Stop Calling My Daughter Attractive
A friend of mine and I recently discussed our mutual annoyance with the word “attractive“. We opined that hatred of the word no doubt stems from parental admonitions in our youth to “stop wearing baggy clothing or you won’t be attractive” or “tone down that 80’s mullet. It’s not attractive.” Of course, my friend and I grew up in an era devoid of purple as an acceptable hair color. Who is the almighty arbiter of what is attractive or not, anyway?
Context is everything. I will digress with an anecdote. Years ago my husband and I were at a party with several couples. Someone brought up the topic introduced in When Harry Met Sally about how long you like to be held after sex. Thirty seconds? All night? Each couple took a turn answering the question. When it was my turn, I responded, “Sex with whom?” I mean, it matters, right? Sex with Christian Bale? That would be all night. Sex with Ted Danson with his creepy white shock of hair? Mere seconds.
Really, Stop Calling My Daughter Attractive
Aspirations to be more attractive bemoan the question of “attractive to whom?” My eight year old thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the world and wants to marry me when he gets older. Can you blame him? I’m the center of his universe for now. Parents picking up their children from school who see me routinely not having showered that day probably don’t think I’m all that attractive. Who am I trying to attract? Why is the assumption that I want to be attractive at all? Maybe I want to be repulsive, or invisible or grungy or unapproachable. Of course I can’t bring this topic up without highlighting the fact that “attractive” is almost always applied to girls and women. I don’t know if as a society we have just given men a total pass on being attractive or what, but the world is not a fair place. Also, here’s a newsflash, dudes: all good-looking men are not gay. This is a lie you tell yourself to justify wearing sport sandals with socks. Even if all beautiful men were gay, it doesn’t excuse you from not trimming your nose hairs. Same with your ear hairs. Embrace the trimming tools!
I would have this attractive thing nailed if attractiveness were defined by whether I could pull off wearing funky shoe wear, my ability to organize the shit out of my pantry and my expert cursing abilities. I’d be the most fucking attractive person alive if those things were the criteria.