Posts Tagged With: appearance

Life As A Decoration

I recently attended an informative and deeply inspiring (read: long) industry conference in Anaheim with my wife. It was held in one of the second-floor ballrooms at the Anaheim Hilton, a hop, skip, and a jump from Disneyland’s front door. There was Magic Kingdom spill over into all of the surrounding stores and buildings that made the whole place feel like an extension of Main Street USA. It’s one of those places where everything feels like a souvenir. 🙂

Anyway, after snaking our way into the parking structure (a process that added at least a good 20 minutes to our overall travel time), we found a parking space and headed toward the venue. We arrived late (because of the crazy parking) and managed to grab a seat in the 5th row from the back. It was a great turn out. All together there were about 350 attendees, with a majority coming from various parts in and around L.A. County, along with a good contingent from Las Vegas I believe, and then a smattering from locations other than the West Coast.

Throughout the program, which lasted from about 8am to 4pm (or as the homeschoolers might call it, first subject to second snack), there were multiple speakers who took to the stage to regale us with their personal stories of triumph over circumstance, the virtues of perseverance, and general advice and suggestions on how to obtain success. All while juggling chainsaws and baking cookies. (Ha! Not really, but it feels like that sometimes.)

In usual fashion, each speaker was given a brief introduction to the audience so that we would have a better understanding of who they were, and would appreciate the experience or level of expertise from which they would be speaking. But in all of what has become very typical of these types of events, there was something that REALLY stood out to me… glaring gender disparity.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the guy that goes looking for “issues” to champion, or conjures up faux social injustices to expose. But this just sort of nagged at me throughout the day. The part that really puzzled me wasn’t the fact that the disparity was so obvious (at least to me), but that so many people seemed to be completely oblivious to it, or at least indifferent toward it.

Let me explain…

One introduction went something like this, “Mr. such and such is an amazing individual who did X, Y and Z! In addition to being wildly successful, he’s also friendly, humble, and a real go-getter! He lives in a beautiful house in such and such city, has X amount of children, AND AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL WIFE. I MEAN, SHE IS DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!

To be fair, in and of itself, there was nothing wrong with that statement. This person was simply offering a compliment to the speaker’s spouse. But there are two very important implications that lie underneath that benign statement…

1) that there was some apparent correlation between the beauty of the speaker’s wife and his success, and,
2) that what was most important to disclose about his wife was how attractive she was.

And these become the ongoing subliminal messages we transmit…

Men, become someone so accomplished that you can snag a drop-dead gorgeous wife.
And women, the most important thing about you, 
and the only thing that anybody really cares about, is how you look.

Now, I must state that there were also several speakers who were female. But not one of their introductions included references to the attractiveness of their husbands. No one mentioned how “stunningly handsome” or “captivatingly good-looking” the men were. It was usually a reference to what he did, such as, “…and her husband is an engineer,” or “…he comes from a military background.”

In an age where being arm candy could easily be the extent of someone’s aspirations, it doesn’t surprise me that no one noticed this pattern of referring primarily to a woman’s appearance, and by contrast, mostly referring to a man’s accomplishments. It seems to happen all the time.


Illustration by: Zohar Lazar (as it appeared in a Hollywood Reporter article dated June 19, 2015)

Next time you’re out with someone, pay attention to how other people refer to the men and women they know, or how they are introduced. There’s a good chance it’ll fall along the lines of “she’s pretty” and “he’s successful”.

I have one daughter. And it saddens me that she’s growing up in a world that constantly reinforces the idea of beauty over brains. Especially when to me, it is a person’s intelligence that really makes them attractive. So I plan to do everything I can to make sure my daughter understands that being smart isn’t a liability, and that her purpose in life is infinitely bigger than simply being a decoration.

I’m curious what other people think about this.

Do you believe gender disparity exists? And if so, what can we do to eliminate this type of default thinking?

Categories: commentary, opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


This is Part II of my series on FLIRTING. To read Part I, please click HERE.

RECAP: Flirting is an art form… There are methods that resemble artistic masterpieces, and others that resemble dirty scribbles on a dinner napkin. This post will help you determine where you fit in, or even IF you fit in.

Do you flirt? Yes, you do… whether you realize it or not. For most people, flirting is autonomic. Whenever you encounter a situation that calls for motivation, influence or even manipulation of some sort, the Flirt AutoPilot takes over and off you go!

