Men – What did you think of the women’s responses?
Curious to hear what the men thought of the responses in the recent thread: “Ladies, which part do you want treasured?”
Overall, it seems that most ladies didn’t necessarily want a particular part to be treasured, but wanted ALL of their being to be loved and appreciated.
Husbands, does this differ from what you had expected? What did you think as you read the responses from the ladies? I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts, if you are willing to share – thanks.
I really want to see more discussion on this, so at the risk of starting a flame war and losing respect from the people of TMB, I’m going to say that I don’t buy it. Please note that this does not mean I think any individual woman at TMB lied. Maybe it’s as simple as LBD said and that the demographics here (both age and personality) don’t match the rest of the world, or maybe it’s the “part” aspect and not just their physicality in general, I don’t know. But my thoughts are that numbers don’t lie:
- The worldwide beauty industry is a $532B market (per yr, 2017 numbers). 20% of that is the US, for $106B. That’s an enormous sum of money. In 2017, there were about $166M women in the US (all ages). That’s about $639 per female per year, including infants. Apparently, my number there was a huge underestimate, as this article says the average woman spends ~$2000/yr on cosmetic products/operations!
- In an extreme contrast, the ED market globally in 2017 was $4.2B. That’s less than 1% of the “beauty” market!
See how those numbers compare to other big areas (2018 numbers, but close enough): https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/prS3hI2_0kSn9prRqulJ6A–~A/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9MTI4MDtoPTk2MA–/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/quartz.com/43ddc97288cd79ce16d47105e501c8a5
That indicates the US beauty market is over 7x bigger than the NFL (American Football) and over 14x bigger than the NBA (Basketball). It’s also ~7x bigger than mid-range estimates of the porn industry!
Yes, I know some beauty products are purchased by men. Yes, I know some hygiene products are lumped in with beauty products. But that’s still an enormous amount of money.
I’ve spent a lot of time in academics, and particularly on college campuses. The time, money, and effort going into female “beauty” there is mind boggling. A quick search I just did found that a 2008 study by Clairol indicated 75% of women dye their hair. The article I linked to above said 1/3 women refuse to leave the house without makeup, 6/10 won’t go to work without it, and even 1/10 won’t let their husband see them without it. We also know from previous threads that hair coloring and makeup are used by at least some of the women here at TMB.
So what does all this mean? Does it mean TMB’s responders aren’t representative of the US aggregate? Are the responses skewed by age? Was the question by OWM not phrased in a good way (“part” vs. physical beauty in general)? Is my interpretation of the numbers screwy? Is the adage that women work on their appearance to impress other women (as opposed to their mate) actually true? Are they looking for affirmation of the physical from everyone but their DH’s?
I’ll be straight-up honest here: to my knowledge, I have only seen Zelda wear makeup once in my entire life, which was just a small amount at our wedding. She doesn’t wear it, and neither of us use “product” of any kind. It’s a bizarre concept to me for sure, and I’m trying to understand it. Also, please know that this is not a personal attack on anyone who responded in the other thread–I have tremendous respect for many of the women here at TMB and hope that you know that!
@SoA, 4AtS, and Selkie:
To clarify, my long “answer” on this thread was in regard to several answers on that thread by women basically indicating that the physical doesn’t/shouldn’t matter. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
“If we put so much stock, or store our treasures in parts that can, or WILL change, and usually not for the better, then we have an identity crisis when they change…”
“I know that all my physical features will decline (or already have declined) with age and just living life.”
“I want to be valued for who I am, not for my physical appearance. My physical appearance will change and my outward beauty will fade away. Who I am will remain.”
“My body will break down over time, why would i choose to base my identity on something that will fail me.”
Maybe I read into some of the other responses, but they seemed to have that undertone implied too. And yet the “beauty industry” is more than twice the size of the porn, NFL, NBA, and ED industries combined.
@4AtS, you said “A lot if women go to the salon once a month to help them feel beautiful” and said it costs $100 or more. That is exactly my point. Why are they wanting to “feel beautiful”? Who are they doing it for? For that kind of money, it is clearly important to them for some reason. In my world, that is a lot of money. If that were put into a Roth IRA and earned a conservative 5% interest over the course of 30 yr, that’s over $83000. For my DW and I, that’s significantly earlier retirement and would be huge. So why spend that kind of money if one believes what those quotes above imply?
