out and telling three men that they look fabulous. Make the statement, “You look fabulous,” and then give a concrete example such as,”That shirt is a really great colour”, or, “Those pants really make your glutes look spectacular”. You know, something like that. You will notice that men need and want these compliments just as much as, or even more than, women do.
Be careful who you try this little experiment with as some men might interpret your compliment as,”Those pants really make your glutes look spectacular, would you like to get naked and party.” Avoid addressing this type of man-pig. Try the ordinary average guy.
You see, women routinely make a point of greeting one another with compliments. “Hi Charlene. Your hair looks great pulled up off your face like that. You look fabulous”, or the penultimate you-look-fabulous-comment ; “Have you lost weight?”.
You look fabulous usually translates as you are fabulous. As you mature, you are fabulous becomes way more important than you look fabulous.
Flash to July; It was just before noon, and I was standing in my best friend’s kitchen with nothing on but my t-shirt and a pair of panties. She was holding up a black skirt, you know, the kind that spreads out like a swing dancer when you twirl around (You still twirl around in your skirts don’t you ladies? Please tell me you’ll never grow out of that).
You see, she’d just had a baby, and was into an entirely new, new-mom-jeans-and-baby-spit-up-shirts kind of wardrobe. She didn’t need the twirly skirt any more. Half naked in her kitchen, with the window open and the July air blowing through, I was inheriting her never-to-be-worn-again-while-they’re-in-style work clothes.
“This will look great on you!” she said as she handed me the black skirt. I climbed into it and zipped it up. Yep, it fit. I could make this work with my wardrobe at home. Sold!
Standing there, naked (almost) from the waist down, with my haven’t-had-a-decent-tan in two years chubby legs sticking out, she said to me, “You look fabulous.”
Funny thing was I didn’t feel fabulous. I felt a little goofy about standing in her kitchen without my pants on and I felt a tiny bit shy about my china-white legs. I definitely did not feel fabulous.
That’s the great thing about girlfriends though isn’t it? You can be having the very worst, sweaty, just before your period, I ate an entire bag of chips last night, half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, haven’t worked out in 3 months and I’m in the middle of a figuring out how to finally break up with my boyfriend kind of moment, and they know just how to get in there between your sagging and self-depreciating grey matter and cheer you right up. I don’t think guy-friendships are quite as affirming.
I don’t think guys have been nurtured to have a knack for that sorta thing. So ladies, I’ve decided that’s our project for this week. Get out there and tell your guy (and if you don’t have one, just pick some lucky fella), just how fabulous he is. Because these hunky guys that frustrate the heck out of us are fabulous, they just need a bit of encouragement.