So why is it that some people are better at it than others? Let’s explore the many factors…

EXPERIENCE: As a friend once so aptly put it (and I’m paraphrasing), “The more I’m rejected, the better I become.” In essence, this means that if you never try, you’ll never succeed. Being good at flirting is something that you fine-tune over time. You find out what works for you, and you cultivate it… heavily. Some may think its silly, but people who spend time working on themselves, developing their best attributes, often see a significant increase in their success rate.

APPEARANCE: How you present yourself to others can mean the difference between success and failure. There’s an old saying that goes, “A First Impression Is A Lasting One”. You will almost ALWAYS be judged by by your first impression, no matter what you may say or do afterword. Your initial approach is a major factor. You are engaging in shameless self-promotion, so treat it as such. There are 3 KEY POINTS: 1) Wear colors that compliment your complexion… 2) Avoid clothing that emphasizes any part of your body disproportionately… and 3) Remember, “Provocative” and “Sleazy” are two VERY different things. You want to stimulate an interest, not an illness.

INTELLIGENCE: This may be a more difficult issue for some people. But for the rest of you Rhodes Scholars, read on. In addition to your outward appearance, your intelligence is also on display. Some women (and men) have pre-programmed rejection statements. You have to be prepared to offer a counter-statement, and you can’t fumble over your words. Your level of wit is closely related to your level of intelligence. Insecurities can be overcome with knowledge… knowledge of who you are… knowledge of how you look… and knowledge of what you have to offer. This goes hand-in-hand with your self-confidence.

DETERMINATION: You should never throw in the towel as soon as you experience rejection. It WILL happen. I don’t care what anybody says. Everybody, at some point in their life, will be rejected. You can be drop dead gorgeous and still get rejected. Why is this? Because the reality is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. So you may very well be the apple of one person’s eye, while being totally repulsive to someone else. Well, maybe not that dramatic. But beauty is, and shall always be, subjective. Understand and remember what it is that makes YOU attractive. Confident people project an aura of confidence that is very appealing. A rejection is not always what it seems. Some people need to be approached more than once. Some people play mind games (another tool of some flirts, but perhaps we’ll address that in a subsequent post). Regardless, if you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to make sure you get it (within reason of course… and legally, mind you).

Okay, that’s enough for now. Take this information and keep it for your records… or throw it out. 😛 But who knows… it may prove invaluable some day. 😉 Part III will probably be posted tomorrow, if I’m not at the hospital.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blind Love

Yesterday I saw something that really moved me…

As I pulled out of the gas station on my way home from work, I watched as a middle-aged man walked down the street arm-in-arm with a woman who I could only assume was his girlfriend.

You might be wondering, “So you saw a couple walking down the street… what’s so moving about that?”

Well, as I got into the left-hand turn lane, I could tell the man was visually impaired because he was using a white cane to cross the street. What moved me is that his girlfriend, who was holding tightly to his arm as they walked, was completely blind. She was depending on him to lead her to their destination, and I could tell from the confidence in her steps that she trusted him to do so without any concern or worry.

When they reached the other side of the street, I was so captivated by them that I didn’t even notice the light turn green. That is, until the cars behind me started honking. I started my turn onto the cross street and caught a glimpse of them in my rear view mirror.

I was reminded of the old saying that love is blind. If there was ever a moment that epitomized those words, it was literally this one. As far as their love story is concerned, appearance, weight and ethnicity are perfectly irrelevant. If only those with functioning eyes could see as clearly…

Categories: personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DOVE NOTE #95: The Look Of Love

For those looking for a stable, long-term relationship (LTR), there’s something very, VERY important that you need to know, understand and accept about LTRs: No One Stays The Same.

Now don’t laugh and shrug this off. Sure, you may think that this is nothing new and that you were already aware of this fact. But I’m not talking about changes like people growing in maturity (or immaturity in some cases) or having your taste in clothes or music change over time. No. What I’m referring to is the all-too-real truth that as you get older, your appearance will inevitably change. This WILL happen no matter how many creams you apply or workouts per week you manage to fit in. The fact remains that you will never look like you did at 18 when you’re 40, and neither will your spouse.

Now this is not to say that either of you will look bad necessarily. I’m pretty sure there are lots of people who become more attractive as they get older. All I’m saying is that when it comes to lasting love, don’t base your inward commitment on outward appearances.

You or your spouse may gain weight, lose hair or even develop liver spots. But when you endeavor to remember all the wonderful qualities that make them the most important person in your life, you’ll grow to appreciate those changes and the years of love and adventure that accompany them.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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