August 6, 2008

"Awwwww"some

[Girl-haters may want to skip this one.]

I'm pretty good about containing my enthusiasm for girliness in its myriad forms (and if that sounds funny, you have no idea what this place could look like). Of late, though, my restraint has been weakening, and I have to get this post on girly cuteness out of my system. It's reading those damned blogs by Lemmonex and Alias Clio, who've been on a girly streak recently, as well as getting several long letters from my close college chick friend (via Facebook, naturally). All three are tough women, so girliness from them appears even gushier against their basal brusqueness. I've collected and analyzed the international data on preferred age differences that females have for their partners, so while I write that up, why not recall what we're willing to travel to strange lands for.

I realize this post will be like one of those emails about "Omigod, my baby turned 137 days old today, and just look at him!!!!", which I get regularly now as a new uncle, and I may very well come back and erase this post when I recover my senses. Unlike the staying girly posts, there is no advice here, just some random observations and celebrations of girly nature. I'll start with high culture and quickly devolve into YouTube clips (not slutty ones).

While google image searching, I stumbled upon the painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau, who was obviously an inveterate girl-lover. Here is his 1880 Jeune fille se defendant contre l'amour -- Young girl defending herself against Cupid -- (see a large, high-resolution picture here):



It's hard to imagine a closer portrayal of the ambivalence that adolescent girls feel as they adjust to high hormone levels -- the chemical source of falling in love -- by both seeking out and pushing away their crushes. The girl's middle and lower back are bent away, but her upper back, shoulders, and head are leaning forward as though to embrace him. If she truly wanted to keep Cupid away, her entire upper body would be straight as a bolt and angled back. Also, she is facing him directly, as opposed to turning away like you do when you smell something foul or want to avoid a kiss from your relatives, and her mouth and eye expressions don't show fear, disgust, or anger -- at most, anxiety and bashfulness.

It may be hard to see, and perhaps I'm imagining it, but it also looks like her arms are slightly bent at the elbow, as if she didn't want to lock them into place to really keep Cupid back. More suggestively, although her legs are crossed at mid-calf, which appears to be closed body language, her legs are akimbo above the knee, allowing him to gain a... not a foothold, but I suppose a kneehold in his advance toward her. And while covering the most sexual part of her body, she still bares her breasts, making her heart vulnerable to the arrow aimed at it.

Now compare the profiles of the two faces. With her rounded jaw, large eyes, full lips, and somewhat chubby cheeks, she appears babyish. But Cupid has all the hallmarks of a babyface, including a bulbous forehead, negligible chin, and a nose that's upturned and with a low-relief bridge, whereas her nose is more pronounced, her chin a bit more prominent, and her forehead flatter. Her skin is also a shade or two darker than his, and her hair much more so. Combine these with the more obvious secondary sex characteristics, and it's clear that she has transformed from little girl to nubile.

We are uncomfortable thinking about a girl of -- what is she, 15? -- as designed to fall in love, enter courtship, take a mate, and start raising a family, during the next five or so years. Yet Bouguereau reminds us that most natural signals do not lie: the leaves in full bloom on the tree in the background testify to its readiness to begin reproducing. Regardless of how we feel about it, this is the same signal given by the girl's outward appearance. This comparison with the tree is perhaps the most jarring aspect of the painting to contemporary tastes, as likening a teenage girl to a blossoming flower or ripened fruit will immediately trigger the paranoia of the panic police and draw the ire of Blank Slaters, who must shout down all discussion of the constraints that genes and hormones place on human outcomes.

Now, by means of segue, watch this YT clip of 15 year-olds dancing to "Do You Believe in Magic?" in the park. It's pretty clear that the hourglass-shaped Turkish girl and the tall blond will not want for suitors even if they put off marriage until their late 20s or beyond. However, look at the homely and pudgy redheaded girl -- she may not be anyone's top choice, but imagine how bad she'll look at 30, basically untouchable. Also, she at least smiles and laughs a lot, much more than she will later in life, and that's got to have some feminine appeal. I'm not saying she should marry right now, but it's girls like her who are most destroyed by prolonging the before-marriage part of their lives, as their value decays incredibly rapidly, and from a not very high level to begin with.

I may've posted this before, but here's a clip of some adolescents dancing at the mall and in their home to "Do You Wanna Dance" by The Ramones.

Part of the appeal of teenagers is their vulnerability and emotional helplessness, which prevents you from treating them too badly. I don't treat them like princesses by any means, but it takes a 6-sigma sociopath to treat them as thoughtlessly as a normal person would treat a 25 year-old who you fuck and leave. (Moreover, teenagers have a built-in defense against getting pump-and-dumped -- not giving it up easily.) I sometimes feel a certain confusion around them, as they trigger my protective older brother and paternal instincts. But then you see them dancing around in the snow in their bikinis (starting at 0:50) and nearly forget all about it.