@Selkie, you make a good point that a “treasured part” is not the same as “do you want to be considered physically beautiful”. Perhaps I did distort the question some. Those quotes above, however, would seem to apply to both. Maybe this next quote from an answer on that thread may be useful to consider:
“I think the general population of women just desire to be thought beautiful all around. Faces, figures, etc. You see it everywhere in clothing. However, deep down I believe they would rather be noticed for the non physical things. Brains, heart, their love, temperament, etc.” (emphasis mine)
So instead of an individual part, they want all their parts to be awesome? Just a possibility, but it makes a lot of sense given the spending stats.
@SoA: You said “what does that have to do w/the question about which PART do you want treasured (or treasure) and it seemed to me it was trying to dig out of women’s responses SEXUAL parts like men do. Well surprise, surprise, we are not men.” Please see above for the quotes that I was referencing, which kind of implied that the physicality in general was not important. I disagree that OWM’s question was trying to “dig out” a sexual part, and I thought your “face” response was fine. In fact, “face” makes a lot of sense given the stats on makeup. I didn’t think your answer was shallow at all. And it is no surprise that the ladies’ answers were not like men’s. What did surprise me was the numerous responses indicating physicality was not important. While I think those are great answers, they don’t seem to jive with the average woman (person) in our culture.
I realize my first “answer” on this thread can seem harsh. But honestly I see no way around it that women, as a group, spend a massive amount of time/energy/money on trying to improve their looks. From just the time/money/energy component, it would also seem to me that every part is more important to a woman than any part is to a man (that’s probably an exaggeration, but I hope you see the point). Is it just not for their husband at all? Or not sexual at all (I have a hard time buying this one…I’ve been to college)? If not, then what is it for? For me, I work quite hard to be fit and attractive for my wife…much more so than I would if I was just by myself. I want her to have the best that I can offer.
Thanks for your detailed reply. Here are my thoughts on each.
- You’re likely right about the wording. I tied the question to physical beauty in general because of several answers that seemed to directly tie to that and be incompatible with statistics out there on beauty. Several people have now pointed out that a question about beauty would likely elicit different responses.
- Agree on the demographics thing. If you want an idea of ages at TMB, then check out results to this poll.
- So maybe my “I don’t buy it” wording was over the top and potentially offensive. Please believe that I don’t think anyone here lied or is even deceiving themselves. From my perspective, put together both from personal experience and from knowledge of the statistics of the beauty industry, many of the answers didn’t jive with the average US woman. My wife was one of those answers, and I know she’s not being deceitful, so I certainly don’t think others here are.
- My wife is the same as you in terms of (lack of) beauty spending. As I mentioned to Selkie, this leaves me without a frame of reference in this area.
- Interesting on your DH not complimenting you on your parts. I routinely say very nice things about Zelda’s (my DW’s) butt and breasts, as well as her face and beauty in general.
Women are conditioned from the earliest age that their value is tied to their attractiveness. A little girl is put in a dress and told how pretty she looks. Little girls, toddlers, are complimented on their looks. Little boys are complimented on what they do. Yes, little boys are occasionally told how handsome they look dressed up for Easter service, and little girls are praised for building with blocks or reading….but if you were to document through years 1-10, I bet you would easily see that a much larger percentage of praise for little girls has to do with looks.
The beauty industry is SO huge because women want to feel valuable and admired, and we have been conditioned that this will happen largely through how we look. We also know that we will attract a mate more on how we look then our brains or accomplishments. I know if a woman is beautiful, but mean, that many men will not be interested in her long term, but often in the short term, she gets attention. The “whole package” is a beautiful woman who is kind and smart. The beautiful part is important.
Women who feel insecure in their relationships, which often happens from porn, and we know statistically a large percentage of men are watching porn, will try to increase their attractiveness…working out, plastic surgery, etc… If they are unhappy in their marriage, maybe they just want to increase their attractiveness to receive positive attention elsewhere. Many women get post divorce plastic surgery because they want to attract affirming attention that they are still valuable.
It’s the motivation underneath that matters…the women are doing this to get attention that tells them they are valuable. I think if you stranded 10 women on an island by themselves, you would see they quit caring what they look like completely. What would be valuable is skills, and they would invest fully in those things to receive validation from the rest of the group that they are contributing in a valuable fashion.
