Thursday 8 December 2016

The weight debate: His view

'Most Irish men like a woman who looks as if she is built for comfort rather than speed'

Joe O'Shea

Published 17/04/2010 | 05:00

For most regular guys, watching the E! channel or picking up the girlfriend's Heat or Grazia magazine is a confusing and frustrating experience.

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There is a weird disconnect between what the fashion industry and the media defines as feminine beauty and what real men go for.

Watch Xposé or Entertainment Tonight (and we do, purely for research purposes) and you will see a lot of very thin, scarily toned women looking like 14-year-old boys in wigs and Lanvin frocks.

Open up Grazia and it's all bony arms, flat chests and stick-thin thighs. Turn on MTV and even the pop singers look as though their lunch consists of having a flunky wave a stick of celery in their general direction.

Just look what they did to Girls Aloud. They took five (okay, four-and-a-half) gorgeous young women and turned them into androgynous androids. What's going on? Where have all the curves gone?

Did we miss the meeting where it was decided that the ideal woman should have arms like a fly-weight boxer and the kind of rear you see propelling bicycles up mountains in the Tour de France?

The fashion industry and the media appear to be involved in a conspiracy to make women feel bad about their bodies and annoy the hell out of men who love to see the odd curve now and again.

It's easy to blame the designers, stylists and fashion editors, who tend to be gay men or slightly unnerving middle-aged women who haven't seen a carb since 1982. Karl Lagerfeld is a genius at getting a piece of fabric to drape over the human form like water over a stone. But you wouldn't have him as your wing-man on a night out, not unless you wanted to spend the night chatting up human coat-hangers.

Ask any regular guy about his ideal woman and he might mention Dita Von Teese, Angelina Jolie (the Billy Bob years) or Jennifer Aniston before she started hitting the weights. Even twentysomethings still talk about Marilyn Monroe, a woman who Heat would today class as clinically obese.

And every guy on the planet is deeply in lust with super-curvy Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway from the TV series Mad Men).

Most Irish men like a woman with a healthy appetite who looks as if she enjoys life and is built for comfort rather than speed. We have no idea how Kate Moss remains a fashion industry icon. Seriously.

Spring is here, and for guys (and, I'm sure, girls) that means the glorious unveiling of bodies that have been wrapped up, Michelin Man-style, through our long winter.

And as the great philosopher Andy Williams once advised, watch the boys watch the girls while the girls watch the boys who watch the girls go by. The boys will be looking for curves and cleavage. A million Wonderbra ads can't be wrong.

And if you are asking yourself, "Does my bum look big in this?" take heart if the answer is yes.

Whatever the fashion industry says, men like curves. They always have and they always will.

Irish Independent

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