July 12, 2008

Alias Clio endorses my plan for female self-improvement

Well, not so directly, but in her post on the female heartbreaker she calls The Eternal Ingenue, she describes the person I've been writing about in my staying girly posts. Unlike the other types she's written about -- The Gold-digger, The Waif-Neurotic, and the Amazonian Alpha -- this girly girl, she says, has men calling her "charming" and "enchanting." Also unlike the other types, according to Clio, the Ingenue provokes envy and jealousy in other women, a sure sign that she is their most powerful competition. Study her ways, female readers: that's your best shot at trapping a man.

I've already written four mini-posts in her comments section, so I won't add anything here, except to note that there is considerable overlap between the Eternal Ingenue type and the typical ballet dancer, who I gushed about here quite uncharacteristically, as I don't find most women very inspiring (or men for that matter). But, god damnit, those dancers just know how to get ya. As Clio notes, Eternal Ingenues aren't necessarily maneaters; she is just pointing out one type of heartbreaker. Most of the ballet girls I hung out with last school year didn't seem like femme fatales * -- a fair number had steady boyfriends -- but I'm sure quite a few of the unattached were the flighty heartbreaker type who couldn't stay infatuated with one guy long enough to turn it into a long-term relationship.

* English pluralization of the French term, just to give Clio an unscratchable itch. Claw at the computer screen all you want; you cannot change the way it looks.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Agnostic, I did hint in my post that the effort to remain an ingenue in mannerisms and deportment can have grotesque results, just as the effort to stay sexy by dressing and behaving in the exact manner of a 25-year-old can. Even Audrey Hepburn allowed herself to become more womanly in her later films. She stopped prancing and gambolling as she grew older. The ingenue quality was, in her case, clearly a part of her personality. In Julia Roberts' case, however, it isn't, and that's why she seems so strained and artificial in more recent movies.

    Clio

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  2. Clio, I did hint in my posts that women should not copy young girls 100%, or to the point of appearing fake and strained, but should aim more in that direction.

    Any strategy, when applied by a large number of people, "can produce" grotesque results. Cultivating the asshole side of a guy's personality, for instance. The key question is which strategies work better, on average, than others?

    Certainly one that has men calling the typical strategist "charming" and "enchanting" rather than "bitchy" or "annoying." You haven't suggested any of the latter strategies, but too many self-help stuff written by women does.

    It could be a generational thing, but a large percentage of Gen X women thought it was cooler, more authentic, etc. to imitate Janeane Garofalo or the MTV cartoon character Daria than Julia Roberts. (E.g., the commenter named Shannon at Lemmonex's and KassyK's blogs, if you read them.) Or the recent obsession with the Sex and the City characters, who are hardened and cynical and anti-girly.

    Yes, it can be unsightly for a 30- or 40-something woman to prance around like a teenager, but showing too much restraint results in invisibility at that age -- unless, oh I don't know, most men still find you physically pretty attractive. Most 30+ women, though, would go completely unnoticed if they were as modest as you.

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  3. Yes, it can be unsightly for a 30- or 40-something woman to prance around like a teenager, but showing too much restraint results in invisibility at that age -- unless, oh I don't know, most men still find you physically pretty attractive. Most 30+ women, though, would go completely unnoticed if they were as modest as you.

    A 30- or 40-something woman who acts like a teenager won't be invisible, indeed she'll attract ample attention, but it won't be positive attention. I'm not sure if that's necessarily any better than invisibility.

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  4. Peter, stop being a dumbass and in the future only respond to views that I have actually expressed, not caricatures.

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