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This One’s for the Girls…

By Arden Ott, age 16

I have a few thoughts that need to be expressed. I hope that a lot of my friends will get to read what I’m going to write, and take something away from it. I’m going to talk about girls. That’s right, those amazing, beautiful, mysterious creatures that all of us men have the pleasure of interacting with on a daily (hopefully) basis. I would like to tell all of them some of my opinions, some of which you might not agree with. With no further ado:

Girls, us guys understand that many of you read those “fashion” magazines, and you often dress and act in accordance to what they say. Now let me tell you, this is of course not a bad thing. We love when you look great, and it makes us want to talk to you more. My plea is that you don’t take this too seriously. My sister has watched enough Barbie movies, and I’ve seen far to many, that I can decide that Barbie is not all that attractive. She just, isn’t. That’s a bit of an extreme example, but you get my point. Just remember that all pictures can be photo-shopped, all faces can be fake, and all make up is not always good.

On the topic of looking good, please, please, please be modest. Really. Some guys may be into that “slutty-girl” stuff, but I can assure that many boys, as well as myself, are not. It’s hard to talk to a girl when she’s trying to flaunt her body to the world, and personally, I think it’s just awkward. If you want us to look at your face, don’t give us a reason to look anywhere else!

Now let me delve into the other side of the spectrum. Make-up. A little is perfect. Covering your face in so much stuff that you don’t even look like you anymore is pointless! I know that you can’t enjoy it when you’re walking around with half a pound of gunk on your cheeks, and most of us guys don’t think it’s all that great, either.

While I’m over here, look, you don’t need to be the most fashionable girl in school everyday. Sweats and ponytails are fine. We don’t care as much as you think we do. I wouldn’t say to do it everyday, but there’s no problem with it here or there.

That’s about it on fashion, so now we’re on to personality. Trust me here, this is far more important than the way you dress, any day. The truth is, a genuine, happy, funny girl will make any guy happier than a girl who knows what to wear.

For me, a girl’s smile is her greatest weapon. When a cute girl smiles, I melt. I see girls everyday who seem like they hate the world, and they walk around everywhere with a massive frown on their face and the worst attitude they can have. A girl walking down the hall with a beaming smile, laughing with her friends, seems to glow.

Major turn-off: swearing. It’s a nasty, disgusting, vulgar habit that no woman (or man) should ever pick up. Why would you do it? All it shows is a lack of otherwise creative vocabulary, and furthermore, a lack of respect. Not only to others, but to you yourself. When you swear, you show that you don’t care about the way people view you, and you’re just trying to be “cool.” I can assure you, it is quite the opposite.

When guys are around, talk to us! We love it when you say “hi,” or “hey” when you see us. Not every single one of us is brave enough to go up and talk to you, usually because you’re so attractive. When you talk first, it breaks the ice, and we’re far more likely to talk back. We might have lame jokes, but we love it when you laugh at them. (Don’t worry, we try to laugh at yours, too.)

I hope that some of the stuff that I said in here might have some effect on some of you girls out there. Just know that not all guys feel the same way I do, and this by no means describes a perfect girl. Perfect is not achievable, but we can all work towards it.:) If you have any comments, please leave them, I would love to hear your opinions. 🙂

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Mel October 23, 2011, 6:05 pm

    A boy filled with pure love is the greatest thing in the world.

  • Hannah Cornaby October 23, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Thanks for your opinion, I really do think it’s great, but here is the kicker. (please don’t think I am ripping on you or anything like that). I dress modestly, don’t swear, don’t wear too much makeup, and I think that I am a pretty fun-loving, easy going person, and I really do my best to talk to guys in the hall, but they never seem to notice what I have to say. Most never talk back, and a lot of times, it just gets plain awkward when you are trying to come up with a conversation, and there is no reciprocating party. And believe me, I don’t think it is because of my astonishing beauty (joke).
    I personally know I am not alone, many of us are sick of guys never asking girls out on dates, never seeming to care. A guy can say, like you did, that that is what he likes, but you never seem to show it, and it really seems that the majority absolutely does not feel that way. It almost even makes a girl want to give up totally. It just gets hard sometimes.

