Over at that bastion of common sense, the UK Daily Mail, they have an article stating that the Pill changes the kinds of men that women are attracted to.
It’s not a bad presupposition, actually. We know the Pill affects a woman’s sense of smell, and that scent is an important part of how couples find one another attractive or unattractive.
They show a bunch of pictures of hot actors through various decades and cometo the conclusion that nowadays, our Pill-laden society is choosing youthful, boyish men as the height of attractiveness.
And that’s horsepuckey.
The deal is this: Americans in general today look younger than we did about a hundred years ago. This has been a gradual process as people begin working indoors, not being exposed to sunlight, getting more sleep, access to better nutrition, access to good sunblock, better understanding of hydration, better skin care, longer childhood, less physical labor, more work for survival.
If you look at pictures of people who came over through Ellis Island, they all look careworn and rugged because, well, they were careworn and rugged.
My Patient Husband is fond of pointing out that his great-grandfather worked in a coal mine. Whenever his own job gets him down, he mentally compares his air-conditioned office with free coffee to a Pennsylvania coal mine. He tells me it’s a remarkable motivator. My own grandmother used to come home from school at age eight to make hats to sell. I can assure you that my eight year old does not make things for the family to sell. Nor did I have to work to supplement my family’s income. The result is a nation of individuals who are remarkably well-preserved.
Therefore, as we begin to look younger and smoother, our actors begin to look younger and smoother too. It’s pretty much a given because nowadays that’s the pool they’re drawing from, and that’s the look we expect.
But here’s the kicker: this same change has happened in anime. You go from rugged males in the early 1970s (look at Condor Joe, with his craggy face) to the current generation of bishonen males who are so androgynous that in some translations the American producers actually turn men into women.
And the Pill wasn’t available at all in Japan during the years this transition was taking place.
So, nice try, Daily Mail, but no cigar. Personally, I do think the Pill has unproven effects on women and on society and on our understanding of marriage, sex and children. But let’s report on the real deal, not on strange made-up phenomena, okay?