April 6, 2011

Image Challenge | What Is The 'Ideal?'

There was an article on Yahoo this morning saying how one-third of women would give up at least one year of life to be “thin.” The results were from a British survey done recently and initially published in an article in the Daily Mail.

While I am not surprised by the result, I am a bit disappointed. The survey says that these women are in pursuit of the ideal body – but it doesn’t really explain what that is other than dropping the names of a couple celebrities. I guess we can go on what society indicates as the size-0 actress with millions of dollars to spend on personal trainers or what health experts suggest as the appropriate body mass index for age, height and race.

The Daily Mail
But I think the results are more revealing about our societal standards when it comes to the perceived “perfect” body.” Deeper in to the report, it suggests that 93 per cent of women have had “body-conscious” issues over the past week – now that I can buy.

“This really highlights how important appearance is for women. Unfortunately, body weight and shape is seen as not only an indicator of how beautiful they are and also often of a marker of success in their life,” says one of the experts chiming in on the subject.

Since I have cut all my hair off, I have been in a constant battle with myself over the results. The vast majority of women I work with continue to compliment me on the new style – but in a “wish I had the courage to do that” kind of way. I mentioned to my husband that I, quite vainly, noticed that the guys don’t seem to notice as much anymore. I went through the “we need to start working out and change our diet” spiel.

For women, this is a huge conundrum. While some don’t like the ogling and flirting, there are many of us that do … and miss it when it stops. I don’t want you to “love me like a sister.” I want you to lust after me like a secret girlfriend. And yes, I’m all right with admitting that there is a hint of attention whore in me. I don’t want to be the one people don’t remember, or the shrinking violet from high school.

Yes, some of us are fickle that way.

And when we hit the points in life, we shrink into our image issues and begin to wonder if things have changed on a larger scale because we’re tipping the scale.

So yesterday I was telling my husband this, and he expectedly scoffed at my notions – and went to work on assuring me that I was mistaken. The problem, he says, is that I have lost my motivation to work for it anymore, like many women; lost the effort to work for your attention. I hated to admit he was right … it was the “I need chocolate now” moment of the day.

He says men can quickly distinguish between a woman that carries herself in a sexy and confident way versus a woman that is just on the hunt. The blue eye shadow is a dead giveaway … and in typical Mr. Andee fashion, he promptly issued a two-part challenge to me. I may have mentioned in past of his affliction for fashion, and so having gone through my closet and sorted out what I should be wearing to work, I now find myself on slightly dangerous, definitely edgy path – with motivation.

From now until Labour Day – six months – I have been challenged to use my days out of the lab as days when I must put maximum effort into style and appearance: an image challenge. The intent is for him to prove to my sometimes-doubting self-esteem that it’s not long hair that gets attention, but a variety of things.

(Of course, I know that … but guys, read into this how a spark in a relationship comes in many different, sometimes kinky, ways. Was it intentional on my part? No … but how can I not love a man that wants to dress me up and show me off without a hint of jealous possessiveness?)

And with each challenge comes consequence and reward. From tomorrow until the final day, any day in play will go down like this: if just one guy compliments my appearance, I must provide my loving husband with a little oral action that night. Conversely, if he fails in his bid to get guys to flirt shamelessly with me, then he owes me the return favour of a little tongue action.

Either way, it’s a win-win way to put a new spark into the relationship … not to mention some new CFMs if I tell him that they are an important part of fashion today.
Andee     xoxo


Anonymous said...

Love this challenge, Andee!!! Keep us posted day-to-day on the findings (and the payouts)!! :)


Andee said...

Thanks Sanders! It's like I was alluding to, mostly the idea is to create a way for us to keep the excitement and intrigue going in our relationship ... and trying to suggest to people they can be creative too.

I'll be keeping everyone posted!