But it’s not the nation I spend my time around.
Most women I know are smart enough to see the correlation between good looks and nicer neighborhoods.
No wonder they all look alike.
But it’s not the nation I spend my time around.
Most women I know are smart enough to see the correlation between good looks and nicer neighborhoods.
No wonder they all look alike.
When you’re young and beautiful, the world can kiss your ass.
You have nothing to prove that isn’t already obvious, which is plenty enough.
But as you get older and your sense of self-worth [as a man] is tied largely to your lifelong accomplishments [including the ones in your own head], the prospect of fading “relevance” becomes terrifying.
This juncture marks the onset of what I refer to as the narcissists crucible, “a place of occasion or test of severe trial” where anything can, and usually will manifest in order to keep the boat from sinking like a jackhammer.
Note: The following is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event. It just seems like it does.
My name is Aristotle “Ari” Lazarov of Monaco, and I am a clinical narcissist. My 5th wife, Christina, is my enabler. Together we have 12 children.
Note: What I narcissists would admit so I wouldn’t have to run an intervention on their delusions.
I have a wonderful relationship with all my ex-wives because it behooves social climbers to keep their mouths shut.
Needless to say, they have nothing to stand on without party invitations, and therefore, everything to lose.
Note: He should know.
I am an extraordinarily good-looking man in spite of my age [which changes every 5 minutes, or just stays where it is for years at a time].
Note: Narcissists never fail to compliment themselves.
I dine at the right restaurants, drive the right cars, belong to the right clubs, know the right people, and wear acceptable designer apparel recognized by people who know and appreciate the finer things in life.
Note: He never wears anything that people who host photo-op-worthy cocktail parties and fundraisers might find distasteful, since party invitations are the lifeblood of his existence.
I stay in top physical condition through regular workouts with my personal trainer. I also maintain healthy eating habits, and take herbal testosterone that replenishes everything stolen by age, about which I remain in denial.
Note: It’s a simple equation, really.
I have a home in Houston, an apartment in NYC, and a family compound outside Paris.
Note: Doesn’t everyone?
The other specifics of my life are up to you and your imagination. If I’ve been successful, you’ll imagine big.
Note: The narcissist stays light on the details and heavy on innuendo to keep the fantasies alive long after death, which is just as important as life in most cases.
My name is Christina Lazarov, wife to my handsome and successful husband, Aristotle.
Note: I’m an enabler, remember?
Whatever my last name used to be is irrelevant because my life back then was irrelevant […not that it doesn’t haunt me in the middle of the night when I remember feeling something rather than nothing at all].
Note: This is something she should have broached in therapy, but because therapists lean in the direction of healing, she found a Pilates instructor.
Now my world is glamorous [pretentious], transcendent [privileged], and blissful [spaced-out], as everyone who’s anyone knows.
Note: Reflection [aka external affirmation] is heroin to any Stepford Wife with a working knowledge of the Devil’s Crossroads.
1] Aging narcissist-socialites attend parties for the photo ops, not for the charities themselves.
In fact, many of them don’t even know the charities they’re attending, given the number of stops one must make on a particular night, particularly during cultural season.
“Oh is this the Opera gala? Of course it is!”
2] Old money doesn’t want the publicity.
New money can’t live without it.
Note the outrageously expensive and pretentious automobiles cars lined up in perfect formation in front of gold digging establishments.
Money is thrown around like party favors. Think of it as a carbon credit for people who don’t know better.
3] The aging narcissist sits on the fence between old and new, driving cars that are expensive, but not pretentious.
Wearing clothing that is stylish, but not trendy and/and garish.
And generally behaving in a manner reflective of sophistication and cultural maturity, in spits of the fact that it’s a ruse.
In this sense, they’re the lowest of the low because no one has any idea who they really are, including themselves.
I could go on.
The Beauty-Status relationship is analogous to lines and performance in sports cars.
And speaking of sports cars, there’s always a faster one.
What I’m about to illustrate will probably irritate most women who resent objectification, but it may help mitigate the anger through acceptance that men are superficial first, human second.