Next, Miley Cyrus and dancer friend Mandy Giroux have uploaded a new video to their YT channel, where alpha Miley plays a prank on naive Mandy, who senses the entire time that something is going to pop out and scare her. Adorable. And speaking of Disney Channel stars who I've never seen on TV before but can't avoid on YT, here's Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato scared shitless by a flying bug. Aww. Something Fragonard may have painted. And don't let Selena Gomez's extreme babyface fool you: she just turned 16 and is older than Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus.

Last, have you slipped into the fuddy-duddy belief that teen girls are harmless, naive creatures, or that it's mostly men who suppress female sexuality? Nothing could be further from the truth: watch this clip of a girl giving her best friend a ruthless and funny teasing for making out with a boy. She emphasizes that it was her friend who "starts molesting" the boy, so that her friend can't write it off as being swept away by the moment. The friend's howls of embarrassment, and the police girl's wonderful choice of words -- "we're here on the site again," to make it sound like a crime -- are just great. As usual, when the friend gets called a slut, she tries to defend herself by accusing the police girl of being inexperienced, but everyone knows that being a slut is worse than being a goody-goody or a tease. These girls are 13, by the way -- the little angels begin emotionally torturing each other, with a smile on their face, right after their hormone levels change, years before they're even sexually attractive.

I'll end it there. Click on the channels of those I linked to for more: girly girls tend to upload more than just one capsule of their cuteness.

10 comments:

  1. Me? Girly? NEVER.

    Honestly though...maybe you have just noticed it more lately. I don't think it is much more pronounced.

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  2. Between the picture (yeah, I know it's Art, but still) and some of those You Tube clips,* this posting seems sorta like Child Porn Lite. I mean, ick.

    * = I'll bet the girls who made the amateur videos had no idea they'd be getting a 26(?)-year-old man all excited.

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  3. Me? Girly? NEVER.

    It was that one year anniversary post that did it. Stop trying to be so Daria. ;)

    this posting seems sorta like Child Porn Lite.

    Except that they're not children... and except that I don't watch them to get "all excited." I like the qualifier "yeah, I know it's Art, but still" -- good thing you weren't around during the Renaissance.

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  4. Dating guide to women by age for a cultured, more or less socially conservative teacher guy in his early 30s.

    Under 18 - Not good for much. They're illegal (at least for me) and they're too easy to open and talk too, so they aren't even much good as practice. Conversations with them tend to veer off into the truly inane. Fun, but essentially useless. Be nice, polite, and leave.

    18-19 - Good for hugs, social proof, and boosting your ego.

    If you're in a club, go right for the youngest girls right away, they'll open easily, they're lots of fun and they will give you lots of social proof. I like to keep a fairly clear line between students and girls I'd like to date etc., so these are effectively off limits for me, but I don't deprive myself of their girly company. Hey, getting hugs from cute 18 year old girls at the club is nothing to sneeze at. I usually say something like, "Hey, you guys are too young for me, but you _are_ really cute. Hey, give me a big hug." I then proceed to get hugs from _all_ of them. Then, I spin them around, dance with them, and all around have some innocent fun with them.

    20-22: Good for practice and make outs.

    At my age, I don't think a relationship with a girl this age would work out. Plus, at this age it really is hard to tell if an interest in arts/culture etc. is something that will stick or is just a passing fad. And finally, Agnostic, some men really and truly find the spinniness and flakiness of young girls a bit too much.

    But girls 20-22 are at their peak of attractiveness and they know it. Bring it on. I need the practice: the younger, hotter and bitchier the better. Before the night is done, your lips will be mine. ;)

    23-27:
    Prime dating age for me. I really don't know why I would go back to dating women my own age unless they happen to be really exceptional. Once you start getting some success, it's amazing how your standards just automatically rise. 10 years is about the limit though.

    28-34:
    Leftovers, essentially. the good ones do go fast.

    While the above is true, I should note that there are exceptions. There are a few really good women who don't manage to find good mates, especially some of the really quiet girls who have been overlooked because they have stayed out of the spotlight. Introverts and church girls, who usually work in all female environments. They often seriously underestimate their physical attractiveness. There are also a very few good girls who have just been dumped from long term, often 4 year +, relationships. (Short bit of advice to women 25+: Don't live together.) However, if a woman has dated a fair bit, hasn't been in a LTR, and isn't an extreme introvert and _still_ hasn't managed to find someone by this age, she should take a serious look at who she really is. Unfortunately, most women, including some of the most intelligent, seem utterly incapable of such true self examination.

