Around the time of Mark Zuckerberg's wedding, I was interested to read other people's take on a billionaire's decision to live a simple, non-extravagant life.
Living the simple life appeals to me more and more. Is this a side effect of ageing?
It is not the poverty per se that attracts me (although I guess this is precisely the more noble of the options I present to you), but rather the simplicity.
Why have two cars where a bike will do?
Why join a gym where a run around in the local park will do?
Why buy a TV where your laptop could do the job?
All the above questions have ready-made anawers, of course.
To the first, a mother of three children under 7 might say, 'Try trasnporting babies across town by bike everyday and see how that works out for you'.
To the second, a bodybuilder might reply, 'Running around a park does not fulfil my needs of building muscle'.
To the third, a student might retort, 'The purpose of TV-viewing is as much 'social' in a shared household as 'functional'. A laptop is great if I am alone. But I prefer to watch the football game with others as a shared experience.'
All fair points, all good arguments.
A throwback to the time in my life when I almost took seriously my intention of religious life is that I have considered purposely, the option of living in poverty (as in 'poverty, obedience, chastity', the hallmarks of religious life).
It is one thing to see poverty as a 'plus' in one's life when one is poor or close to being poor as a result of an unpleasant event in one's life, eg. the loss of a job, or an illness requiring a huge financial payout.
It is entirely another to be superatively rich and just not see the need to 'live it big'.
It is with this thought in mind that I was and still am fascinated by the Zuckerbergs and people like them who simply 'go against the flow'.
However, this post is not really about finances... :-)
My fascination with Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg led me to read up about their low-budget wedding and honeymoon.
One of the articles I read included a discussion about what constitutes a suitable bride for a worthy man.
It is with this in mind that this comment (by a man) jumped right at me:
And I paraphrase:
"Nice girl, clearly intelligent and all. Clearly has demonstrated loyalty to Mark in that she has stayed with him all these years, from well before he was rich.
All she needs to do is fix the nose and she would be the perfect bride fit for a billionaire".
Or something to that effect.
I considered this comment on several levels.
On the one hand, it demonstrates just how much appearance is important to men. I get that.
This man was commiserating(?) with Mark Zuckerberg, believing him to have shortchanged himself by picking a woman who lacked a perfect nose.
Nevermind that it is possible that Mark Zuckerberg thinks his wife's nose is the best of all the female noses of the world.
Nevermind that the commenter himself acknowledges some of the obviously nice qualities about the new Mrs. Zuckerberg.
All that is not enough: the nose has to be fixed!
Is he an outlier? Or just someone who doesn't like the nose of the former Priscilla Chan?
On another level, (and I allude to this above), it is fairly noticeable (at least to me) that men tend to 'look out for each other' in a way that women simply don't, generally speaking.
I first noticed this in The Manosphere with the Obamas and men's reaction to a video that I dissected in this post. The overwhelming message regarding that video was, 'Obama is a loser beta for tolerating this nonsense from his woman!'
And my assertion that actually, he wasn't really being disrespected at all by his wife, and that besides, Obama seemed perfectly capable of managing his own wife and household... went down like a lead balloon :-)
But I digress.
I find there is something uniquely wholesome about this characteristic in men.
Some MGTOWspecifically state that their refusal to marry women is as a direct result of what they have seen happen to other men who have 'gone there' and who have subsequently 'crashed and burned'.
This may indeeed comprise a small proportion of MGTOW, but the lesson from that is clear enough nonetheless.
Brotherly love. Noble.
'Sisterly love' in this vein doesn't exist, except in very few female circles. I can confirm that :-)
Not to say I judge women for this. It just is this way.
The third level I view this comment is perhaps the most relevant to me. And to women in general, perhaps.
All women know on some level that their appearance is important to men. The multi-billion dollar beauty and cosmetics industry wouldn't exist if this were not the case.
Perhaps somewhat troubling is the trend towards beauty and cosmetic products aimed at men.
But I shan't go there. This post is already long enough :-)
A woman's life may not 'be over' when she stops attracting men, eg. once she 'hits the wall' as our Manosphere friends like to call it, but she sure feels her self-esteem take a dive until she finds a way to bring it back up.
This is particularly true for women who depend solely on their physical attractiveness to attract a man.
As I have learned from The Manosphere, a man is always going to be attrcated to a physically atrractive woman, whatever his particular criteria for attractiveness may be (and thank God, this is a fairly wide spectrum lol).
But most men will also say that of course that is not the end of the story. She must bring something else to the table other than the ability to pass 'the boner test'.
Understood. Loud and clear.
But what happens if the woman is stuck on 'I must make myself more beautiful' ?
I must 'fix the nose'.
I must 'get that perfect chest'.
I must 'have the perfect hair'.
I must have the perfect body'.
To the exclusion of everything else in my life.
This is what happens.
I wonder: did one man in this woman's past say to her...
'Fix the backside'...
Or did she tell herself that...
And many years later, she is still fixing it.
Vanity Wonder (great name, by the way!) says in the article that she wanted to look better than her fellow dancers. Sure. But is this the whole truth? Why do I have this niggling thought that this is just a smokescreen?
If it is the case as in the first scenario, should men be careful what they say to women about their appearance?
Or should it be a case of 'every (wo)man for him/herself'. Learn to deal with it'.
If it is the case as in the first scenario, this if anything provides good evidence that women will listen to what men say!
The reverse, in my humble opinion is less likely to be true.
So, gentlemen, we do listen to you. However much we protest to the contrary. So be careful what you say to us :-)
How best to advice young women on this issue?
On the one hand they should be made aware how important their physical appearance is to themselves (their self-esteem) and to men (if they want men in their lives).
On the other hand, where to draw the line?
I just wonder...