During one of the episodes my brother chimed in with how he thought that all of them women were unattractive. His reasoning was that just about every one of them cried during their makeover and that to him was an ugly thing. He likes strong women who are sure of themselves and don't need clothing to feel important or worthy.
What troubled me about this was that my brother, the big NRA, Ron Paul, motorcycle mechanic, who I love, is not really all that in tune with the feminine psyche. While women will always be an enigma to me, I do seem to understand them a bit more than most men (even if I try not to let on like I do). Growing up in a divorced home where all I wanted for my mom was to find true love, I bent my will to trying to become the perfect man for some woman someday. I'd horde my mother's issues of Glamour and Cosmo. I'm sure that others in the family thought I was doing it for the pictures of the gorgeous models when in truth what I was doing was reading all of the articles pertaining to men and what women wanted. After many years of teenage research, all of them spent bumbling through failed interactions with women, I discovered some truths. The first truth is that you shouldn't believe what you read in women's magazines. Often times a woman's expressed desire does not match with what she takes action on. Years later I would finally understand why.
What my brother was seeing as a weakness, and even a rarity in women was in fact quite the opposite. Hell, it's not even confined to women, we're all that insecure. It's just that these fashionistas and their producers have found a way to break down the walls of defense so that they can get tears on film. What my brother doesn't seem to get is that almost all women feel that way. They struggle with weight, apply makeup, shave, spend thousands on clothing, work on posture, mannerisms, all the things that he would think are silly plague women from the time they are little girls. That's why Twilight even for as bad a production as it is, has captured the minds of so many women.
Here you have a girl who is insecure, unsure of herself, not the prettiest, or smartest, or most loved and then suddenly one day it all changes. In steps a man who sees her for her inner beauty, who loves her unfailingly, willing to give up everything to be with her and will even “wait” for her.
It struck me as rather sad that so many men don't get it. Heck, our entire culture doesn't seem to get it even though half of it is suffering from it. It has inspired me to delve into it more in my writing. Strong female protagonists are fun and sexy, but unless we show how they struggle with what all women struggle with, and possibly suggest ways for them to get past it, we are doing a disservice to our readers, to truth.
And just in case you're a guy out there or a tough as nails woman in denial, I'll add a note from the photography world that I happened upon. While I was researching posing women for glamour shots, I happened upon a female photographer whose profession it has been to take glamour and fashion shots of gorgeous women for over a decade noted that the most difficult part of her job is simply this: getting her model to believe that she's beautiful because even the most gorgeous women in the world don't believe it.