Gurney's Inn
December 12, 2007

Kiss & Tell

Is Victoria's Secret Good For Your Relationship?

We gals like to think when we dress up in something lacy and sexy that our men will bow down and worship us. Many of us remember the dark ages of lingerie where you were either in a tawdry polyester Fredericks of Hollywood baby doll or else were lost in the land of giant panties and industrial strength brassieres of department stores. Victoria's Secret provided the perfect middle ground of enticing but sensible ensembles which wouldn't break the bank. Before the internet every teenaged boy anxiously awaited the arrival of the catalogue in his mother or sister's mailbox.

Well forget having to hide out in the bathroom, the Victoria's Secret models have hit prime time (or just thereafter) with televised fashion shows that reveal all. Now I appreciate the perfect female form as much as anyone and was drawn to watch the elaborate costumes and latest in undergarment fashion not to mention the Spice Girls reunion and cuddled next to my guy to watch the extravaganza. My first mistake was doing this with a sweaty pony tail after the gym and engulfed in an enormous terry cloth bathrobe with a spaghetti sauce stain on the front. When he left the room I played with the remote control which changes the ratio of the picture size and found that a certain setting would make the models shorter and squatter.

But there was no getting around these women's physical perfection even after giving birth like Heidi Klum. The key I thought was to make sure that I would not suffer any direct comparison. It struck me that any man who watched the Victoria's Secret runway show should be required to watch at least five episodes of Mama Leone's Italian Cooking before seeing his girlfriend naked or hang out at the mall for a few hours on a Saturday. Reality check, hello. I had to laugh that the eleven o'clock news story which previewed during the fashion show was Jennifer Love Hewitt's outrage of the photos released of her bikini clad behind during a vacation. Of course they showed the picture, and while it's probably not her best posterior pose it's hardly a liposuction "before" photo. I mean come on this is the woman who graces the cover of Maxim and makes men melt. No one takes a picture of a male actor's belly while he's hanging out in Hawaii and pronounces his hunk days as over.

Eye candy is great but what happens when men are confronted front and center, without their contacts in hopefully, with a real woman's body? Is it as the old saying goes that it doesn't matter where he gets his appetite as long as he eats at home or does the bombardment of media images of superhuman, almost alien, and many times surgically enhanced female beauty ruin him for the rest of us? I had a friend who gave birth two years ago and who still has a super cute figure complain that her breasts were now like golf balls in socks after breast feeding. Is the Victoria's Secret message that she should try to artificially enhance herself to look like the models or is it that they are providing the perfect push up bra which will showcase her natural assets to their utmost ability?

While we are a visual culture we still need to do a better job at looking at the whole woman and her many wondrous qualities of intellect and humor and compassion. No one wants to think of Mother Theresa in her underwear. But then again we probably couldn't imagine the Spice Girls running the country. So maybe the genders should make a deal if he agrees to puts down the Victoria's Secret catalogue, she won't bring the Men's Health with the washboard abs cover boy into the bedroom. Fair is fair.

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