Dear Millennial Lifestyle

I was going to write a blog about the Race for Life today, but I found something else which I just had to write about- I could not let this pass by!

As you do, I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed and clicked on a link for an article which sparked my interest. This led to an external website, which had lots of other articles with links to a whole host of different websites. I saw an article called ‘10 Things Men Find Unattractive’, and out of curiosity and my feminist head on, I delved into another website called Millennial Lifestyles.

Millennial Lifestyle is a site which offers articles about health, fitness, workouts and relationships. This is what they aim to do:

Millennial Lifestyles allows you to stay up to date on the latest health research, fitness trends, and other breaking news relevant to your busy, active life”.

What is striking, and probably intentional to satisfy their readership, is that a lot of their articles are gender specific, such as what mistakes men are making in their lifestyle and what mistakes women are making in their dieting. Millennial Lifestyle’s aim to keep the genders apart is clear here, and just adds to encouraging people to conform to society’s expectations of how we should act and behave.

After reading ‘10 Things Men Find Unattractive’, I was annoyed at the writer, and became further annoyed when I found another article which she had written for the opposite sex, ’10 Things Women Find Unattractive’. To start off, I don’t normally read these sorts of articles. Why would you need to read something which dictates what you should find appealing or not in someone else? Attractiveness is subjective; we all find qualities and features in people appealing which others may see differently.

This is not what bugged me the most though. It is the fact that the writer appears to be unaware that she is a part of a society which dwells on ideological expectations, or that she is aware of it, and wrote the articles in order to fulfil the reader’s gratifications. Through both of these articles, she is dictating how men and women should act in order to avoid being ‘unattractive’.

I wondered after reading both pieces why some behaviours were dictated for one sex but not the other, but then I realised that the author is conforming to the differences between both sexes. For example, one of the biggest bugbears I have is when women are downtrodden for being ‘too naggy’ (e.g. being described as ‘bossy’ if they are a manager), while for men, this is seen as a quality. The article encourages women to be submissive, when the author states ‘If they leave the toilet seat up, quietly put it down’. This implies if women are outspoken, then they will be seen as unattractive.

is-it-always-illegal-to-kill-a-woman
A negative vintage ad

I recently wrote a blog about body hair and how women are expected to remove their body hair in order to conform to the ideals of femininity. According to the article about women, ‘Men associate hair with testosterone and testicles so they don’t want to see it on a woman’. As you can imagine, this angered me the most, since the removal of body conforms to social expectations of gender, which is entirely ideological.

Other points for women include not wearing too much makeup, going for natural-looking hair and keeping good dental hygiene. Women have for a long time received a lot more negative criticism than men. They are penalised for trying too hard or not enough; it’s a no-win situation. And surely keeping your breath fresh is common sense, and men should do the same too?

Some other points which dictate how women should avoid behaving include drinking too much alcohol, emitting too much negativity and swearing. Men should avoid drinking too much alcohol as well, since it can have negative consequences on our health and well-being. Once again the author is encouraging women to be submissive by not being negative. This means that women should not ‘complain about the lack of service at a restaurant or how long you had to wait in a line’.

successful-man
Really now? …

Apparently ‘Men like ladies with a little class so dropping the f-bomb in every sentence is a turn-off and does not show how sophisticated you really are’. This explicitly states that swearing is unladylike, but why should women have to be sophisticated to be feminine? And what about if men swear? Is it just them being ‘laddish’?

In the same way that ‘10 Things Men Find Unattractive In Women’ dictates what men find attractive in a woman, the article ‘10 Things Women Find Unattractive In Men’ highlights what women should want and find attractive in a man.

The points that the author makes in both articles represent the stereotypical assumptions of the sexes, such as ‘Women want an intelligent guy who wants to go somewhere in life’ and ‘Humor is a powerful tool for any man. Nothing turns a woman on more than a man who makes her laugh’. Once again, intelligence is subjective and humour can be argued to be attractive in anyone, regardless of their sex.

One of the unattractive qualities in men which peeved me off concerns beauty, that women ‘should never date a guy who takes longer than you to get ready’. This suggests that it is feminine for a man to take a long time to get ready, and beauty regimes should be kept distinct between the two sexes.

An apparently funny evolution of getting ready

A final point I want to argue about from the article concerning men’s attractiveness is flirting. The author suggests here that men are more prone to flirt with other women while he is dating, in comparison to women who are dating. This is the also the final point made by the author, and further highlights the stereotypical behaviour of men, such as this example: ‘So the next time you see a hot girl in the mall, avoid undressing her with your eyes and look the other way’. Not all men are like this, we hope.

I was tempted just to leave the articles however, on this occasion I wasn’t going to let this pass. I’ve argued against the writer, Cherri Parry, in the form of this blog. Millennial Lifestyle posts content on a regular basis, and both of these articles are trending, even the ‘10 Things Men Find Unattractive’ one, which was published on the 19th January 2015, which is a great shame.

Despite their claims that they are ‘keeping up to date’, Millennial Lifestyle’s writers clearly aren’t, in terms of sex and gender. Both of these articles aim to keep its regular readers confined into how they should behave as a man or a woman. How would a transgendered person view this article? How would Cherri Parry write about how they should behave, since they transgress the boundaries of masculinity and femininity?