  • Amber Mae October 24, 2011, 9:09 am

    Arden,

    You sound like a sweet heart, and while I’ve learned from experience that not all guys feel the way you do about personality, looks, and make-up, I hope that our young women can respect themselves enough to make themselves attractive to someone like you rather than those that want to see what a girl has to show off. That takes self respect on a girl’s part, because I’m betting there are fewer Arden’s out there than other types of boys.

    But girls, getting an Arden is worth the wait.
    Amber Mae recently posted…Sweet SpiritsMy Profile

  • SilverRain October 25, 2011, 7:53 am

    You sound like someone with a very good heart.

    But my personal preference would be for girls to stop feeling like trick ponies to attract men. There would be more girls who strive to be Christ’s disciples instead of worrying how they look in the mirror and who might be judging them for it. Girls who stop fretting over where the line is between “too much” and “not enough” makeup, “assertive” vs. “aggressive” language, or “slutty” vs. “attractive” clothing.

    And I would desperately love for men to start being attracted to girls for the whole package, for their minds and hearts, more than for how they “make themselves attractive.”

    THAT takes real self-respect.

  • Alison Moore Smith October 25, 2011, 10:42 am

    Arden, thank you for contributing to Mormon Momma. You sound like a great guy.

    I hope you really hear the responses. I’ve said for years, that we need to stop preaching to the GIRLS about modesty, etc., and start preaching to the boys.

    As someone who wasn’t always the best example of discipleship in high school/college — and dated (returned missionaries) far more than any of my friends/roommates (at BYU) — I have to say that it’s the guys who need to hear the lectures on whom to pursue. Honestly, if the “tactics” you address didn’t get results, you wouldn’t see them.

    As for personality, though, I have to agree, conditionally. Given a certain threshold of fitness/beauty/presentation, personality can win out over the super-model. Some super gorgeous people have never had to develop personalities or brains — and have chosen not to. Having intelligence, humor, warmth, etc. — added to an acceptably attractive package — is usually a winning combination.

    As for SilverRain’s comment. Wow. Spot on, sister. Rather than becoming what MEN want, we should focus on becoming what GOD wants. Now, truly, that WILL make us more attractive to Godly men, but it won’t necessarily guarantee us an earthly happily ever after. But it will guarantee us an eternal one.

  • Tracy Polyak October 25, 2011, 12:03 pm

    I think that the real issue here is faith–faith that keeping the commandments brings lasting happiness, that God loves us, that He has a plan for us, that He will ultimately lead us to our eternal companions. When we feel to take it upon ourselves to forge our own paths, we may be rejecting God’s help.

  • Tracy Keeney October 26, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Awesome, Arden!! I wish more guys would speak up like this. I KNOW there are many guys who feel this way, but they don’t all speak up.
    Alison and Silver– while I DO agree that boys need to hear the modesty talks too, I’ve noticed more and more over the years that often “boys” often have nothing to do with it. Girls dress immodestly and over-do the makeup and worry about having the newest fashion even when they know boys won’t be around. Looking like a fashion queen, having a perfect figure (and flaunting it), and wearing tons of makeup to look like a model has become a “status” kind of thing. Girls do it JUST to “outdo” other girls alot of the time– not to attract boys. It’s become alot more than just appealing to boys– it’s become a competition between girls, even when no boys are around.
    When girls are bringing their curling irons, straightening irons, make-up and most recent fads in clothing for a whole week at girls camp, you know it isn’t just about appealing to the boys.

  • pandora October 27, 2011, 11:10 am

    Is Arden going to comment on this? I hope so.

    Arden, I appreciate that you took the time to post, but when I showed it to my daughter, she just rolled her eyes. “One more lecture!” she said.

    I think girls (at least the young women in my ward that I work with) are tired of being told how to be when it doesn’t match what they see every day. Guys are always identifying “fine” girls and they are the ones with the tight clothes and sticking out their booties all over. This is they guys at church. And the other ones are too shy to talk to (or about) the girls at all. So the girls don’t know what they think and they don’t ask anyone out anyway, so it doesn’t change what the girls think.

    I just think we need to approach this differently. I would also like a post about garments because my yw girls all just think they are super weird. Some even say they won’t go to the temple if they have to wear the “garmies.”

  • Alison Moore Smith October 27, 2011, 10:34 am

    I agree, Tracy, but that’s not really what I said.

