The word is out. According to the AP John Edwards admits affair . How not surprising. Another wealthy politician in a sex scandal. I don’t want to brag, but I saw this one coming from a mile away…

I’ve found that there are certain stereotypes in life that tend to be true. The case of John Edwards seems to reinforce one of these stereotypes, mainly, the amount of “product” a man uses on his hair and/or body is directly proportional to the likelihood of him being a egotistical liar. Now, before you go and get all defensive, I know that being an egotist in and of itself doesn’t necessarily mean a man is a liar or a cheat (often he’s just a lowly braggart), but it seems to me that A) if you’re going to spend that much effort looking good, at some point you’re going to seek someone else to admire you as much as you admire yourself and for men, B) the most meaningful and pleasurable expression of admiration takes the form of sex. Unfortunately, when you’re a married man who’s pursued this circumstance, this will often lead to C) lying. It’s the simplest equation, really, A + B = C.

Back in 2004, when Edwards was on the Kerry ticket, I took one look at his thick manicured mane and I knew all I needed to know about his odds of making it to the White House. Eye candy VP’s just don’t happen. And that hair. It was way too perfect for a serious, intellectual man. Thick, dark and lustrous, he looked like he stepped off a box of “Just for Men” before walking up to the podium. The contrast couldn’t have been more apparent than during the Vice Presidential debates, when standing across from the Vader-like Dick Cheney, John Edwards looked like a cute frat boy who was all style and no substance. When Edwards surfaced again in the most recent presidential race, I thought the media was finally going to bust open the truth about what lies beneath all that glossy hair when they covered Mr. Edward’s $400 haircut earlier this year. But the media, being all style and no substance as well, only scratched the surface of the hypocrisy, never uncovering the whole truth lurking beneath the overpriced haircut.

Of course, much like many of the well-coiffed men out there, women invest enormous amounts of time and energy on their appearance. Why is that? For the most part, women know that getting a guy to have sex with you is kind of a no-brainer. All you have to do is show up.  So all of our efforts, many of them ridiculous and costly (botox?), must be intended to attract the attention of other women.  Earning the admiration and approval of a man is easy, but from a woman?  That’s just more of an accomplishment.

All I can tell you is that I can sit around with my husband unshowered, no make up on, wearing a stained, stretched pregnancy t-shirt from 3 years ago, gaucho pants that don’t look good on anyone, and I don’t give it a second thought. In the back of my mind I know that Dick, like most hetero men, is essentially a lazy creature. Regardless of my appearance, he has a certain emotional attachment to me, I happen to be female, and most importantly, I happen to be conveniently located. So while I may not be the sexiest looking creature, I’m handy – and availability trumps appearance every time. Besides, remove that stained shirt and those unflattering gauchos and there’s still a lot of good stuff underneath, right at his finger tips.

We can all agree that men are easy.  But the standards for attracting women are harder. The moment a girlfriend calls asking to drop by for a few minutes to borrow a blouse or a handbag, I am obliged to rearrange myself into the magazine cover image of a housewife, lounging at home – never looking fussy, just effortlessly well put together. A quick coat of mascara, some lipgloss, and a bit of underye concealer will get the face looking refreshed and a quick change of clothes to something more tailored will get you to the 50% mark. But the real payoff lies in the hair. If you can get your hair up into one of those cute little french twists or chignons (heck even a jaunty little pony tail will do) you can look as if you spent no time at all grooming yourself, thus reinforcing the most destructive and annoying sterotype of all – that of the woman who always looks as if she rolled out of bed, looking simply chic and naturally beautiful.

While most hetero men aren’t sophisticated enough to grasp all the subtlety required to successfully manipulate both genders via their appearance (see John Edwards), women do it every day. Meeting our dual needs for sisterhood and sex is, frankly, exhausting. So, when we finally find the time to get together we complain about it to each other – the dieting, the hair, the makeup, the clothing, the shoes, the men, and the relationships. Really, it’s a ridiculous, hypocritical ritual on our part, but we cherrish it nonetheless even calling it “Ladies Night Out.” Ladies Night Out. As if it were some sort of freedom! I don’t think I spent so much time getting ready for my wedding as I do prepping for a supposedly relaxing evening out with my girls.

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