More Wrinkles, Less Dates?

My mom, Tamar, in her 20s


What makes a man attracted to a woman?

When researching the topic of what makes women and men attracted to each other, I came across a study that suggested that men correlated a woman’s age with her health. As a result of this, a man interested in starting a family will only seek a youthful looking woman because the younger the woman, the more fertile she may be—wrinkles will get in the way of  a man asking a woman out on a date. I wondered how much of this behavior is true and whether more conscious thinking comes into play when men begin courting a woman, things like: “I hope we have a lot in common,” or “I hope she has a sense of humor.”  It’s all a very interesting study in the science of attraction, and when asking a bunch of men to define what attracted them to a woman, I found a plethora of ideas that ranged from physical beauty to personality, character and intelligence.

A bathing beauty


What type of woman is deemed attractive?

It’s all about her body, her eyes or lips, husky voice, the small of her back, her big ass, 36-24-36, pretty feet, curves, blue eyes, black eyes, naturally shaped eyebrows, long silky hair, beautiful, white teeth, very fit body, great smile, great attitude, a lot of ambition, sassiness, funny, intelligent, can salsa really well, the look of a woman straight after a tough yoga class, when her hair is a bit messy but she doesn’t give a damn, natural with no make- up,  quirky personality, one that gives you a bit of a hard time is sexy, so is an independent woman, one who likes order—then you know she will take care of you, a woman who can show compassion is sexy, affectionate, cooks well, cute laugh, and one who shares her feelings instead of keeping them bottled up and opts for the silent treatment, one who ignites a special spark in you—very sexy.

The truth is that these ideas of attraction change when questioning men from around the world, where naturally, the standards of beauty differ dramatically even among women, and the requirements of what constitutes a suitable bride are completely different as well. However, the one common denominator among all men is the notion that young women are most suitable for starting a family. In that respect there are women in some parts of the world who marry very young, too young for that matter. My own great grandmother who grew up in Yemen in 1898 married at age 8 where this practice was the norm, because in those days Jewish children who were suddenly orphaned were forced to convert to Islam and leave their family for good. Mortality was very high back then, and in order to prevent this from happening Jewish families preferred to marry off their children very young.

Picture 002

Only when I became pregnant at 40 and the doctor labeled me as advanced age pregnancy, did I start feeling old.

In the West where men and women tend to marry a lot older these days, that initial condition must have changed somewhat. A woman in her 30s does not normally look like a 20 year old, but these days the lines have been blurred to such a degree that one is hard pressed to see much difference when we have learned to take such good care of ourselves and so many women enhance the look of youth with all the modern treatments that are available to them. In the medical field though, a woman who is 36 years old and pregnant, is already considered to be in an advanced age pregnancy. I know this first hand, because I was one of those women who was told this fact when I conceived my son at 40 years old.

Funny, but up to that stage of my life I never considered myself old, not until I was labeled as such by the doctor. I guess that from a physiological stand point, there is no running away from the truth, that our reproductive abilities are diminished at that age no matter what we look like on the outside, or how great we feel generally. However, I wish that doctors would choose more positive language when tending to women who are pregnant at a later stage of their life. And this has absolutely nothing to do with being politically correct, it’s more a case of realizing that we already have to deal with so much stigma when it comes to age and looks that there is no need to further press the issue. We know, nature deems us old, but so what?

Getting back to my opening statement, when it comes down to choosing a partner, men look for a lot more than just physical appearance, and those who don’t , well, they learn somewhere down the road what really counts. There is so much more that comes into play when a couple feels attracted to one another, that we can only hope that preconceived notions of attraction are not part of the consideration, ever, no matter how much outside influence there is.


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