THE MALE DEMOGRAPHIC
1] Big cities
Three  female body types and how men of the above demographic respond to each:
While no one could possibly argue that this woman isn’t insanely fit, most would find her too muscular for cocktail attire.
Imagine her in Prada and the discussion is closed.
She’s out of place anywhere other than a gym, which is not where most of these men spend the majority of their lives.
She is also impossible to physically control, which challenges a CEO’s self-perception as natural born leader.
Plus-sized women make such men feel inadequate and embarrassed.
What have they done – or not done – in their personal lives to enable such an abomination to evolve?
People will hurl conjecture right and left at galas and benefits from here to Monte Carlo.
She should know better, and he’s obviously a complete failure as a man, so yes, this physique is a FAIL.
While there remains a small niche market for this look – particularly among men who get off on physically dominating the look and feel of 12-year-old boys – it is less common than you might imagine.
Finally, we have what most men in the above demographic consider a woman prepped to sell.
She is fit, but overly so. “Toned, but not muscular” is the way is usually described.
Her bathing suit looks the way the fashion designer envisioned it on a woman, and furthermore, she would look great in basically everything “couture” on the planet.
Perceptions of him – his status, in particular – soars.
He’s now arrived and she gets the house.
Yea, there’s a downside to everything.
HOW TO MAINTAIN “OBJECT” STATUS
Women who go down this road know what they have to sacrifice in order to get it right.
First, they have to start out with the right facial and body structure.
There is some wiggle room here, so don’t freak out just yet.
From this point forward, the hard work begins.
Tenet #1: Counting calories is as much a part of life as breathing, preferably no more than 1200 a day.
For me 1200 calories doesn’t even cover breakfast, but whatever.
Tenet #2: In order to maintain the obligatory year-round tan and flawless skin, you need the right skincare products and 100% sunblock.
Understand that women do not tan at a pool. They tan at a salon. There’s a difference.
As for exercising, there is no such thing as running a marathon or any extended outdoor running at all.
It’s fine for teenagers, but once a woman hits her mid-20’s all the sun damage creeps in like a tsunami.
Tenet #4: All exercising must be done indoors – at “pump” classes, Pilates and yoga.
Understand that the look is “toned, but not muscular,” in spite of the fact that this makes no literal sense, since tone is muscle.
But women in “the know” understand the terminology well because they have the blueprint stamped into their DNA.
SUMMARY OF THE BASICS
1] 1200 calories a day
2] Spray on tan and sunblock.
3] Indoor exercise, only.
Would she be held to the same standards? If not, why?
The article uses several celebrity examples of older men who seem to get away with certain behavior that Madonna would be skewered for.
The narrative here is that older women, in general, are held to completely different standards to that of older men.
Sometimes this is true, but not always, as I’ll explain.
First, an example of what you’ll read in the “bullet-pointed” article:
1: Harrison Ford, Private Plane Pilot. On March 5, the 72-year-old actor crashed his World War II-era plane. The story made headlines around the world, all honoring how well he managed to handle the accident and hoping for his speedy recovery.
No longer High, Flying or Adored, Madonna Crashes on the Runway and the Charts.
My Take: Madonna, in particular, set herself up for all of this.
Either she cannot see, or chooses to ignore, the reality that “25 and 55” are two different things.
While rock stars like Mick Jagger still rockin’ n’ rollin’, we’re all in on the fantasy.
Jagger has never pretended to deny – or in any way change public perception of – his age.
In the case of Madonna, it’s the other way around.
Her album covers are case studies in Photoshop overindulgence; her competitiveness with pop singers half her age the punch lines of every late night missive; and her incessant allusions to bedding young men is as cringe-worthy as biting a dry Popsicle stick.
With Madonna, it’s not about men and women being held to different standards, it’s about Madonna not coming to terms with reality as the rest of the world knows it.
The final 11 bullet points cite:
2] Paul Newman: Car Racing at 70.
Bitch on Wheels: Desperate Madonna Still Thinks She’s in the Race
My Take: Again, this is not about age as much as it is about Madonna. Nobody ever beats up on older female triathletes. They applaud.
3] Iggy Pop, Shirtless at 67.
