Saturday, May 31, 2008

Aging for men and women...

I am amused to hear that men are more distinguished and look better as they age (read some of the comments), whereas women do not. Hello, what about balding, middle-aged, pot-bellied, unattractive men? Well, there are some bald men that are sexy..
And there are distinguished looking older women that are elegant. Have we looked at some of the older actresses? Meryl Streep's character, Miranda Priestley, in The Devil Wears Prada, was one such. Absolute class, authority, confidence, style and elegance. Jamie Lee Curtis in the yogurt ad looks distinguished, too. So does Hillary Clinton.
I think we are confusing attractiveness with sexual desirability. A younger woman with flawless, supple skin, great curves, a firmer body and youthful hair attracts men because she is definitely more Mommy-material to pass on their genes. But, is grey hair by itself, leaving aside all considerations of youth, worse-looking than, say, brown hair? Is grey an unattractive color by itself? Heck, very few people prefer brown sedans to sleek grey ones! If, say, there were a race of people with naturally grey hair since birth, our whole perception of grey hair would change.
It's not that men age better, they are perceived as better-looking as they age. Women find the maturity and gravitas of older men more appealing and since, for centuries, women have traditionally been married to older men, who then in many instances, provided for them, older men are probably also seen as more protective figures. Sounds very gender-unequal but in many societies, women were married off for the security the institution provided, financially, socially, emotionally, physically, etc.
Men, on the other hand, picked younger women for both pleasure and to bear offspring. Nature must have had a reason for the preference for youth and beauty in the choice of sexual partners and that would have been procreation. But that does NOT mean that older women or men are unattractive.
The logic of preferring youth over age should apply to women as well.
Younger men are more virile (no need for Viagra), have a higher chance of fertilizing a woman and are very attractive. Also, since men have shorter life spans, what sense does it make to hook up with someone who will not be there for you much longer?
It's not age alone that is the problem, it is our perception of age that is a bigger one.
The trouble with women is, they fall into the trap of marketers and know-it-alls, think that a few fine lines around the eyes and the mouth are enough to make them look unattractive and totally undesirable. Women seem more desperate to snag a man and look lovely. Part of it could be that a woman's fertile years are limited as compared to a man's. Besides, pregnancy and childbirth, nursing and rearing take up a lot of her energy and time. As they have to do a lot of hard work to get a human into this world, women are also probably pickier when it comes to their choice of mates.
Unless women themselves look at themselves differently, celebrate the attractiveness of youth as well as the dignity and the different attractiveness of old age, we cannot expect any better from the rest of the world.
They will be caught up in the eternal cycle of byaah, bachcha, budhaapa (Hindi for marriage, children, old age).
P.S. This is one of the first posts in the list of probably more to come about byaah, bachcha, budhaapa...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Some songs to cheer you up...

There are some absolutely lovely songs that you MUST have on your listening list in your iPod/MP3 player/car CD player, anywhere where you store your favorite tunes. They will perk you up when you are in the dumps..

I am inspired by GreatBong's school of humor, so read on ..

Take this priceless gem - Ankhiyon ke neeche from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

It is one of the truly international songs with a French word - Monsieur embedded inside whacky Hindi lyrics, in a Hinglish sentence - No, no Monsieur no no itnaa simple nahin... (meaning, No no Monsieur it's not that simple..).
Also, it addresses the object of the hero's affection as a mint candy - mint ki goli. How refreshing...

Not to mention the enactment of the French Revolution in the hallowed vicinity of the Eiffel Tower, where movies such as the recent Da Vinci Code were set. I mean, just take a look at the costumes of all the extras in the song..assorted countesses, courtiers and probably all the 18th century junta of France parading about in a manner that would probably invoke the dead souls of all the poor souls who lost their lives in that violent period..and I mean all the souls whether on the exploited side or the exploiter's side.

God help those who shot that movie..

Another movie that would cheer me up anytime is Bunty Aur Babli, the cute, outrageeous, rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-at-times comedy featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee as a conning duo that somehow manage to win your heart.
There are many more that I may share later...