The first time I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love and the completely unforgettable scene where Ryan Gosling’s character takes off his shirt and Emma Stone’s character says, “It’s like you’re Photoshopped,” I cringed. It wasn’t just that, “OMG, are you effing kidding me,” that came with those abs, but because I just don’t get it. That’s right, I don’t “get” washboard stomachs, six packs, or whatever they’re being called these days. If you put Ryan Gosling and Zach Galifianakis in front of me, I’m going to with Zach, and I’m not going to have to think about it for even a split second. I’m all over that … and his beard.
A recent study commissioned by the release of the film Bad Neighbors, found that when it comes down to women choosing Seth Rogan or Zac Efron, it’s actually guys like Rogan who win the ladies. Three in four British women would rather get their love on with a dude who has some fluff, and 96 percent of women “predict a date with an abs-obsessed bloke to be positively dreary.” Well, yeah, is it ever fun to go out with someone who doesn’t order dessert?
But why is this the case? Why is it that when it comes to the real world, the one we want to be with is, well, not so perfect? According to sexpert Tracey Cox, women are scared that they can’t live up to the perfect abs of a perfect man, so we go for the chubby guys instead. I beg to differ, but as one without any schooling in the way of being a sexpert, I’ll keep my thoughts on how women might just prefer humor and substance, as opposed to chiseled abs, to myself.
Says Cox, “Seventy-four percent of women in the survey said they’d feel self-conscious taking their clothes off in front of a perfectly toned man. A he-man’s discipline highlights our lack of it, making us feel even more acutely self-conscious of our own body flaws than usual. We feel far more comfortable with flab because it’s less threatening.”
How we view our bodies takes a huge toll in how we live our lives, even in regards to sex. While women are guilty of avoiding things, including sex, because of their weight, men, according to Cox, will still want to have sex no matter how self-conscious they are about their body. Michael Alvear, author of Not Tonight Dear, I Feel Fat, found that 50 percent of women will skip sex, even if they’re in the mood, because they “felt too fat.” It may seem like no big deal, but what happens is that all that dodging of sex can result in a woman losing her sex drive completely. Then where are you? A woman without a sex drive, just because of her fluffiness? No thanks!
Cox says there’s much we can learn from — wait for it — men(!), in regards to how we view ourselves. When men look in the mirror they focus on their assets, and even when shown a photo of someone like, say, Efron, guys usually don’t compare themselves, whereas women are the complete opposite. We can’t seem to see the good stuff in ourselves, and if you show us a photo of any women with a “better” body than us, we’ll crumble to the floor and wonder why we don’t have that awesome ass, those full lips, or that flat stomach. What we end up with is nobody having sex, because we let the society’s standards of beauty manipulate our thinking.
I usually find myself disagreeing with Cox on a lot of things, but this time around she ends her article with an important point about how we should all be more like Seth Rogan and, “learn to love our bellies and accept that wobbly bits are all part of being mere mortals.” It’s very true; being human means being imperfect. And if being imperfect means you order dessert after dinner, then I don’t see why anyone would want to be any other way.