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It was probably good old Diana King who said it best when she said “Girl, she needs a best friend; man needs television.”

While saying that all men give first priority to looks would probably be stretching it a little too far, there's no denying their eyes light up when whatever it is that fulfils their definition of a 'hot babe' comes into the scene. That holds true for the whole lot, from the prepubescent kids secretly crushing on their teacher to university boys ogling at the latest freshman 'item' to old men breaking into a cold sweat at the sight of an attractive woman on television. Ocular pleasure, baby.

To say that looks don't matter for a woman would be hypocrisy; however, we women have contrary opinions about what constitutes eye candy for us. While we all seemed to drool over Hugh Jackman, this writer got booed for liking boyish, athletic types like Channing Tatum (Step Up) and Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), while she in turn sneered at her boss for going va-va-voom over Tom Selleck. Different strokes for different folks!

Interestingly, what makes a guy hot isn't so much about his physical attributes as it is about his presentation. As Nazia Hussein, a young university teacher says, “I definitely expect men around me to be clean and tidy! No matter what style they follow, they must have well-kept shoes, trimmed and clean nails, hair in order, no body odour and no stink of cigarettes! It is the era of the metro-sexual man; you can't get away with unkempt appearance anymore.” How true.

So, getting into the meat and potatoes of our story here, we checked up an online forum where a similar conversation was underway. User 'Moonbear' on a discussion thread on www.physicsforum .com says:

“Maturity changes what one looks for in the opposite sex (I think the same is true for teen boys vs. adult men). Teenage girls pretty much are just looking at who is "cute." Once one reaches adulthood and matures more (not really a magic switch that happens at 18, but something gradual and at different ages for different people), a man's achievements, intelligence, goals, worth, ethic become more important. Though, again that depends on the individual. Some women will always put appearances ahead of all other traits, and some will always put intelligence or work ethic ahead of all other traits.”

A little tête-à-tête we had with a group of teen girls proved otherwise. Nisma (17), says “I don't only go for looks, 'cause I know if I do that, I'll end up in trouble in the end and all that glitters is not gold. Good-looking guys are good to stare at and/or flirt with but not to go out with.”

All our respondents rated trustworthiness, open-mindedness, flexibility and supportiveness over looks. In fact, vying for the top position were the twin virtues of intelligence and humour.

However, that's just the icing. Ultimately, it's the little things that build up to making a guy Mr Right. Little acts of consideration that point towards deeper qualities of sensitivity, open-mindedness and a generosity of the spirit. Just as men require space to do their guy thing, we women need some time off to be us not someone's daughter, sister, wife or girlfriend, and we don't want to be made to feel guilty about it. As more and more women are entering the job market, they

also demand respect from their partners. Our careers are just as demanding as yours, thank you very much; if you think you can't be bothered with housework after a long day at the office, remember that we feel the same way sometimes.

In the end, what she asks for is simple: everything. She wants the romance, the shared laughter, the meaningful conversations, the knowledge that he will be there for her, respect her, give her room to be herself, all wrapped up in a neat package that smells good and remembers to put the toilet seat down. Now, is that really too much to ask for?

By Sabrina F Ahmad


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