Can we not discover the very pulchritude that each womanly imperfection carries?

Can we not appreciate the wrinkles that have each majestically formed over the years from so much laughing and smiling?

Can we not find the sexiness in a woman’s breasts that have selflessly given nourishment to their young?

Can we not enjoy the comfort that only comes from hugging a “real” woman with “real” curves and “real” softness?

Are we so vain that we aren’t overwhelmed with desire for women who feature the polished finesse of lives beautifully lived?

Can we not express our excitement over the things that day in, and day out, they so selflessly accomplish? Can we not keep from questioning whether a woman could have done more? Can we not see that oftentimes, women do much more than you or I could ever, or would even want to do? I can’t speak for you, but as I ponder on the women in my life, a truly lazy or lacking woman has been rare indeed. Men, on the other hand… we have some things to work on.

My dear brothers, can we not start loving everything about our “real” women? Can we not start ogling our “real” women instead of those fictitious fantasies in the check-out line? Can we not send a message to the world that we are no longer interested in anything that is less (or more) than “real”? That we are no longer interested in setting our standard of beauty based on images that some artist found some way to create with a damn computer? Can we not declare that we’re only interested in the very “real” women standing beside us and around us?

You’ll remember that I started this post with a list of the execrable things that women often believe themselves to be. Do we not realize why women think, believe, and say these things? Are we really that daft? Are we really that stupid? Are we really that stubborn?

It is because of us, guys. It is because we leave them with no other option. We stop. We look. We comment. We joke. We implant those very thoughts into their way of thinking. We make sure they know that we agree with everything the media has brainwashed us to believe beauty to be.

I, for one, am done with it. I, for one, am taking a stand. I, for one, will no longer be stopping. I will no longer be looking. Why?

Quite possibly for a selfish reason. I am a heterosexual man. And, as blunt and uncomfortable as this may seem, I realized recently that I am starting to lose my attraction to women. Over time, and after seeing enough of this concocted and concentrated hog wash surrounding me, I’ve almost completely lost my ability to truly want a “real” woman. Most of us have. We have somehow started wanting what we know we can never have. We want what we see on the cover of Cosmo and Maxim. We want what is displayed across calendars and centerfolds.

And women know that. They see that. They feel it.

It’s our own damned fault that we’re all screwed up. Stop blaming the women. Stop expecting them to magically step up to the plate and be comfortable with who they are. We all must stop expecting women to fix this. When we honestly look at how women feel, what they think, and how they respond, we will see that it is all just a symptom of you and me.

A symptom of us stopping.

A symptom of us looking.

Nothing else.

If men never stopped. If men never looked. Do you honestly think women would have this problem? Think about that. Would these magazines even exist if men weren’t interested in the fakeness splashed across their covers? Women would not care. They would feel no need to live up to a digital standard of beauty because there would be no reason to do so. Not if it was something we didn’t want.

To the “real” women of this world. I owe you an apology, and I hope that the men of this world will line up behind me to offer you one. I am sorry. I am sorry for it all. And I promise you, I will change. I may not always be perfect with it, but I promise you I will change. I will stop stopping. I will stop looking.

I can’t do this without you. We can’t do this without you. If men are to change, we need you to change some things as well. You see, we do need you to believe in yourselves. We do need you to love yourselves. We do need you to stop comparing yourselves to super models and pin-up girls. We need you to be what women have been through all of history. We need you to be what women have always known themselves to be. We need you to go back to a time before the Internet. Before Playboy Magazine and before Marilyn Monroe. A time before Vogue or Elle. A time when far fewer women hated their bodies. We need you to go back to a time when far fewer women felt worthless.

We need you to be you. We need you to be beautiful. Because beautiful you are.

You know what else we need that would help everybody? Something that would help both genders in all of this?

I can’t believe I am going to say what I am about to say. I can’t believe I actually do want what I am about to ask. But I do. Desperately. So, I’m going to throw it out there. I think we need women to wear clothing that shows a little less instead of a little more. We need women to wear pants that are a little looser instead of a little tighter. We need women to put their boobs back inside of their shirts. I feel crazy even saying it (I’m a single guy for crying out loud), but maybe if women gave everybody a little less to compare, this whole thing would be a little easier for us all, no matter what our chromosomal make-up…