In the animal kingdom, the ladies make the rules.
Survival of entire species depends on the males’ ability to impress females, and the male hopes upon his wildest dreams that one lovely lady selects him to be her mate. When it comes to mate selection, our primal sisters are quite superficial.
In most cases with mammals, size and age are the top factors. For example, the eldest lion, moose or elephant normally is the one all the ladies want. After all, he has survived the longest, which means he is the strongest and will most likely produce strong offspring. (This makes perfect sense, but imagine if we went for the oldest ones too!)
The most shallow bitches of the animal world are probably amongst our feathered friends. Cardinals, geese and ducks, for example, are drawn to the male with the brightest colors. In addition, many male birds poof up their chests and sing and dance to impress the ladies, almost like a talent show for sperm. When it comes to just looks, the Brad Pitt of the birds is definitely the peacock, and all the females swoon over the guy with not only the longest trail of feathers, but the one with the most spots.
Oh, these silly girls. But I have to admit, in my teens and most of my 20’s, I was a total peacock. I imagine most of us were, and feathers and spots looked like this:
- I have a great smile
- I play the guitar
- I played <insert favorite sport here> in college but am also good at most sports
- I have 6-pack abs and great biceps
- I smell amazing
- I have a great sense of humor, and by the way, I love your laugh
- I’m a good dresser, but I look best in a t-shirt and jeans.
- I can cook. I’ll make you <insert favorite dish here> tonight.
- I have an accent. (Admit it, we all have our favorite foreign tongue)
- I’m amazing in bed (and why wouldn’t he be if he has an accent?)
Even if a guy had half of these traits, I think we can agree that he’d be a pretty great boyfriend. However, what if amongst the spots, there is:
- I’m penniless
- I have little ambition
- I’m an idiot
When our potential mates say things like this, the plumage falls limp.
We may be able to be superficial in temporary relationships, whether they last one night or slightly longer; however, most of us grow up at some point, and expect our mates to do the same.
I’m not saying we’re gold-diggers, but when we begin to think long-term, we subconsciously think about survival of our species and procreation. We want a mate that can not only produce a beautiful family, but also be able to support one.
Are we hypocritical because we want a man who is financially secure? We’re self-assured, independent women, and many of us would never date a guy just because he can support us. So theoretically we can afford to be superficial and go for the beautiful feathers and colors. If that were what we really wanted, though, we’d be chasing after semi-pro athletes, out-of-work models or that quarterback from our high school football team who is still working at McDonalds.
Thanks to the high standards we set for ourselves, we simply expect our mates to reach the same bar. It’s the superficial spots that will first attract us, but after the feathers fall away, we want men who are ambitious and smart, and who can excite us as much as our careers do.
And for all of our potential mates who don’t meet those standards, well, just be thankful we’re not praying mantises.