in my art history classes we spoke at length about the male gaze. about paintings which were created simply to entice the male viewer. but art class wasn't the only place i experienced the male gaze...
an interesting thing has happened in the past few years - men no longer pay attention to me. gosh, i hate the way that sounds. don't get me wrong - i'm no hotsy totsy. i'm not skinny, or tall or classically beautiful. but i've always received attention of some sort from men. whether it be as genteel as looks and hellos, as brazen as cat calls and kisses, or as straightforward as being asked on a date. but these little confidence boosters have gone by the wayside.
i know - i shouldn't be 'complaining' because i have a wonderful husband who cares for me very deeply (and claims to be attracted to me!). and trust me - i feel just as strongly for him. but i firmly believe that many women still want to feel attractive in general. which means that maybe every now and then you lock eyes with a total stranger. or maybe someone you meet in passing asks you out - at a work event or a cocktail party. and if like me, you are attached - you can demurely refuse the advance. "i'm so flattered but actually, i'm married."
i've thought of various reasons as to why this change has occured. none of them leave me feeling warm and fuzzy - and some i hope for more than the others.
one | i'm getting older. well you can't do much to fight this can you?
two | i've gained weight. as much as i want it to be any of the other reasons here, i just know that this plays a huge role in being admired.
three | men can sense that i'm taken. friends tell me that wearing a ring is like a red light but since i don't notice wedding rings on others, i feel like it goes unnoticed on me. but i do believe that on level men can sense that i have no interest in a relationship or connection. and so perhaps they subconsciously pull away from me.
four | chivalry is dead. ha! i just had to throw this one because it puts the blame on them instead of me. though i am curious about how single women experience the world nowadays. do guys still ask girls out? is that too forward for our feminist driven society? does it have to happen organically and over time?
either way - i think i'm definitely entering a new stage of life. one in which i lack the same carefree attitude and am no longer an advertisement for youthfulness. i think i'm ok with that...but my self esteem might take a bit of a hit!