Icky Pop: GrandMadonna’s Topless Photo Looks Like a Map of the Old Stars Homes
My Take: Iggy Pop looks like a friggin’ monster as he did 30 years ago. No one’s ever disputed that. The fact that he’s preternaturally shredded only makes him a greater curiosity, not sex symbol.
4] Tom Cruise, Fencing at age 52.
Right of Light Saber: Madonna Learns How to, Literally, Stab Her Friends in the Back
My Take: They’re probably right about this one.
5] Russell Crowe, Knitting at age 50.
Unapologetic Stitch: Will Madonna Knit Baby Booties for Her Next Boyfriend?
My Take: This one reaches for a story it never quite lands.
6: Brad Pitt, Motorcycle Riding at age 51.
Motorcycle Mama’s Message to Her Children: Biking Is Fine!
My Take: If Madonna wants to ride motorcycles, nobody cares as long as she isn’t riding it in a tu-tu.
7: Sean Penn, Surfing at age 54
Drowned World: Madonna Desperately Tries to Stay Afloat
My Take: Not to hammer a point to oblivion, but if Madonna wants to resurrect herself, an acoustic guitar and her voice on stage would be enough to fill arenas anywhere.
8: Johnny Depp, Owning and Island at age 51.
From British to Bahamian, Madonna’s Un-American Ambitions
My Take: See #5 Russell Crowe.
9: Sting, Tantric Sex at age 63.
Chanteuse on the Loose: Madonna’s Sexual Stretch Marks
My Take: It is true that Madonna would be the laughing stock of the world if she were to publicize something like this in light of her recent missteps.
10: George Clooney, Sports at age 53.
No Longer in a League of Her Own, Madonna Strikes Out on the Playing Field, Dribbles in Public, and Chases After Tight Ends
My Take: If Madonna competed successfully in a triathlon, she would set an example for women her age. Instead, she expects people to just imagine her doing it, along with everything else.
11: Denzel Washington, Boxing at age 60
Former Musical Heavyweight Madonna Now Hits Below the Belt
My Take: If Madonna wanted to box, no one would care one iota.
12: Kevin Costner, Horseback Riding at age 60.
Madonna owns… wait, she fell off her horse in 2005, leaving her with a broken hand, busted collarbone and three cracked ribs. One very popular New York Newspaper wrote it…”Madonna Falls Off Her High Horse.”
My Take: I remember this story well, and again, Madonna is her own worst enemy.
When Keith Richards fell out of a coconut tree or four-wheeler or whatever the hell happened to him in Hawaii, he got flowers and high-fives, not a tsunami of negative press because he’s cool being who the hell he is!
The article is not about gender stereotypes.
It’s about Madonna…as usual.
The Country Club aesthetic.
The athletic aesthetic.
~ ~ ~
I don’t know exactly where women got off track [or men became so fetishistic about anorexia], but the go-to aesthetic for successful older men appears to be very thin physiques.
I have several theories, which I know you just can’t wait to hear. [ahem…]
1] Many successful, older men were once wormy little bean counters nobody paid much attention to until they sold their shares of stock in the company they gave 20 years of their lives building, and then retired, divorced…and reinvented themselves as superheroes.
Such men prefer women who don’t remind them of what they once were, particularly now that they’re rich, entitled, and bigger than life.
Mindful of this, smaller women are less threatening, which feeds the man’s delusions of grandeur.
2] Successful older men who once played pro football and now own car dealerships tend to like physically small women because they crave control, and like knowing that the woman is submissive and willing to maintain the physique of a 12-year-old boy in exchange for lifestyle.
3] Couture fashion designs look better on small-framed women, which is a slam-dunk for galas, benefits and cocktail affairs of the rich and powerful where men parade their women like goats in Prada.
4] There is a notion floating around the collective unconscious of this socioeconomic niche that thin women are more cultured, educated, and generally speaking, intelligent.
This conveys to others in his world that she is in his arms by divine provenance.
In other words, if he didn’t himself possess the same qualities, she wouldn’t be with him.
5] Sex, Sex, Sex: Smaller woman make men look and feel bigger, which is a massive turn-on for men with control issues [most of them].
