You don’t have to be a golfer to know who Tiger Woods is.  And you probably don’t need to be an avid tennis player to know who Venus and Serena Williams are.  Two amazing, professional tennis phenoms.   In early June at the French Open, Venus Williams created quite a stir. For her extraordinary tennis skill?  Nope.  For her outfit.  Venus has been known to wear some unusual tennis attire.  But this was something different.  This didn’t just create a buzz, it created an uproar.  During one of her matches, Venus wore a dress that resembled black, lacy lingerie with nude or flesh colored skin-tight shorts.  Venus has been quoted as saying she likes to give the illusion of nudity.  So as her lacy skirt flew up during the match, you had the “illusion” that you were looking at, well, you know… Now I don’t want to sound like a prude, but when I saw that, I asked myself the question, “why would a young woman, with so much amazing athletic ability and talent, want the focus to instead be on her body?  After the match, no one was talking about her incredible athleticism and the fact that she won.  They talked about the outfit.   I think I can answer my own question about “why?”.  Because everything in our culture screams at us that we should be hot, sexy, & beautiful.  Eye Candy.  Oh yeah, you might be athletic, or own your own business or be a great mom… but ya gotta look good.  

Now, I believe there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Do I wanna look good?  Of course!  Let’s face it, when it comes to looks, we all get dealt different cards.  No one  has to tell me that I wasn’t born a super model.   I want to make the most of what I’ve got, but no matter what I do, I’m gonna reach my “outward beauty limits”.

A few months ago, I was talking with a twenty-something, single female.  She was telling me how she needed to lose weight to attract a man.   After all, physical attraction is where it all starts, right?  Well, yes.  People see us before they get to know us.  This woman was already attractive with little weight to lose.  She was intelligent, funny, caring, college-educated and very athletic.  But to her, the outward image was her focus.   What I’ve discovered over the years is that women will attract what they are focused on attracting.  There are plenty of men who will take advantage of a woman who flaunts her body.  And she will leave those experiences feeling anything but attractive and sexy.  A woman who wants a man to appreciate her intelligence, humor, creativity and physical attractiveness will have to honor and respect those traits about herself first.  She doesn’t have to be eye candy. 

About 14 years ago, I was pregnant with my son.  I was so big, my stomach looked like it was in another time zone!  I was waddling out of the bathroom at church and noticed my husband talking to the young, single (male) youth pastor.  I saw the youth pastor turn, look at me and flash a big smile.  I asked him what was up and he told me that when my husband saw me, he said, “Look, here comes the most beautiful woman in the world!”  The youth pastor saw that it was me, smiled and said, “That’s cool!”

A group of men were polled about what they thought made a woman attractive. Some of the highest answers were intelligence and sense of humor.  Was outward physical attraction a factor?  Well, yeah of course! But it wasn’t the whole factor.

You really don’t have to be eye candy. You’re too beautiful for that.