“A Chick Who Can Hang”

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Flagging research supporting what women already knew – wearing heels to a bar gets male attention – Ally Fogg notes that his preferences differ from those of the men in that study:

For what it is worth (ie nothing), personally I’m more attracted to a woman who looks like she can drink me under the table then carry me home, making a sturdy pair of DMs just the ticket. I live in hope that one day the human race will view high heels with the same horror with which we view foot-binding. Women would be spared innumerable podiatric agonies and men would, I think, just about cope. Until then I shall content myself with the knowledge that I’m right and the rest of the human race is a bit daft.

I don’t want to be too hard on Fogg here, because he’s basically right about heels, and he at least has the decency to precede his explanation of his tastes with a disclaimer acknowledging their irrelevance. But reading this, I couldn’t help but think of the Amy Schumer sketch, “A Chick Who Can Hang”:

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The man who will have you know that prefers a woman without makeup, who’s casual and laid-back, who’s one of the guys is, at least in conversations among women, a well-established cliché.

As Schumer suggests, there’s the effortlessness many men rhapsodize about, and then there’s actual effortlessness, which consists of looking like a disheveled version of one’s usual self. The ideal woman is well-groomed, but has a shower-and-go beauty routine. She’s well-dressed, but never goes shopping. As Lauren Bans recently pointed out, that Schumer sketch works because “a supermodel going to town on a cheeseburger” is basically the straight male fantasy. (Well, the PG one, at any rate.) The perfect woman, then, is thin without dieting. Perhaps, too, she’s simultaneously in combat boots and heels.