    Doing many of the thing Arden advises against DOES attract guys. And I do stand by my statement that if it didn’t “work” as a means of being seen as attractive, it would lose the status of being the standard for cool, beautiful, etc. If all the girls who did the status thing were ignored by guys and all the modest, Godly girls dated regularly, the girls would get it.

    We spend lots of times talking about porn and how “visual” guys are, and then kind of forget that the visual is what we’re talking about. If women are supposed to be “Godly visual aids,” then we must get the guys to override their impulses for the salacious and reward them for doing so. Maybe even to the point of TEACHING them to SEE modesty as an attraction, on a general level.

    Like I said, my college popularity combined with my not-so-modest demeanor — at BYU with all returned missionaries — has always seemed laughable to me. To be clear, you can only get away with so much at BYU without getting the hammer down, but I pushed it as far as I could. And I dated 4-6 times a week most of the time.

    To also be clear, I had reformed when I started dating Sam. 🙂 Quality man there. 🙂

  • Tracy Keeney October 27, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Really Pandora? How sad is that! Are their parents temple-going people?

  • jennycherie October 27, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I think there is no way to get around garments being weird if you have not grown up with parents who have been to the temple. They *are* weird when you first learn about it. But, when your testimony is such that you desire to make those covenants, the weirdness is not such a factor. When I joined the church, I was *really* into my clothes. Of all the things I had to give up when I was baptized, my clothes and my multiple earrings were by far the hardest for me. Eliminating Coffee, tea and alcohol were a piece of cake compared to cutting down my wardrobe by half and losing my favorite places to accessorize! With some maturity and a stronger testimonies, the girls who think they don’t want to wear garments can easily have a change of heart.
    jennycherie recently posted…Fear 101My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith October 28, 2011, 3:12 pm

    pandora, you bring up a great point. Perhaps it could be helped by EXPLAINING something explicitly to the girls, as I’ve done with my own daughters.

    In my opinion, the highest quality guys aren’t necessarily shy, they just have priorities OTHER than girls when in high school. They have missions to go on and so involve themselves heavily with OTHER things, rather than panting over the “hotties.”

    The problem is, girls tend to be much more mature in many ways, so they often are thinking WAY down the road. But the guys are not thinking about marriage.

    When I see the girl-crazy high school boys, I worry. (And that worry has more often than not been with good reason.) I tell my daughters that it’s the sober guys who are smart enough NOT to get all entangled before their missions that will be the best guys when they get home. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Hiring a Brick Mason for Custom MailboxMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith October 28, 2011, 3:24 pm

    On the garments, I’d love to do a post, but I’m always worried about pushing the bounds of…propriety. I’ll think about it.

    I wrote a number of more paragraphs, but think I’ll save them. Maybe I can fashion them into a post that isn’t disrespectful. Ugh.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Metal Tile Adds StyleMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner October 31, 2011, 11:31 am

    I sure wish there were more young men like Arden out there. I love the sentiment here and believe you are sincere, but I also think you are probably the minority, even among LDS youth. Not that there aren’t great guys out there, but having dated for nearly 12 years before I found the right one, I know they aren’t easy to find. Especially in high school.

    The garment issue…that’s one I would love to hear more on Alison. I was born and raised in the church with garment-wearing parents and I still thought they were weird when I first started wearing them. I still do sometimes. I think the problem (at least for me) is that we look at them as clothing (or a hindrance to clothing in some cases) instead of a symbol of the covenant they represent. My annoyance is more with the people who constantly push the boundaries with them or ignore them altogether (sexy kitty costumes on temple endowed women, anyone?)

  • jennycherie October 31, 2011, 3:59 pm

    that totally reminds me of the part of “Mean Girls” where it talks about costume parties – the idea being that that was the one time you could dress like a slut but no one would call you a slut. If that is a generally accepted idea in the world, I can see how it would trickle down into the church culture as well.
    jennycherie recently posted…Fear 101My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith October 31, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Angie, I’ve been thinking more about the post. I’ll probably get something together in the next while.

    As for skanky costumes, I was at a RS luncheon last Saturday and a woman at my table said — in complete seriousness:

    “Are you going to dress up for Halloween?”

    “Probably not.”

    “Why???! It’s the only day of the year you can dress immodestly!”