And while there exists in smaller numbers a closeted fetish for fuller-figured women with big asses, but most of them keep such fantasies in the closet alongside everything else they keep in there.
As for the men who truly crave nothing but very thin frames, they like knowing they can throw them around like rag dolls.
6] Reflecting the psychopathology of this aesthetic, women tell their personal trainers they want “tone, not muscle,” which only makes sense if you’re in this culture zone.
What they mean by this is they want a long, lean, low-fat figure that sells well in country clubs, and has store clerks tripping all over themselves at places like Chanel.
Men in possession of such women want a comprehensive “package” that never changes for the rest of their mortal lives, that’s all.
~ ~ ~
The woman in the second photograph is fit and muscular.
Unfortunately, her legs are too big for many high-end fashion designs, which means she can’t wear them; a clear breach of protocol.
Personally, the woman in the below photograph would be a slam-dunk for me, but I happen to like athletic women in Lycra because she could hold her own with me in a street fight against several assailants.
My perspective is obviously warped.
Wednesday Martin, author of Primates of Park Avenue, she found herself, she says, “going native.” She wanted to belong among the Upper East Side mommies who hired stylists and makeup artists for school drop-off and pickup, who got preventive Botox every three months, who perfected the flawless facade.
~ ~ ~
In many ways, this is the female version of my new book, Urban Dystrophy, now available on #Amazon.
Again, money is the buy-in, followed by a tightly-scripted narrative to which all aspirants must adhere – to the letter.
Think of it as high school all over again, but without the food fights.
Men know all about this.
In exchange for a residence at “900 Park Avenue,” women stand at the Devil’s Crossroads and relinquish their souls for a table at the right restaurant where people eat each other.
The ones who survive have the most checks on the list of must-haves.
Age comes to mind.
To wit, the author refuses to reveal her age.
All we know is “I’m in my 40’s.”
The reason for this is academic:
Not only are women expected to perform well under the scrutiny of white hot halogen, but because youth and beauty are expected to be indelible commodities, the farther away one drifts, the more perilous the journey.
No wonder Botox runs like rivers on the Upper East Side.
Mothers then pass these values on to their children, who attend the right schools, go on the right play dates, have the right tutors, and generally, explore all that “intensive mothering” can – and damn well better – provide.
People say celebrities are so different from everyone else, but when it gets down to it, money is what splits the herd.
In this photograph, Leonardo DiCaprio sports the sexy new “Dadbod.”
I added a second link below of a survey of women who seem to prefer a bit of flab over super fit by a wide margin [no puns].
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Men of my age [and socioeconomic demographic] feel entitled to physically beautiful women because beautiful women feel entitled to men of relative achievement and success.
The more success = the more beauty.
It’s a simple equation that cuts both ways.
And while no one complains about both parties being in top physical condition, women are less inclined to appreciate what they consider to be physical competition.
1] It makes them feel less secure about their bodies than they already do, no matter how beautiful they happen to be.
2] It makes aging an even bigger existential nightmare than it already is since older people look worse than younger people no matter what Koolaid you’re drinking.
3] It forces women to sleep with one eye open knowing other women are angling for their successful – and damn good looking– husbands, which places even more pressure on them to remain physically flawless, even though it’s physically impossible.
While most in-shape women would probably consider DiCaprio out of shape and in dire need of a bra, they would also be the first ones in line should he express an interest in them.
The same cannot be said of men if the woman in question happened to be physically unattractive.
This disparity is at the crux of the phenomenon.
I don’t care how good you think you look, how many days a week you work out, how clean you eat, how smoke-free you are, how moderately you drink, how much rest you get, how hydrated you stay, or how reasonable your stress levels – one day you will find yourself trying on bathing suits at Nordstrom’s and walking out with your therapist on the phone.
Blame the lighting.
Fluorescent lighting has shown to agitate, depress and turn violent aging rats, so you know its true of humans.
Of course, kids love bright lights.
They can see themselves and everyone else with crystal clarity, imperfections and all…which is the point since you can’t find any.
They aren’t conscious of harsh shadows, crows feet, sagging skin, thinning hair, or any of the other line items of attrition that aging ushers forth in the rest of us with a smirk.