I have talked out this issue a lot with my counselor. As a sexual assault survivor I had two warring things in side of me, the side that wanted to wear baggy clothes, and become invisible because I didn’t want any male attention, and the other part of me that had been conditioned so strongly that my value was affirmed by male attention that wanted me to get noticed. Ultimately women will be at their very best when they give the whole thing up, and only care that they are beautiful to the Lord. When I was talking to my counselor about this I described it a bit like choosing to become like someone from another planet. On the other planet, you are beautiful (representing God’s view of you), let’s say on the other planet it is purple skin, pink hair, no boobs, that is beautiful. But on this planet, your attributes are not beautiful or valued, big boobs, blue skin and green hair are beautiful. So you receive none of the affirmation on this planet that you are beautiful. You can change yourself, breast implants, dye your hair, maybe dye your skin and conform, receiving now positive attention. OR rest secure in that you are beautiful, but this planet cannot see it.
I just responded to the original question and then skimmed through this thread. I agree with previous comments that women aren’t necessarily spending money on their bodies to impress anyone else. I do wear makeup most days, but it’s for myself. My DH can’t tell the difference and I’m certainly not doing it to attract male or female attention or praise. I do lots of things to feel good about myself like floss my teeth, work out, eat plant-based foods, etc. Putting on makeup and styling my hair takes 5-10 minutes out of my day, so not exactly taxing.
One thing I do notice about the younger generation (this includes my kids who are young adults) is that many of them DON’T seem to care about their appearance. Sloppy clothing in public, overweight, hair in a messy bun that looks unwashed. I equate it with laziness and/or depression. I think there’s something to be said for taking a little bit of pride in your appearance and also having respect for yourself and those around you.
And now I sound old.🤓
“Not every woman needs to be beautiful to everyone, but every woman wants to be beautiful to someone. As @Selkie said, wanting to be beautiful to someone is not even close to being the same as treasuring a part or wanting a part treasured.”
So who do women want to be beautiful to? And for those working so hard to change/improve/hold onto their physical beauty, are they not treasuring their whole physical appearance, or “all” their parts? Given how upset some women can be if someone “insults” part of their appearance, it sure seems that way to me.
“You all want a part I want treasured… though it’s not really a part, it’s the closest you’ll get from me… lines and wrinkles. If my husband can treasure those, I know that I will be set for the years to come, and he’ll only have more and more to treasure!”
Hear! Hear! to that!
it has been proven by psych studies and sociology studies that women often go to great lengths to “beautify” for other women as much or more than men. It’s a tough game out there! 😉 To do so, they almost always accentuate a “part” or “parts” of their anatomy – be it boobs or lips or eyes or….whatever. And most often they will try to accentuate the parts they already feel good about. Have good boobs – wear low cut blouse. Have good butt – wear tight pants. Etc. They often also spend time and effort trying to hide or mask or distract away from the parts they don’t like so much. To the casual observer, this can certainly present as a mindset. And the young or the naive or the low esteem lady can attach at least some of who she perceives herself to be with these “parts”. I’ve known women like that. My son bemoans them every day as he tries to cull through them to find a marriable lass among the college throng. These types do not go to the trouble to consult a marriage blog or forum. They’re too busy doing their nails and lashes.
Once a little maturity sets in (and that can take YEARS! for some), then I agree, a well founded female will want to be loved for who she is inside first, and the outside just comes along for the ride. And you know what? Most of us guys really want the same thing. I don’t want my wife just to love my penis. Penises are a dime a dozen. There’s a hundred guys that would gladly share theirs with her. But mine is attached to ME, and that is what I want her to love. Of course I want her to enjoy my penis too. But not just because it’s a glorious penis by itself 😆.
On the other hand, I have heard my wife on a couple of occasions say how she likes her flat tummy. She has used the words “this is just about my favorite part of me.” I like it too. Probably not my favorite part of her, but I’ll give her belly some time because I know she thinks it’s a good part and anything I can do to build her up is positive. Does she want me to “treasure” her belly? Not in that sense I’m sure. I treasure it along with the rest of her. But I also pay a lot of attention to and praise the parts I know she is a little insecure about.
I think what the OP was really getting to is this – is there a part of you (men or women) that you feel needs special attention to help you feel good about yourself. THAT is the underlying thing not being said I believe.