What do women want?

(a personal view)

One of the most frequent questions I hear (between jokes and serious conversations) is: What do women want? And in between jokes and serious talks I see answers become extremely complex and/or ridiculous. From my point of view, what women want is not far from what men want, except that we women have a feminine touch, we paint in a language that we can understand and we try to add it to our daily life. In paragraphs below I will try to unveal the mistery of this question/answer, from my point of view and personal experience.

One of the most common characteristics to the women I have met along my life, has been their constant search for beauty, which would summarize as a search for a beautiful life (from the idealization of marriage to the idealization of having a profession and all the happy endings you can imagine) I want to talk about beauty in its deep, broad meaning: that property of the things that make you love them, instilling in us spiritual delight. Let me explain…

Beauty along history has had many patterns and meanings, but I would think that we all agree something beautiful is what makes you not to question its beauty, it is just so beautiful you stare at it and enjoy, it is pure bliss, a sentiment, an upper level of perception of things. And beauty resides in the senses as it resides in the heart, in the mind, and of course in the soul.

Nefelibata - Carola Solis photography

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, 2012

Let´s talk about what we cannot see first (as opposed to the beauty we see and talk about most often). I read somewhere, sometime ago that  women are more prone to imbibe the understanding of what we cannot see, to sense and feel the overwhelming presence (of say, God or however you want to call it) apparently due to our round forms. I mean, just due to our shapes that flow more, adapt better, we are more open to perceive in general, hence to perceive the beauty of spirituality and include that as part of our everyday life, and that is one of our roles as part of a family and as part of the world, to make that beauty feel present in the universe.  We women (ok, not only women, everyone really) want to live in a beautiful gentle world (which is why we like gentle-men), we want a gentle partner who supports us to do what we need to do (most of the time, have a family, a profession, etc.) in the most efficient, satisfactory way.

Indian belle, India, 2012

Indian belle, India, 2012

Hydrangeas on table, 2013

Hydrangeas on table, 2013

That leads us to the beauty our eyes see. Have you ever wondered why women like to shop?*… (*Yes, we could about consumerism for hours, but that is another topic and it is not my intention to justify it, and certainly it is not the subject of this article, perhaps consumerism is _I would say_ the desire to acquire beauty taken to the extreme, added to the lack of contact with nature and mixed with the anxiety our society experiments these days.)

Let me talk about birds here…  At the time when I was expecting, it happened that some pigeons also decided to nest in front of our house, so whenever we would be doing anything, and our eyes happened to lay on them, we could see the perseverant everyday labour of bringing little branches to their little nest… every single day, at all hours. From this daily observation, I could recall my own need to nest and I could connect to them. During that time of pregnancy I had this more noticeable-enhanced urge to get things for our home, but it was not only things as in stuff, but more of a need to create a beautiful – well thought surrounding for my baby to come and for my blooming family to enjoy. I wanted a place that would please our senses.  I wanted to create a home for this little being by adding flowers (metaphorically), choosing the pretty bits and pieces that can create a nest, but not any nest, a beautiful nest.

In that same direction, have you realized that women _regardless of their background or culture_ are always adorning themselves?  We women want to look beautiful (I am not talking being vain here, that is another subject). There is this subtle eagerness to make of oneself a walking piece of art. Colourful (or non-so colourful) objects are added to bring some spark to our looks. Having said that, I do not think there is inner beauty which does not reflect on the outside. An “unattractive” face (aesthetically speaking) can be profoundly beautiful, captivating and an aesthetically harmonious a face can be repulsive … (even if they have many, few or no adornments) depending on the personality.

Jewels: Vintage brooche from an antique shop in Arequipa, Peru, a beautiful pendant given to me by my friend Saima and vessel jewelry from India.

Jewels: Vintage brooche from an antique shop in Arequipa, Peru, a beautiful pendant given to me by my friend Saima and vessel jewelry from India.

And talking about personality, there comes the beauty of the mind which is reflected in the way we see the world, we talk to the world, we envision the world. I have said in a paragraph above, we women like gentlemen, and this statement is not to be taken lightly. We are not talking about fake-pretended gentlemen that open doors, but gentle guys at heart, guys that have a philosophy of life full of values, because we want to live in a gentle world. A world that is peaceful, in manners and at all levels.

In that same sense, during my time working on humanitarian labour, I met idealistic people who took the courage to make their idealism become reality by working on humanitarian roles and making this world a better place to live. My heart moves every time I see someone who gives his/her life so that others experience a better life. That is the way their lives shine brighter, they are fuller and hence happier, the beauty of helping others. After all, living in/with the beauty of giving makes your life so much better…

Girls, Lima 2013

Girls, Lima 2013

Finally, the beauty of understanding. Whether sixth sense or not, there is this deep knowledge and understanding of life that makes a woman (or a man, human beings in general)  beautiful . Whenever you talk to someone who deeply understands you and does not judge you, you can instantly feel that connection, you can perceive that glow in his/her eyes and feel that life in fact is more beautiful when we human beings simply understand that our paths are connected and that we are here to grow… in all senses.

With that, I would like to share a few of my favourite quotes  on beauty taken from “History of beauty” by Umberto Eco:

“Bello” – just as “funny”, “nice” or “sublime” wonderful “,” superb”and similar expressions – is an adjective often used to describe something that we like. In this sense, it seems that being beautiful means being good and, in fact, in different historical periods has established a close link between the Beautiful and the Good. ” Umberto Eco

Roses against the sky, Huancayo, 2013

Roses against the sky, Huancayo, 2013

“There really is not more authentic beauty that we find and appreciate wisdom in certain people. Regardless of his face, which can be unattractive, ignore the look, seek their inner beauty. “Plotinus

“One obvious reason that many do not have a proper sense of beauty is the lack of that delicacy of imagination to be sensitive to more subtle emotions. Everyone claims to have this delicacy, and would like to talk about it regularly from it all taste or feeling. “David Hume

“Beauty is truth, truth is beauty”: that’s all we know-and we should know, on earth. John Keats

“The beautiful is always bizarre. Not that it is voluntary, coldly bizarre, because in that case would be a monster that goes beyond the rails of life. I say it is always a surprise that makes it something special. “Charles Baudelaire

Death and beauty are two things that have both deep blue and black and look like two sisters, terrible and rich, with one enigma and similar mystery.” Victor Hugo

Carola Solis photography Nefelibata 2

The Andes seen from heaven, 2013

So, what do you think? What do women want?



PS. Click on the images for a larger view

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