A woman’s appeal


Welcome to Southern Sister. This column is not going to be a series of articles telling you, or teaching you, or training you, or taunting you, or even tempting you into anything! Southern Sister is a conversation.

Southern Sister by Thembe Khumalo

It’s a conversation about all the millions of things that make a woman’s life fascinating, the things that are the reality of every woman’s life – the things that make us all sisters. You know the things I mean: The work things that drive you up the wall; the home things that worry you; the girlie things that make you giggle; and the love things that make you glow.

I am hoping that we’ll use this space to share all kind of secrets — with each other, with our menfolk and with the world. So this is not so much my column as it is your column: It’s a space where women can talk, and talk, and talk, and talk!

When I think about women and sisterhood, I think about how beautiful women are. Whenever I am people-watching, I look at a particular woman and say to myself. “Someone is having sleepless nights thinking about this very person, wondering how he can get her to notice him, hoping for her everlasting devotion. No matter what her features are, every woman has somebody somewhere who things she’s hot! So that gets me wondering: What is a woman’s appeal?

When someone says you’re beautiful, what do they mean? Are they talking about your clear skin and even teeth? Are they referring to your shapely legs and rounded bottom? Do they mean you have a sense of style and stay in fashion, or is it a statement about your lovely smile and sweet spirit?

One word that seems to come up over and over again when people describe what is attractive in a woman is the quality of nurturing. It seems warmth and nurturing are greatly desired, but are they more desired than physical appeal?

Jill Scott in her sassy song, Womanifesto, says: “I am eyes that sing/ Smile that brightens/ Touch that rings/ And supplies euphoric release.” When I read her words it makes me wonder, is this a woman’s appeal?

But then I listen to India Arie singing Brown Skin and it sounds like she is finding the same kind of appeal in her man when she says: “Apparently your skin has been kissed by the sun/ You make me want a Hershey’s kiss, your licorice/ Every time I see your lips, it makes me think of honey-coated chocolate/ Your kisses are worth more than gold to me. . .” All of these images are talking about the delicious beauty of dark-skinned brothers and sister all over the world (including those of the south!)

Science tells us that women considered most attractive are those whose faces have symmetry and youthfulness. It also suggests that the famous waist-to-hip ratio has a big bearing on how attractive a woman is perceived to be and is related to notions about fertility and sources of energy.

But is this really what a woman’s appeal is all about? You tell me!

Join the conversation, tell us what you think on thembe@southerneye.co.zw or follow Thembe on Twitter @thembekhumalo