A recent post on Jezebel explores the ridiculous, albeit completely true, notion that men seem to feel more inclined to hit on a woman when they are dressed down. Now, I’m not talking jeans and a t-shirt dressed down. I’m talking hair-in-last-night’s-bun, oily skin, carrying heavy/awkward bags of dirty laundry dressed down. That kind.
While the facts seem to make sense (as an honest equation put it, “Dumpy, tattered clothing + skin cloaked in an adolescent cocktail of T-zone oil, sweat and 12-hour old bronzing powder + a general lackluster attitude = A female appears approachable to men who otherwise wouldn’t have a shot in hell”) it feels like everything we learned from our mothers, sisters and friends (real and fictional/reality television based) about attracting a guy is now being thrown, with well-articulated gusto, out the proverbial window.
Okay, so the Walk-of-Shame may not be the primal mating dance for available females in order to court attention-seeking mates as they attempt to remain inconspicuous on the subway in a cocktail dress and flip-flops at 10:00 a.m., but it does make some sense. Men see women who have spent time and money on dolling up their appearances as difficult, even high-maintenance, even if the female doing the dolling has no intention or history of being a primped princess.
The male race has this part of their brain, apparently, that is attracted to the mess and the vulnerability associated with a woman who doesn’t care that she’s out in public without make up on and is convinced that wearing a pair of her ex’s boxers as shorts suffices as getting dressed. It’s as if men see a line of lipstick-red tape wrapped around that pair of Louboutins you swear are your Get-Laid shoes.
So, what gives?
Some men are simple-minded, and being that you’re at your “worst,” it feels to them that you are easier to talk to because you aren’t worried about how you look. Men see dressing-down as a blinking “Vacancy” sign and jump at the chance to add the metaphorical “No.” Because, to them, potentially rendering beneath the layer of oil and left-over make up they see before them, is the perfect girl screaming “I am emotionally available!” that they wouldn’t have recognized otherwise through the obnoxiously dim bar lighting and beer goggles.
What this all breaks down to is that, while we women try increasingly harder to look blaringly attractive to a potential mate as we swerve our way through the dating scene like an obstacle course on a bad episode of Ultimate Gladiator, men are attracted to the whole “the less you try, the more attractive you are” shtick.