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Desirability quotient

Saturday, 22 January 2011 - 2:51am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

There is something fascinating about being ‘most desirable’.

There is something fascinating about being ‘most desirable’.

There’s no scientific yardstick yet to gauge how it works wonders for the regular ‘undesirable’ Joe or Jane, but it is possible that the branding does oodles of good to insecure egos. Probably, it enhances one’s self-image by several satisfying notches and helps one bury a few embarrassing personal doubts — an unpleasant gift from the bedroom mirror.

But what, pray, is the desirability quotient in men and women? Please stop thinking sex for a moment. It muddles up the whole picture. Going by surveys in magazines and newspapers, it has to be that unique combination of beauty, brawn, brains and of course, a bulging wallet, which people — read those under survey — find irresistible. Six-pack abs, chiselled faces, sexy companions, swanky cars and swankier lifestyles fit somewhere into this arrangement of unique properties. Sex, of course, is a permanent insinuation.

There’s nothing to crib about here though. Only the ‘out-of-reachness’ of the magic combo rankles. Those guys and gals on the covers sure set a wrong benchmark that is too high for ordinary folks. With people like Hrithik, Salman and Katrina in the ‘desirable’ bracket, the rest of us naturally land in the ‘undesirable’ category. Not quite flattering to one’s ego. But that’s what benchmarks do. They manage to make people miserable.

“Benchmark makes the world go around and up,’’ argue votaries of desirability. “It’s aspirational. It prods men to do better, look better. The cave man would still be in his cave without it, drawing dirty pictures on the walls.’’

True. It puts some imagination into the drab everydayness of our lives and drives us to change. The world without it won’t be where it is without standards — both personal and general — shifting to a higher plane all the time. The cave men of yore would neither be walking the ramp nor ogling at size zero women several time leaps later. But why make them so exacting?

And who sets the standards in the first place? Definitely not the bedroom mirror — it just nags, pointing at your bulging stomach, graying hair, the double chin above your neck and several other inadequacies. It could be those ad guys who keep devising, revising and revisiting the perfect man or woman with measuring tapes.

“Aim for the sky, you will reach the roof. Aim to be Hrithik, you will look like a presentable human being at least,’’ was the rather uncharitable reply from a friend in the ad world.

Fortunately, not many people bother about the sky. The guy at the bar was contemptuous about the whole desirability business. “Benchmark? Ha! So what if I have just one pack or none at all? A man is not just about how he looks. Think about that Italian guy Berlusconi, and that Playboy chap Hefner,’’ he said. Ah! this was inspirational stuff. Wish that ad guy was around.

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