    Bwahaha. Totally serious. (But, to be fair, she had a brain injury last year and will (now?) say whatever she thinks, straight up.)
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Best TopicsMy Profile

  • Kristen Chevrier November 3, 2011, 9:41 am

    Hey, Hannah. I have two girls who can relate to your situation. They are great girls; they are modest and they try to be friendly. But for some reason the boys never ask them out. (They never asked me out when I was in high school either.) I’m not sure what to tell you except to keep doing what you’re doing and have faith that things will work out for your good. Heavenly Father loves you.

    Pandora, I’m sorry. I posted this for Arden and he doesn’t even have the link, yet. I will send it to him today. I hope you’re still out there.

  • Kristen Chevrier November 3, 2011, 9:48 am

    Angie, are you serious? You see LDS endowed women in costumes like that? I know that my niece saw some of the girls from her floor in BYU’s Deseret Towers at a UVU Halloween dance in their skivvys. What is wrong with these people?

  • Angie Gardner November 3, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Unfortunately, yes I am serious. I would post their pics but I’m afraid I would get in trouble.

  • Arden Ott November 3, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Wow. First off, I would like to thank you guys for the amazing response! I never expected anything even remotely close to this! Thanks! I think I’ll just answer to a few your comments, because some of them are incredible.

    Hannah Cornaby,
    I’m going to tell you a story, so bear with me, this might get a little deep.
    I used to also be one of “those boys,” if you know what I mean. I was quiet, shy, slighty anti-social, and I could never even dream of being invited to a party. I kept to myself, and I lived the first twelve years of my life that way. But my life was a bore. I had no fun, and I had few friends. So, I changed. Being only twelve, I was young and immature. I picked up habits that weren’t the greatest(not bad, but they could have been better,) and I became more or less “popular.” I had friends, I went to parties, and I had a life. But I realized that I wasn’t happy. Parties were fun and all, but I wasn’t a particularly happy person. About this time, I also realized another thing. I had a future. And I wanted to spend it with somebody amazing. Sure, a girl who knew how to party would be fun, but a woman that would be an incredible mother and wife for not only this life, but the next, would be perfect. I wanted a woman that I could look at when I was ninety-five, and say, “I love you. ” I realized that for me to be able to achieve this goal, I had to change myself. I had to act with the same maturity of the woman I was looking for. So I changed again. I found new friends, and I talked to new people.
    What I am trying to say(in a really indirect way,) is that you matter more than you may think you do. I understand that some guys act like they don’t care. Trust me when I say this, they do. I’ve been in la la land for days when a special girl comes over and talks to me. Not to flaunt herself, not to make other boys jealous, not to show off, just to talk. It can, and has, made my whole day. Don’t give up just because they act like they don’t care. They do.

    Alison Smith,
    I love the idea that boys need to be taught that modesty is an attraction! But it must be properly. An adult male teaching a group full of boys isn’t going to do anything. The girls need to do the teaching. They need to have the attitude of, “I’m going to dress modestly. If you don’t like it, go find another girl, cause its not me.” If a girl can stay strong in her beliefs, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Pandora,
    In regards to the situation with your daughter, try and encourage her to think ahead. What kind of man does she want down the road? Does she want one that will fall over her looks now, and leave her down the road? Or does she want a man that will live her for who she really is, no matter what she may look like on the outside? The decision is her’s, but she should try and think ahead.

    Truthfully, no girl is perfect. Same goes for guys. But I know that we can all strive to be a little better in everything we do.

  • Melissa Chevrier November 3, 2011, 5:05 pm

    I’m Kristen’s daughter. I just saw some of the things that were being said about how Arden was definitely the minority and wanted to point out that most of the guys I know are on his side. Almost every guy I know, in fact.
    My younger sister was making my brother look through a bunch of pictures of girls on Facebook to see which ones he thought were pretty and, if I’m remembering correctly, all the ones he said were the best looking were the ones with very tastefully applied makeup (as in, not very much, just accentuating the natural beauty) and who looked like they radiated an inner beauty, as opposed to the supermodel ones that most girls think guys think are the pretty ones. And he’s not the only guy I’ve heard totally shift beauty perceptions from what girls think guys are thinking.
    So, sure. The world over, they might be the minority. But that is taking into account the fact that there are seven billion people in the world right now. And roughly half of those are male. And every male is a separate person and therefore has their own unique opinion about which girls are pretty. And then there are some guys in that number who mistakenly think they aren’t interested in girls. So, when you add everything up, there should be at least one Godly guy for each girl who’s willing to be worthy of them.
    Since I’m just a teenage girl, it may not seem like I have the ability to know that much about what guys are thinking because guys are generally as confusing to girls as girls are to guys. But I’ve been the confidante of multiple guys and am on good enough terms with several more that they tell me what they find attractive. And then there are a few more who I just need to watch where their eyes go and listen to who they talk about to know that they’re interested in the good girls.
    On another note, every girl I know of who has gone out of her way to be “sexy,” “attractive,” or “popular” has indeed had relationships. And has been subsequently dumped at every corner, is going through breakups almost as often as she’s in relationships and generally has highly undesirable love life. I’d rather have one love that could last than a billion that ended in pain.
    They’re only after a thrill if they ask you out because of what you reveal. Or, in the words of Emma Watson: “My idea of ‘sexy’ is that less is more. The less you reveal, the more people can wonder.”

