“When it comes to females,” observed Sir Mix-A-Lot, “Cosmo ain’t got nothin’ to do with my selection.”
Robert Stacy McCain goes a bit further: Cosmo ain’t got nothin’ to do with anybody’s selection. To wit:
Among his various conquests, the fellow who rides the romantic rodeo circuit will tend to have the most favorable opinion of the drop-dead beauty with the bitchin’ bod. That’s just how guys are. But the stuff that Cosmo is selling the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, the cosmetics has very little impact on this evaluation. Ask any guy.
A really sexy girl is sexy even when she’s in sweats and an oversized T-shirt, shopping for groceries. And women’s near-universal embrace of the cosmetics/fashion industry is kind of like escalation in the Cold War arms race: At some point, everybody’s got enough nukes to destroy the entire planet, and the argument for additional nukes is attenuated by the problem of diminishing returns. If every girl’s made-up like a fashion model, a little extra skill in applying make-up isn’t really going to gain you any advantage.
Somewhere in Pennsylvania today, there is at least one beautiful 19-year-old Amish girl who has never worn make-up, never worked out in a gym, never read Cosmo. And that girl, in her homemade plain dress, is more truly beautiful than any of the styled-up, decked-out hotties hanging around the most fashionable nightspot in Hollywood. Like I said, ask any guy.
Well, perhaps you shouldn’t ask me: I never racked up many miles on the romantic-rodeo circuit and therefore claim no particular expertise in this matter. I have, however, been witness to a couple of incidents wherein the young lady in question decided to eschew all that stuff and was promptly quizzed by guys: “What happened to you?” They couldn’t distinguish workaday cosmetics from depleted uranium, but they could definitely detect that something was missing. Which demonstrates nothing, perhaps, except that superficiality is probably more or less evenly distributed between the sexes.
It can be argued almost certainly will be argued that in a competitive dating market, you need every advantage you can get. But one woman’s advantage is another woman’s drawback and might go totally unnoticed in a third; while we men are a comparatively uncomplicated bunch, we don’t all respond to exactly the same stimuli. But that only illustrates McCain’s point: someone’s going to fall hard for that young Amish lady. It’s times like these that I am (slightly) grateful for my failing vision.
And unfortunately for me, the Cosmo cover accompanying McCain’s essay contains, in large, readable print, the ghastly nonce word “va-jay-jay,” a word I can happily live without ever hearing again.