    Plus, older women, even those without an engagement/wedding ring are so much less likely to be single. This is even more true among conservative, religious girls. Why waste your precious mental energy approaching girls who are sooooo much less likely to be available? Under 27 is just a so much more target rich environment.

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  5. Thursday - age of consent is 16 in Canada, unless they're your students.

    I can tolerate teen inanity all day -- easy to zone out, and they just want someone to unload on, not participate in their silliness. It's the seriously spoken blatherings of 20-somethings and up that drives me nuts. Yeah, if you find an exception, lucky you, but I can't pretend to care about most of the Stuff White People Like, and this is almost exclusively an affliction of 23 to 37 y.o.s. As far as good conversation goes, I'd choose a 40-something woman in a heartbeat over the 23 to 37 demographic. (Hey there, Clio.)

    That line about "you're too young but give me a hug" is great when you're aiming for the slighter older onlookers. Definitely writing that down for future use.

    If there were a club that catered to 21 to 26 y.o.s, I would live there and clean up, since I'm most sexually attracted to 22 to 24 y.o.s., and then get my girly fix dancing with the teen and college crowd.

    The trouble is that it seems clubs only cater to two groups: niche clubs for very young (high school or 18+, thus where no one 21+ would dare go), where the few such clubs have an oligopoly on a large and underserved audience. Or 21+ bars / clubs, which are risky to open, and so where good business sense means catering to those in their late 20s or above, who have lots of money and a need to see and be seen.

    I'm sure there are spots where early-mid 20-somethings hang out, but none where they travel in large packs and where it's high-energy. At least not here, and I live in a medium-sized metro area.

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  6. That line about "you're too young but give me a hug" is great when you're aiming for the slighter older onlookers. Definitely writing that down for future use.

    This seems like a gambit with an unfavorable risk/reward ratio. Rejection is much easier to cope with if you're striving for something worthwhile - like sex. But if those you want a (mere) hug from reject you - as in "Ewww, get away from me, old man!" your "social proof" is annihilated in pursuit of a transient reward.

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  7. Yeah, Thursday and I tend to forget details like that since we're both babyfaced and don't have to worry about being thought "creepy, dirty old men."

    I think if you worked in the "kid sister" routine as well, like "aww, you're so cute, you guys remind me of my kid sister, gimme a hug," then even older-looking guys could pull off the gambit.

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  8. Ahh, Bouguereau...a favourite. I've seen a few of his paintings in person. The technical finesse is amazing. He was quite unfashionable at the time, as Impressionism was getting going strong and raw skill was starting to be devalued. But the skin on the canvas...it glows.

    By the way, the day I let a train spotter dictate to me what art is appropriate for me to enjoy is the day I shoot myself in the face.

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  9. 1. I should note that I run my regular opener and am a couple minutes into the set before I use the "I'm too old for you . . . give me a hug" thing. I don't use it as an opener.

    2. My face is a bit long and my nose a bit too big for a true babyface, but, yeah, there are definitely babyface aspects to how I look.

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  10. sonikkkblog.blogspot.com1/11/09, 1:38 PM

    seems romones dancing girls is down

    i think any girl you say this too, either shes down and sympathetic to what peolple are really like, and she'll aggree, or if she missed her chance, even if she's like only 22 or something, or 20, and your talkin bout a young girl, she'll be like pedophile, etc...etc... try it with a friend. Super jelous and defensive.
    I like 20-22 too for mature looks. And they are the hardest.
    And I just love being out with 10-22 year old girls in places. I can't take their convo either. I can't take the convo of people between adolescence, which is so nice fresh unpretentious, and about 29 (even then only in smart experienced people), tho for convo I prefer an older storyteller, like 40+, but has to have stories, and not talk in ideas, unless they're relevant and interesting. Young girls are so nice and everything, and they're talk is silly but really enjoyable (not always) but they're so fun to hang with. One thing I can't stand is older 20+ who've let themselves go, and are bloated or fat (and don't need to be) and harp on, and go into the easiest, least effort things like relationships, and have nothing but gripes. Since most people are sort of lazy, I encounter that TOO MUCH. Keep your shit together, keep getting better, and stay in shape, and lets have a good time.
    Young girls are "flaky" I mean not serious, but since their young, that's how they're supposed to be. They shouldn't be trying to be serious or commit, since they don't know anything about things or what they might be committing to. Older women are jaded and dull tho ( I mean 25+) unless exceptional. But all can be a good experience.

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