Do men pay attention to women’s age or looks?

Do men pay attention to women’s age or looks?

JUNE 3, 2012 | BY KNEWS |
By Ralph Seeram – From the Diaspora

She came into the store with a melancholy look and all teary eyed, so I inquired what’s wrong. I was thinking maybe she had a death in the family or perhaps one of her children had fallen ill. Then she replied, “Today is my birthday”.
“Your birthday”? I asked. “Then you should be celebrating, why the tears”
She replied “I am getting old” and burst into a fresh round of tears and sobbing.

I was confused for a moment. She was attractive, had a great personality and was only in her early thirties, a single mother of two, and she was a regular customer of the store I then owned. I was wondering why it bothered her so much about getting older. 

However for the moment, in an effort to comfort her I told her that no one knows whether she is twenty-four years old or thirty-four years old. Besides, you look like twenty-four anyway”. I gave her a dozen roses and that lifted her spirits; she left in a much better mood than when she came in.
I have met several women who get depressed on their birthdays, worried about getting old, and it got me thinking. Why are they worried? Do they feel men would not be attracted to them because of their age? Do they feel they are losing their attractiveness or does it contribute to their loss of self confidence and esteem?

Most women are twenty-nine years old until they are thirty-nine. Then they are thirty-nine until they are forty nine. I think it is a very good system that the women came up with. We men hardly noticed; we are more focused on one thing.

If one is to be guided by the sales of women’s beauty products one could understand the enormity of this problem with women. Women’s beauty product is a multi-billion-dollar industry. You go to the cosmetic section of the store for men and you will find not more than ten items in a very small section. For men it is just functional stuff–shaving items before and after, deodorant, soap, body cream and cologne. That’s it.

However you will find rows and rows of aisles of cosmetics products for the ladies.
Women are at a disadvantage, because they are judged harshly by men. Recently, criticism was levied against U S Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, for not wearing makeup. Guess who made the criticism? Of course, men. Recently in Trinidad and Tobago there was some criticism of the Prime Minister, a female, for having a personal assistant to take care of among other things, her make up and appearance.

One lawmaker had to rebuke her critics by pointing out that men have it easy; they just have to wear a shirt and pants. Indeed, the old saying about men needing only the three SSS still stands, a shave a shower and readers can figure out the next S.

Movies are a typical example of the discrimination women faced. Have you ever noticed that male actors can be in their sixties but still have leading actress in their twenties and thirties as their romantic interest, have you ever seen a leading actress in her sixties with a young actor as the male star?

In Hollywood when a woman reaches forty years she is past her peak, when the male actors reach forty he is just maturing. Media also help define women’s beauty, which by large measure is unrealistic. Have you ever noticed the criticism women celebrities face if they put on a few realistic pounds?

Closer to home, I sometimes get annoyed on waiting on female relatives to go out. It would seem  that most  women need at least a two-hour preparation time to get ready for an occasion, make up, hair etc., Problem is, do men really pay attention? I have a relative, who when she travels, one suitcase is all cosmetics. She was a mobile beauty salon.

It comes back to what men want in a women and what women perceive men want. Do men really pay attention to color of women’s lipstick or their eye shadows? I doubt it very much. Are men only attractive to only beautiful and young women? Not really. Now beauty is a very relative thing; it means different things to different people. Regardless of their age or appearances most women do find a partner.

So what about men? When is a man considered old? I will have to rely on a definition given to me over thirty years ago by an old departed friend, the late Barrister Rupert Trim, a ladies man in his own right (as most New Amsterdamers would know).

The last time I spoke to Rupert some years before he died I asked him how the young ladies were going. He retorted, “One just got a child for me”. So what was Rupert definition of an old man? Here it is; wisdom from an expert.

“As long as man can ‘function’ he young,” the day he can’t “function” he old. Recently I was flirting with a young lady half my age. I found myself giving my age, fifteen years less of course. And you thought it was only a women thing. True story.

Ralph Seeram can be reached at email”

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  • Clare Forbes  On 06/03/2012 at 5:56 pm

    Not only looks and age; their popularity, pockets, ambition, their dependability, trust, success, skills, fashion, and sometimes their aggression as well.
    But it depends on where the man wants to take the woman. If he wants a sport partner he would obviously look at age, looks, style, popularity etc. But if he wants the woman as wife he would look at other resourceful qualities as well.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/03/2012 at 5:57 pm

    Ralph, a delightful read. You are a keen observer of our dilemma as women.

    Thanks so much for noticing and taking the time to share a man’s viewpoint of our preoccupation with aging. There was a time when I actually forgot my real age and had to do a mental calculation 🙂

    Yes, men with their SSS needs (I had to laugh at that comment) have the advantage as they age.

  • Cindy J.  On 06/05/2012 at 4:32 pm

    As a woman in her late 60’s who is very content with life, I used to tell younger women who were dreading the big “0” whether 30, 40, 50 etc. that they should plan something special for the “0”‘s and “5”‘s so that instead of dreading the big day, they can enjoy it and have great memories – My favorite birthday was my 45th when I went to China and on my birthday I walked on the Great Wall of China and had Peking Duck for dinner.

  • Lynette Andrews-Baker  On 06/05/2012 at 9:02 pm

    A woman is as old as she feels. If she feels good about herself she would smile and her smile would radiate her looks. Looking good as you age comes with eating healthy meals, exercise and a good night’s rest. Make up should be used as an aside rather than the main event. I used to hear this tune since I was a girl growing up and I have lived to see it happen. Put all that stuff in the rubbish bin and get up in the morning and exercise it will go a long way to improving your good looks and well being.

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