Archive for June, 2012
My last post about tramps caused some controversy, but unfortunately, most of it was delivered verbally or via direct message and is not captured on this blog. But if 8 out of 10 cats are thinking something, then you probably are, too.
Maybe you agree that a tramp attracts attention, but you are asking how she keeps it.
Hell if I know. My Eurovision costume did not conjure instaboyfriend … but it did increase my odds. The relationship game is one of numbers, but it’s narrowing those numbers that’s the harder part. At the very least, you need a good rapport, shared values and physical chemistry — and even when those align, it’s still a bit of a crap shoot.
Please hold that thought, because I’m coming back to it after I answer question number 2. The big one.
If you look like a tramp, how do you convince men you’re not one?
And I’ll answer first with … an anecdote!
When I was an adolescent, I developed quickly and amply. This triggered a reaction: boys stared and girls whispered, both speculating about my own budding (cough) sexuality. With no originality whatsoever, they cried ‘Tramp!’
And for a year, before the girls caught up and everyone shut up, it hurt.
So I sought advice. From the school counsellor, of all people. (Why I did this, I still don’t know. I thought school counsellors only existed to pass on pre-made leaflets about marijuana use). But this one surprised me.
‘How can I not be branded a slut?’ I asked him.
‘Don’t be one,’ he said.
And that’s your answer.
Regardless of what I’m wearing or what look I am owning, no one who has spent any significant amount of time in my company has mistaken me for someone who plays fast and loose with her sexuality. Like modern women and feminists, I may have a ‘liberated’ view – but that does not mean my powers of selection have been liberated as well.
I was irked by the questions related to my post — not because they were asked of me — and certainly not by those who did the asking, but because of the bigger issue reflected in them. It’s the in-built societal assumption that it’s the man who gets to do the choosing.
In fact, I think the idea of a tramp and her easy availability attracts men for precisely that reason. If they think they are calling the shots, they’ll go for easy wins.
Let’s surprise them.
Regardless of how many heads we turn, and long may we turn them, we make choices about who we reject and who we let in, and under what circumstance and criteria. And if those decisions feel right, no one can call you anything but true to yourself.
If you don’t know the Eurovision Song Contest, get acquainted with it — not only because it will change your life immeasurably, but because then when I tell you I went to a Eurovision party as any given Eastern European contestant, you’ll be able to envisage my costume (the party was fancy dress). I knew I nailed the brief when a ponytailed party guest called Dmitri was able to place me immediately. But what really struck me, was that bodacious, besequined and wearing enough slap to double as a Kardashian (oooh – maybe I was singing for Armenia?!), I was getting more male attention than most other nights this calendar year.
Hear me now: if men tell you they favour a natural look, they don’t even know what that means. They are programmed to like a tramp.
The thing about fancy dress is that you may know you’re in it, but if it doesn’t involve a mask, others may not. So when you leave your house looking like a $2 whore, you take a taxi. What I didn’t account for was having to wander the streets of a fairly upscale neighbourhood in search of a liquor store and gift for the host. I present to you a conversation with an upright-looking proprietor:
Him: You look very nice tonight.
Me: (Rapid fire) I-don’t-normally-go-out-like-this-it’s-fancy-dress. Eurovision.
Him: I meant it as a compliment.
Me: (Even more rapidly) It’s-just-that-I-don’t-normally-wear-this-much-make-up.
Him: I gave you a discount on your champagne.
Me: (Imagine a Ron Burgundy-like reading of the question mark.) Thank you?
Let me give you another anecdote.
In my day job, I recently worked on set for a campaign that involved a voluptuous starlet displaying the wonders of PVC. (Women, you may not have considered it in the past, but let me tell you, it sucks in any problem areas and appears to render men speechless.)
Am I saying this celebrity is a tramp? Not at all. She is positively lovely. But given the latex, abundant wavy hair, her God-given hourglass figure and cleavage that could serve as a runway — for an Airbus 380 — she played one on TV.
Why was she cast in this role? Because the sponsors know what appeals to men — and what makes them part with their cash. To put it kindly, despite what men say on the streets, casting didn’t call for a ‘natural’ woman.
Let me be clear. Under all that make-up and synthetic material, this spokesperson IS a natural beauty, with a ‘real’ woman’s body that happens to be the stuff of male fantasy. And key to her pulling any of this off with a sniff of decency is her control over her own image.
The woman knows what she has and she knows how to work it. She knows how to make her body beautiful and the crucial balance of sexy and coy. Most of all, she knows to surround herself with good people who ensure her approval over every image.
I can hear you now — you are about to hit me with that ‘not the marrying type’ thing. Hey, I don’t disagree with you. I am not suggesting that we head out in PVC and platform heels in search of a soul mate. That will only end badly.
All I’m saying is that men are simple, visual and base. They respond to a tramp.
So IF this card suits you, play it as you like. Just heed the lessons here: stay in control, have fun — and if men go stupid in your presence, graciously accept the discount.