Old people also like bright light because they don’t want to trip on something and break a hip. It also bears noting that because they’re old beyond anything lighting can further damage, vanity isn’t on the table. Now it’s just plain physical survival.
Additional note: Old people also tend to read things once known as newspapers, which don’t project, but rather absorb light.
For the rest of us, it’s an existential nightmare.
In my case, bright overhead lights can trigger ocular migraines, and sometimes, the things I cited about rats.
With lighting being such a big deal to people caught between youth and old age [the same demographic with all the money and power], why then do businesses not seem to take this into account?
Let’s take a look at the 5 worst offenders, “1” being the worst:
#1 Department Store dressing rooms.
#3 Coffee shops
#4 Office buildings
#5 Art galleries
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
#1 Walk into most department store dressing rooms [Nordstrom’s being the worst], and every positive thought you ever had about the the way you look – all the trials and tribulations you endured to get there – are now in ruin.
When I enter the dressing rooms at Neiman Marcus in Houston, there are two sets of lights: One set in the front, and one behind. They are controlled by light switches next to the door. What I do is turn off the ones in front of me and use the back lights as fill-only. They are indirect, so what I experience is bounced light [off the back wall] which is plenty enough to fill in all the spaces without burning out my brain cells. The guys who bring clothing to me often flick the other switch back on when entering the dressing room as if something was wrong, but explain to them that something will be wrong if they touch it again, they get the idea.
See, their idea is to highlight the clothing, while the customer is far more interested in seeing how animate and inanimate objects work together.
If I ran a department store, the first thing I would take into consideration is how good I can get my customers to feel about themselves in my $1000 jackets.
#2 Have you ever wondered why restaurants are such dumb-asses about lighting? You have all these people spending a fortune on clothing and prep time to come to your establishment to look the best they possibly can, and you single-handedly destroy their evening with your crappy drugstore lighting. When I walk into ANY high-end restaurant, I have the same expectations I have of live theater. Great performances under beautiful light. Unfortunately, that table for 4 in the corner corner has a spotlight on one of the seats, which is why the last person to arrive gets it.
Restaurants should make flattering light a priority, but for whatever reason don’t. There are exceptions, but not many.
Note: I have offered my lighting advice to restauranteurs throughout Houston, but have yet to find a taker. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.
#3 Coffee shops are places people go to socialize and/or get work done outside of the house. But they’re greater purpose is providing a more civilized environment to hook up under the pretense of everything but. With this in mind, would it not best serve the financial objectives of these establishments to make them as comfortable [and flattering] as possible? Notice that, once again, most people tend to sit in the seats without the halogen over them like a death star.
#4 Yesterday I had the occasion to walk into the sales offices of my health club. What I noticed was that the entrance area was lit with florescence, but every individual was lit like a psychiatrist’s office: Warm, soothing, and serene enough to calm even the most anxiety-ridden patient. No wonder the place has over 7000 members.
#5 Art galleries must come to a place of acceptance that the art on display is secondary to how people feel about themselves when looking at it. I can’t count the number of galleries [many of the same ones I exhibit in], that place spot lights on both the art and the people viewing it. Why is this? Please tell me why we need to light the people in attendance?!? Is is laziness? Stupidity? Both? I don’t get it. Focus on the art, flatter the people and the sales will mount. Enough already.
Not everyone is like me.
Some people my age just don’t care what they look like.
I’ve been told this is true, but have yet to meet any of these people.
After belting out her classic song of female empowerment “Express Yourself,” at Coachella, the 56-year-old pop legend, Madonna, pulled the 28-year-old singer, Drake, back in his chair to plant a heavy kiss on his lips.
Then all hell broke loose.
Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity. Eric Hoffer
Madonna is closing in on 60 years old and a shadow of her former self, which I know is shocking to those of you who think she resembles the woman on the cover of her new CD.
If she were a writer or folk singer or politician or television actor or newscaster or cashier at WalMart she could go on and on and on. But sex symbol? Please.
And that gold dental grill!!! Seriously??? What drugs drive people this far off the ranch???
I guess it has everything to do with being at the top of the pop music world for decades only to feel pressured to pass the baton to the next generation.
