In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the poet William Blake wrote that the naked woman is a work of God, calling her body “a portion of eternity too great for the eye of man.” Philip Yancey wrote in Rumors of Another World, over 80 years later, “Blake had it nearly right: in a truly Christian view, the naked body is indeed a portion of eternity, but designed exquisitely for the eyes of man and woman.” Either way, it’s safe to say that the female body is divine.
John Eldredge’s depiction of the creation story drives the point home. In it, he describes this magnificent symphony of God’s splendor manifesting in a creative crescendo, each movement more complex, majestic, and beautiful than the last. Then the climactic finale, the pinnacle of creation: Eve. He also notes that while Adam was created in the wilderness, Eve was created in the resplendent, pristine Garden of Eden, a reflection (or magnification, really) of the primordial beauty of that environment.
It makes sense. Whether full of sharp angles, supple curves, or some combination of the two, the woman’s body is the literal personification of beauty. Why wouldn’t men be drawn to such a wonder? How could I possibly resist the splendor of my wife? I believe every woman on the planet has a beauty to unveil that’s unique to her and desirable by a man. God made it so, and so it makes sense.
Whether full of sharp angles, supple curves, or some combination of the two, the woman’s body is the literal personification of beauty.
What doesn’t make sense to me is the appeal of the male body. We’re all awkward shapes, hairy parts, and dangling members. What could possibly be attractive about that? Sure, some guys who work at it have well-toned physiques, and there’s an respectability to them: you recognize the strength or stamina or dedication represented by those muscles and appreciate them, but even then I can’t imagine the bodies themselves being attractive — only what the bodies represent.
Maybe that’s why God made men to be (typically) more visually-oriented than women, because women are the embodiment of visual appeal and men are… well, not.
Still, women are attracted to the male shape in some manner. In hopes of making myself more attractive to my wife, I’ve often tried to figure out what makes us attractive, and I’ve failed at every turn.
For example, I could describe many kinds of attractive female butts (and they come in many shapes and sizes), but I can’t imagine what makes a male one attractive. I don’t get it. And let’s not even delve into the vast gulf between the smooth and elegant (not to mention subtle) vulva versus the misshapen, wrinkled, crooked, hairy conglomeration that is the male alternative. It can’t possibly be attractive.
I just don’t get it. Though, I suppose I’m not made to. It would just be nice to have an intellectual understanding, at least.
Originally posted 2015-04-10 08:00:43.