Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If You Want Barbie, You Better Be Ken

Shows like "The Real Housewives of Orange County" give us a frightening glimpse into the world of money, excess, vacuity and The Trophy Wife.

I've seen it over and over again, even in conversations with "everyday" dudes (albeit shallow ones) and really, it's laughable. Here you have a guy either wanting a wife that is "hot" and looks a certain way and "maintains herself," or you have a guy lamenting that his wife doesn't "make that effort" anymore.

While watching the Housewives, I was struck once again by the idiocy and irony of that desire. The wives tend to be as plastic as they come. They spend tons of cash on the upkeep of their nails, hair, Botox, plastic surgery, not to mention the gym, clothes and whatever trifles will keep them looking like Barbie dolls and keep their husbands happy. Then, they show the husbands. Seriously?

Why is it that these guys that demand a certain look, or complain about their wives, can look like the troll that lived under the bridge themselves? There's one husband on the Housewives, and this is just so stereotypical to me, that has a paunch, is balding and in general is no hottie. He looks like a nerdy, average, middle aged man. Yet, his wife is this fake, top heavy blonde that caters to his every whim and wish. Please don't tell me these women don't marry these guys for their money. If you say it's true love I may spit my coffee all over the laptop screen. Through my nose. It's THAT silly of a notion.

Come off the television screen, and there are guys out there in the "real" world saying the same thing. They want their wives to look like Supermodels and sex it up, and yet they themselves can sit watching football, beer in hand, scratching themselves and ageing right before our eyes.

To these ignorant cavemen I say, get over yourselves.

Listen, we all want to feel proud of our spouses. We want to feel attracted to them. I get that. We married them (usually anyways) at their "best" and we want to keep that version of them. Well, weight and sexiness aside, we are all going to age. We are all going to sag and wrinkle and slacken. It's called getting older, folks. We can't keep our spouses in some time capsule where they are free from the ravages of time. If your relationship's health revolves around your spouse staying "hot," you are going to be in BIG TROUBLE come Viagra and Menopause time. It's just not realistic.

And here's the other thing. If you want your wife to look like a Barbie doll, guys, then you better sure as heck look like Ken. You want her fit and buff with long, flowing locks? Then you better get your butt to the gym WITH her and get some plugs while you are at it! Don't sit there with your beer gut, ogling 20 year olds, complaining with your male cronies about your wives, looking like Homer Simpson. The double standard is staggering. If we have to pick up your dirty underwear and socks, make your meals and stroke your fragile egos, you can very well keep YOURSELVES to the same expectations.

Now, I'm generalizing here. There are men and women both who, shockingly, didn't marry their spouse based on their looks alone. I know, WHAT? There are actually people out there who love the grey creeping around their spouses temples. They embrace the laugh lines around their spouses' eyes. They gently kiss the forehead creases that have gathered on their loves brow. They know that these changes are inevitable, but also beautiful. Why? They know that they've grown together, that a face shows a lifetime, that the person has evolved year by year into something better, wiser.

Yes, we want our partners healthy and strong. We want them to take care of themselves. We want them vital and attractive. A partnership is so much more than that, though. If the outer physical manifestations are all that you can see, you may as well sign those divorce papers now.

I wish every neanderthal out there with a Barbie fantasy luck. I'd hate to be married to someone who loved me for my pocketbook and not my true soul. Then again, I would hate to be married to someone who only loved me for my looks and my ability to kiss their butt. Eventually, those Barbie women will be traded in for Skipper. I guess that's okay when you get a big divorce settlement.

I'll take someone real yesterday, today and tomorrow. Life has so many obstacles and challenges, just being here and making it through together is gift enough for me. There is something to be said about ageing gracefully, and accepting it with dignity every step of the way.

Even 12 year old girls trade in their Barbie Dream Houses at some point. Grow up and take a cue.

We aren't Barbies, you aren't Ken-convertible and fancy mansion included.

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