If it were me, I’d do the same damn thing as long as I had no idea how ridiculous it made me look.
I’m sure no one let’s her in on this dirty little secret, though.
Why would they? Their careers rest on her perpetuity no matter how desperate she looks in the process.
But what propelled her to stardom is still part of who she is today. In this sense, she is stuck in the past, always looking for the next opportunity to resurrect herself, this time around with an undercurrent of indignant rage.
The bottom line is that she is no longer “herself” on the outside, which means that she has to redefine who she is on the inside.
At this writing, this does not appear to be happening.
Nonetheless, what she’s going through is not unique to women.
Men become the punchlines of jokes when they live the way they did 30 ago, refusing to acknowledge that 30 years have passed.
We all age. It sucks. It’s nature’s cruel joke. Call it what you will. But it’s a reality we all face no matter who we are.
Some fare better than others, mostly because they’re not Madonna.
They don’t have to fill stadiums, pander to fans, focus on trying to bend and shape perception of aging until people no longer see it.
In this sense Madonna as “Madonna” is her own worst nightmare.
If she wants to salvage her dignity and assure a resurrection of sorts, she should take her own advice and perform alone on a simple stage with an acoustic guitar.
No dancers, backup singers, pyrotechnics and god’s knows what the hell else.
Now that would be a concert worth seeing.
Who attends Madonna concerts?
1] Older women who relate to her midlife delusions.
2] Gay men who imagine Madonna loves them more than she loves herself.
3] No one else that I’m aware of.
Now Drake has said that, in so many words, he was delighted to have had the opportunity to be kissed by the queen, Madonna.
Yea right, dude.
Best to cover your ass.
Not that I need to remind any of you in my demographic, but for “outsiders” interested in what older men find physically ideal in women, you can use the link below to run the numbers for yourselves.
Most women I’m around can recite them in their sleep.
I was in the gym yesterday when one of the guys I train with commented on how many of the women around us had identical physiques.
I guess my narrative is beginning to rub off on some of these guys.
“OF COURSE THEY ALL LOOK [AND ACT] ALIKE! SO DO BLACK OPS! IT’S HOW THEY WIN WARS!”
Speaking in generalities is always a dicey proposition, but generalizations do have their place, or no one would have the vaguest idea what I was talking about.
To wit, women of a certain demographic – or those aspiring to become members of it – know that a specific appearance is the key to “moving up.”
It’s not that other attributes are ignored. It’s that one opens the door while the other closes it behind them.
Let’s take my health club, for example.
All of the “well married” – or aspirants – look like they rolled out of the same factory.
Their overall physique is best described as “long and lean.”
Some have described it as that of 12-year-old boys in yoga pants and tans.
But why would any man want the women in his life to look like an adolescent boy?
Here are 5 of the most commonly cited reasons, though they tend to avoid using the adolescent boy metaphor:
1] High-end fashion apparel is designed around a long, lean look, so women who look this way always look great at cocktail parties and benefits.
2] Women on the “curvy” side give the impression that the men in their company are, for whatever reason, are unable to command a more exemplary model.
3] Women who are “long and lean” look more educated, cultured and intelligent, which reflects well on the man in their lives, even if neither is the actual case.
4] Men of this demographic prefer smaller women they can physically handle, and subconsciously, dominate.
5] Women who fit this profile avoid criticism from other women, which makes men who rely on flawless social reflections feel better about their choice in mates.
I was having lunch yesterday at my health-club when one of the staff approached my table to thank me for helping her with her diet. I simply suggested that she try a diet more in line with the Paleo guidelines, which avoid such items as bread.
But what struck me wasn’t that something I suggested was helping her accomplish her weight goals, but why she was trying to lose so much weight in the first place.
“Jay,” she said, “I know that my ticket out of this job is my body. If I can just get that lean look, I can come back here as a member.”
A few statistics worth noting from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:
1] Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.14
2] An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14 Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.
3] An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.
4] An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.
5] About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.
6] 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.
Needless to say, the costs of maintenance are usually ten times the value of homes in nicer neighborhoods, and I haven’t even mentioned jail time for women who suffer homicidal rage targeted at the husbands.