It’s all about having babies. When we say a woman is attractive, we are not talking about her intellect or her social consciousness. We mean, plain-and-simple, she displays the ability—and desire—to have babies, that she appears as if she would easily reproduce our genes along with favorable ones of her own that would contribute to their survival. She looks fertile, would easily get pregnant, and would have strong, healthy children like herself. (As we said in high school, “She would get pregnant just from hanging our sweat socks on the bedpost.”)
The concept of beauty varies in different cultures, but it is always synonymous with what is considered to be good health, which means fertility. In some cultures, body fat that we would find excessive is considered healthy, and therefore, beautiful. If you think Kim Kardashian’s huge butt (gotta be Photoshopped) is a sign of good health and a handy store of fat that could help her survive a famine, then you will think it is beautiful. If you see it as a hazard that could accidentally suffocate an unwary child, then you will think it is ugly.
(Note Julie Newmar’s stance emphasizes her wide hips that are good for delivering babies. Hips too wide, however, signal age and babies already produced. I would say she has it just right. A full head of long hair and plump lips are more signals of fertility. Her long legs (an illusion helped by high heels) emphasize her natural muscle tone that can sustain her through nine months of pregnancy and years of child care. And her babies would not go hungry. If babies are what you want, she has all of her qualifications on display. Young males, whose brains have stopped functioning as a result of testosterone poisoning, do not comprehend any of this. They enjoy what they see, but don’t know why. Babies do not enter their minds. I know. I’ve been there.)
Even women clearly past menopause can be considered attractive, meaning they still retain many of the signals of fertility—high breasts, tight muscles, thick, pigmented hair, a quick mind, and general vitality—even when we know it is easily faked.
South American women generally follow nature’s pattern, more so than many other cultures. In their twenties, they are stunningly attractive, but only into their 30s. By then, they have had all of the babies they want, and it shows in their looks. They are no longer attractive, nor do they want to be.
It comes as a shock to many men when the bases of attractiveness are proven to be true. An attractive woman is fertile, does become pregnant easily, and does have strong, healthy children that she expects the male to help raise. And, after a few babies, she finds it harder and harder to look attractive—as it should be. Enough is enough, but in our society, attractiveness is highly rewarded. She gets attention from both men and women, she is credited with qualities she does not have, she is freely given valuables, everyone wants to be her friend and do things for her. Who can blame her for wanting it to continue? But society ends up overloaded with sexually attractive women who do not really want babies.
So now, at my age, I am asking myself why attractive women still draw my attention. I think because they make me feel young, a fresh breeze, if only for a moment. If they can fake youth, so can I. But make no mistake—I would not really want to re-experience youth. Once was enough. All I want is a short capture of the good feelings without the angst and effort that I prefer to forget. I still remember how relieved I felt when I first met my wife. I did not enjoy the dating scene one bit, was more than happy to give it up, and have no desire to return to it.