My wife recently posted an entry on her blog which made me laugh even though it was steeped in language and allusions meant for a female audience.
At one point she discusses the trials of removing "muffin tops" which, to a male, was a sentence lost in translation. She later informed me that "muffin tops" are the female word for "love handles".
What a great example of the power of perspective. To most women, the excess weight that forms around the waist (and then apparently spills over the pants forming a "muffin top") is seen as a blight worthy of only a pedestrian description that is best when completely eliminated. To men, this excess weight bears the inspiring title of "love handles".
The difference between the two is vast. On one hand we have a title that is descriptive but ambiguous to the outsiders (men), and on the other we have a title that transcends description and that even becomes on object of affection. For men, we tend to have a more fatalistic approach to our bodies and appearances and, perhaps as a defense mechanism, we try to make our imperfections into strengths.
Consider the fact that somehow we have convinced the world that "bald is beautiful" and that fat bellies are just "beer bellies" that can be heralded as badges of honor and pride. Our wrinkles are signs of wisdom, our gray hair is sophisticated and sexy, our fat around the waist are "love handles", and our dysfunctional limbs are acceptable deficiencies coming as a result of "old sports injuries".
Perhaps this is another injustice as it relates to the view of men and women but it is more likely a result of the differences between genders. Women are kind enough to care what men think so they try to look their best. Men care, but are lazy enough (or wise enough) to change that which we want to change and embrace the things we don't want to change. Therefore, our "muffin tops" are "love handles" that are meant to be clutched by those we love and the hair growing on our backs is so that our beloved women can run their fingers through our hair that no longer grows on our heads.
So where does this leave us? Do we want women to take on this same approach as men and they can start calling their muffin tops, "love muffins". Perhaps they can convince us that gray is beautiful, hairy legs aren't so bad, and sagging body parts are to be revered. The truth is that, as men, we could be convinced that those things are okay but something tells me that women could never quite get on board with this ideology.