  • Joshua Chevrier November 5, 2011, 2:17 am

    So, I randomly happened on this post as I was about to shut down the computer, and I want to make a few comments (watch it go on for a few paragraphs, 😛 )
    First off, I wanted to say that maybe the majority of guys does indeed seek after “easy” women. But I think that it is because it is, well, easy. Or at least, easier.
    To be honest, it’s a lot harder for guys to date than girls seem to think. There have been plenty of times where I have come home and just sunk into a chair, full of bewilderment, and thought “I hate dating.” There are so many little mind games you have to deal with. There is so much effort and it is emotionally draining, and rarely do you see anything come of it. When you do see something come of it, well, then you’re done dating around, 🙂 For some people it comes faster than others, but it will come. I think there is a lot to learn from each person you date. Since each of us are different, we each have different things to learn.
    Mr. Ott touched on something I wanted to add my thoughts to; he talked about how he needed to mature in order to find the kind of person he would really want to be with, someone who he could truly love, even after age has taken its toll. I want to paraphrase a few things that I’ve heard:
    The first was Sister Oaks at a young single adult fireside. She said that we should worry less about finding the right person, and worry more about becoming like Christ. When you focus on that, you will be attracted to people with similar goals. I’ve heard it said “It’s not so much about finding the right person, as it is about being the right person.”
    Second I wanted say that I think that having a mature perspective will help men, and women, realize what is truly attractive. Physical attraction is important to a relationship, but there has to be a lot more going for it to be a successful relationship. You have to have common interests (they don’t have to be ALL the same, but you have to have something that you both like!). You need to have common goals. You need to find someone that is going to be your best friend.
    To all of you high school-aged youth that are trying so hard to be the kind of person the Lord would have you be, I applaud you. Keep it up! Unfortunately, most of the kids your age aren’t mature enough to realize how amazing you really are. In time, you will all grow up and find that you will become a lot more attractive, because people realize that the qualities you have are something they really want. I think High school relationships are mostly based on hormones going crazy, and there really isn’t any rhyme or reason to it. I think it’s probably easier to go for the girls that are flaunting themselves because all the guys have to do is reach out and take it. But girls, YOU DO NOT WANT THE KIND OF GUY THAT WILL TAKE YOU BECAUSE YOU COME EASY. You want a man that is willing to work for your attention, to show you that he is worthy of your attention. Be open, and friendly, but be temperate. It will become clear if a guy likes you. Of course, if you are still in high school, the best thing is to just date and meet as many people as you can. President Hinkley taught that high school-aged young men and women don’t need serious relationships.
    From experience, I would add my testimony to that: I know it sounds like a lot of fun, and I won’t say that I didn’t have fun, but I know I didn’t need it. I could have met a lot more people, and gotten to learn from many more personalities if I hadn’t steadily dated one girl.
    Well, I think my few comments are up. But, if you get anything out of my short novel, I want you all to know that God has a plan for you, trust it. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you at the time, it will. Be your best self, and you will meet someone that has the same goals and standards as you do. Light attracts light. Go out and live your life, do the things you truly desire to do and remember that you are in charge of your own happiness.

  • Kristen Chevrier November 20, 2011, 9:11 am

    I thought perhaps some of you would like to see this video. Thanks to Tracy Keeney for posting it on FB. 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WtzIcz7MOkc

  • Tracy Keeney November 22, 2011, 4:21 pm

    It really does fit this discussion perfectly!!

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