Regards,

Clare

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Dear Millennial Lifestyle

  1. The article is all about stereotyping people of both sexes as if they are all assembled in factories adhering exactly to the same model. Moreover stereotyping doesn’t reflect the opinions of everyone, as a rule only those of stupid and narrow minded people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve hovered over those articles for a while, as I’ve commented and have received comments and vice-versa in both. While I can definitely tell you disagree immensely with BOTH articles (more so the “What Men Find Unattractive in Women” I find), I personally DON’T find them overly controversial and anything to get really worried about. As either way, we’re still all human-beings and will find certain physical attributes and personalities attractive regardless how superficial/ideological they maybe. Such articles are not new by any stretch whatsoever, and I personally do believe that some personal grooming standards should be held in certain regard even in this day and age. Example making first impressions whether meeting someone for the first time or going to a job interview/meeting, we should be expected to have some personal presentability where it does or may count. And from a personal perspective, I can admire/appreciate a pair of smooth-shaved woman legs (yes I definitely prefer shaved woman legs and the ideology of women doing it to be very feminine/attractive from the opposite-sex standpoint), I don’t have a problem at all with women wearing make-up (what is considered too excessive in make-up can be “subjective” itself) and hair-products on women aren’t an issue at all (I kind of like wavy/curly long hair to be honest). In the end, I just take these kind of articles as suggestions and nothing to get overly personal about….as I’ve personally myself haven’t taken any beef with the “10 Things Women Find Unattractive” article which the same author wrote as well (read with a small ounce of interest and a grain-of-salt). And since there are a sea of articles on such similar topics all over the internet…..you can bet I’ll approach those articles in such similiar manners.

    Like

  3. Thank you for your comment Howland.
    I know that these sort of articles have been published for a long time and many of them are for entertainment value; I don’t think many people would take them seriously.
    I agree with you that the articles are not controversial; if the author wrote suggestions like ‘Women should go out with hairy legs’ or ‘Men can take however long they like to get ready’, then the article would be controversial, since it would be diverting from the norms and ideologies of the behaviour of both sexes.
    I have come across as taking the articles personally, but this is my first shot at replying to what someone else has written on the topics of gender, sex and society’s expectations and ideologies (not that I’ve heard anything from Cherri Parry or Millenial Lifestyles after posting it on their site several times).
    They probably haven’t replied because, like you’ve said, there are so many of these articles out there.
    The articles were most likely written to satisfy their readership and also, as I’ve mentioned, they’re more for entertainment value.
    Some of the comments though annoyed me though, so that was why I decided to write a response to the articles.

    Like

    • Well thanx for your reply Clare, I guess my reply wasn’t so meaningless, lol. I will say…that some of the comments themselves (the opposites from me of course) were annoying as such to me as well. It’s like many of the commenters themselves had NEVER come across a grooming or beauty suggestions article/website or magazine, lol. The tone of some of the commenters sounded so self-centred, that I was under the impression some didn’t realise there are such certain standards and images that are put on guys in society as well. I just find it rather ironic….especially after the same author published the “opposite” article on guys and the responses I’ve found (until now) has been less frequent (maybe men don’t take such articles as seriously?). But anyhow…on the other hand, I can appreciate/respect and love the fact that you do take the time/effort shave or wax (whichever method you choose) your legs (and whatever areas you do) as I know it can be one hellva bitch job, lol. Knowing that…..I only think it’s fair to give such recognition to such dedicated effeminacy. So thank you. And apologies if this seems like a “late” reply!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course your reply wasn’t meaningless- I reply to comments on my blogs when I can out of courtesy but also to engage in conversation and debates.
    I agree with you that men may not take such articles as seriously as women do. This is probably because there is a lot more pressure on women to look ‘beautiful’ and conform to society’s expectations of what they should look like (hence all the beauty products and advertisments).
    I take it that you read my blog about body hair? I do conform to society’s ideologies by removing certaina areas of my body hair, only because I have been accustomed to it for so long now and would feel uncomfortable if I didn’t. I do often go out jogging with hairy legs on show when I haven’t had time to shave, but no one comments about it.
    Some of the blogs I have written on topics such as body hair, sex, gender and stereotypes are to support those who choose to defy against the norms- everyone should do whatever they feel comfortable doing and not be judged.

    Like

    • Hey Clare. While that “maybe” true on society having more pressure on women/appearance, it can also be implied that “individual gender” perspectives can be a little more complicated to judge. As a guy…what I may deal with and certain things that may matter to me, you may not have to worry as much about and vice-versa…making it difficult to truly really say who has it harder. I guess as the saying goes…”got to walk a mile in another shoes to truly know (which we all probably won’t truly ever know anyways)”. Sure the typical attractive woman image maybe the “busty style bikini beach babe”, but for guys….the image of the muscular/bare and hairless chested dude isn’t exactly an unknown image either. Yes I did peek at your body hair entry :-O. And I’m sure after so long, it’s just something ingrained in you. I’d imagine it can be a real bitch doing the job at times and constantly…..so I felt a little appreciation from a guy’s side was warranted :). As for that part about jogging…….I initially thought you were “rebeling” (LOL ;P), but in all fairness that sounds understandable either way…..you’re working up a sweat after all (and could careless about your appearance at that moment I’m guessing) and those who see it either just politely keep to themselves or just don’t notice or maybe don’t care. Anyhow……hope that offers abit of my perspective and I don’t come off as ranting here, LOL.

      Like

  5. I do agree with you that guys have pressure as well on their appearance; personally I feel that women have it the hardest but as you say, I cannot judge as I do not know what it is like to be of the opposite sex or gender.
    I guess one way to find out is to have a sex change or become transgendered, but then those experiences are different from being assigned one sex or the other when you are born.
    I’m satisfied with the sex I was born with and I’m fine with how I perform my gender, so I wouldn’t try those options. Both sexes have it hard in their own ways.
    I’m glad that you are a guy who appreciates the time and effort women put in to remove certain areas of body hair
    As you’ve said, I don’t care what I look like when I’m jogging. I’m not out to impress when exercising so I just put on whatever’s comfortable.
    Thank you for your perspective and no, you didn’t come across as ranting 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s